Now Formula E is two seasons
old young I think there are not many people who have not heard of it yet. So we now have an electric series. It’s open wheel and mostly on road tracks (the Mexican race last year was on a track). It was all very exciting when it was introduced.
At first every team used the same cars, so this was truly driver against driver. And it was amazing!
In season two the teams could work on their own drive train. That ended up in an interesting variation of machines/setup.
Now there is even more freedom, which means it’s hard to tell what season three will bring.
It will bring a new team, for one: Jaguar. During season two we lost Trulli very early on, leaving 18 cars on the grid. This season it’ll be back to full 20 car force.
I said above that it was exciting to see a new series start out. And I followed it religiously.
I loved the fact that it was new, racing was close and fun to watch, the technique behind it was interesting and it was also set up in such a way it was more open to the fans than other series.
Then I went to London.
Unfortunately the last two rounds of season one made it very clear to me that the fan friendliness is all lip service. For two races (one with a grandstand spot, NOT a seat!) and one without I had to pay GBP 100. By comparison: a three day WEC weekend costs GBP 40 and grandstands are open. So this exciting new series which was going to be cheaper and better for the public is already going the F1 way.
That makes me sad.
Because the technique is still interesting. We’re watching the future of our road going cars happen on track. The racing is still good and unpredictable. This is not a childish attempt at playing with the big boys. This is an actual professional series trying to make its mark.
This is the reason I went to testing today. I still believe in this concept. There is so much promise and so much to enjoy. During the pit walk I saw how many people had bothered to buy a wristband and how popular the drivers are (for good reason: they are very kind and patient). The new cars look amazing and the technology doesn’t stand still. Whether you like the lack of noise or not, electric cars are happening. Electric cars are getting better/faster/more reliable. And these guys are doing a lot to help the development move forward.
But as a racing series I hope they see they are turning some people away. The negative press about the London location (both from locals and race fans) is something nobody needs. However, I think the criticism was valid. If the organisers can come up with good tracks in locations that allow good viewing points it’s a potential win. Formula E has a lot to offer.
And even though I’m not going to visit another race anytime soon (not in the least because there is a good chance there won’t be one in the UK this time around), I will keep an eye on it. Let’s hope the popularity grows in time.