Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing and has been since it’s beginning. It should always be the fastest and most technologically advanced sport on the planet. However, the World of motoring is changing, at a faster rate than the sport itself. Fully electric vehicles seem to be the future. Formula E is the new kid on the on the motorsport block: and will very soon surpass Formula One.
Could this happen? Why would it happen?
The key factor here seems to be Formula One’s decision making skills. Specifically, the FIA and Liberty Media, who picked up where Bernie Ecclestone left the sport needing modernising. Formula One fans, including myself, are forever being told that the 2021 regulations will revitalise F1 and bring the costs down to encourage more large manufacturers to join or stay put. In F1’s current format of 1.6L V6 Turbo Hybrid cars, with energy recovery systems, bearing no relation to road car technology whatsoever, Formula E has suddenly got an enormous waiting list of manufacturers, such as Porsche, Mercedes, McLaren, and Ferrari wanting to join to develop their current and future fully electric road cars. The field is already made up of others such as; Jaguar, Nissan, Audi and BMW. Previously small or inexistent companies such as Mahindra and Nio have begun to build incredible electric cars all from investment in FE.
Michelin, having supplied Formula One tyres for many years previously, made the leap into the unknown when Formula E began only four years ago. Supplying FE’s 18-inch tyres that are much more road relevant than F1’s slick tyres seems to have helped their development of safer and more efficient road tyres. Therefore, the recent headlines suggesting Michelin’s return to Formula One could happen are totally flawed and untrue. I believe that Michelin would now never dream of this happening. Formula E is the perfect proving ground for future technology.
However, it seems that Formula One could not possibly be outdone by a young and relatively small sport for former failed F1 drivers- with cars that do not provide any excitement for fans. It is just extremely important for Liberty Media to decide when to go fully electric in a sport that has used mind-blowing, ear-piercing internal combustion engines since it’s existence. This is a major decision that would affect the jobs of thousands in F1 team engine departments and research centres. Also, Formula E and Formula One are both governed by the FIA, who could become entangled in trying to save both sports. If the decision was made to turn F1 electric, it is highly likely that Formula E would die, something the FIA would not dream of doing. If the decision is made too late then Formula One would become unattractive to road car companies and become what Formula E was when it began, with a tiny pit lane of small privateer teams with no money to spend on development.
In my opinion, F1 should always be about power and pushing to the absolute limit. At this moment in time, electric cars don’t seem to give the same thrill of brutal power and noise which overpower every sense.
If Formula E continues to improve, it will overtake Formula One as the best motorsport/ sport in the World, unless F1 begin to copy their ideas on portraying the spectacle better to younger fans and becoming fully electric. This is sad on one hand, but on the other this has so many opportunities to raise the profile of Formula One to the rest of the World. Formula E saw a 347% increase in the number of ‘younger’ fans watching and Formula One should begin to follow suit to see anything like this increase.
To stop Formula E overcoming Formula 1 and its outdated technology, the only viable option is to make Formula E a junior or support series for F1. Similar to Formula 2. For the moment, Formula E must be used to develop battery technology before F1 can use it, and before the technology can be successful in road cars.

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