FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has stated that he is aiming for the series to build on its promising start and consolidate its popularity with fans during the 2015/16 season.
The former MEP and businessman has been fundamental in creating a solid footing for the all-electric Championship, which attracted over 40 million live TV viewers for the inaugural race in Beijing and has become renowned for fan engagement.
Agag spoke with Motorsport.com about his expectations for the series’ second season:
“We are targeting a good season of consolidation for the championship now. We want to multiply the fans, particularly on the digital side. We have started it already and have a good basis.”
“The objective is to keep growing and, practically speaking, to source more manufacturers and expand the TV audience, which we are doing as you have seen with the recent announcements (RTL, RAI, BT Sport, ITV, etc).”
“The attraction of what we do is that young people and families can enjoy the sport in the cities of the world. We need to continue this but also to make it increasingly more accessible on media platforms. So far we have made many announcements to support this and with the in-race FanBoost fans can get involved directly. It is very exciting to be part of this.”
A symbiotic partnership
Despite its infancy, Formula E has had full and high profile backing from the FIA, with President Jean Todt seen to be heavily involved in the development of the series during its first season. Agag is quick to point to the governing body’s role in Formula E’s early success:
“The FIA have been the key actor in the birth and development in the championship. We are close, we work closely and we have a strong relationship – it is a symbiotic partnership we have.”
“If we, as Formula E Holdings, do well and the product is good then it is all good. We are aligned in everything. Of course there are sometimes differing opinions, this is natural, but we discuss them and we have a Working Group to go over the key issues.
At the frontier of technical development
While the troubled relationship between the FIA and Formula One Holdings over the technical development of F1 has been highly publicised, Agag believes that the governing body has been critical in safeguarding the future development of Formula E:
“On the technical side we are at the frontier so there has to be flexibility on both sides. We are interested in making sure the costs are kept relatively low and we don’t hesitate to put our hands up and say that.”
“The FIA are the ones leading the process in the technical area. They keep in close contact with the manufacturers and the OEMs.
“We are a technology-dependent championship and business in where we go in the next two, three, four and five years, so we have to have that excellent relationship and work together.”
“Years two, three and four are pretty much defined in terms of the battery. Season five will have a great impact on the architecture of the car, because this is when we can make a call on if we go with four motors – one on each wheel, and do we go with one car instead of two per driver.
“It will be very challenging to do it any earlier than season five I think, but we will see. This is why we are having these discussions together to ensure we know exactly where we want to be and that we can target it in an efficient manner.”
The 2015/16 Formula E Championship commences on 24th October in Beijing, China.