Formula 1 vs Formula E
Now we're not saying Formula E is going to replace Formula 1, but its appearance in the world of motorsport certainly gives F1 something to sit up and take note of...
Formula E is very much the new kid on the block. With it's fully electric cars, it may not have the speed of F1, but it does have the big names behind it - having gained the support of the FIA and with Dallara, McLaren, Williams, Renault and Michelin coming together to create the cars. The team owners are also fairly impressive including the likes of Leonardo di Caprio, Richard Branson and Alain Prost. But it's not all big names, Formula E sets itself apart by boasting a philanthropic message: they're not in it for the glamour or the fame, they're in it to innovate the technology behind electric cars, subsequently making the world a better place for the rest of us.
But there have been various contenders who have come and gone over the years, so is this enough to win the hearts of diehard F1 fans? Well rather than competing with F1 for attention, Formula E is angling itself at a new audience of younger fans, a crowd who aren't currently interested in motorsport but are very active on social media. And its social media that Formula E boss CEO Alejandro Agag has says he will measure the success of Formula E by. Something which is evident with the introduction of Fan Boost, which asks fans to vote for their favourite drivers in order for them receive a 5 second battery boost - though it is this "new feature" that has divided fan opinion the most.
Holding its races in the middle of the world's capital cities (rather than on the outskirts like F1) is also a clever move - if the fans aren't going to come to them, Formula E is certainly going to take the action to the fans.
And the makeup of the teams is interesting. Formula E has a distinctly more International feel than that of the that of the predominantly European F1 circuit - including one Chinese and two American teams. Which begs the question, is Formula E trying to do what F1 has always failed to do and create a strong fan base in the US? With the US embracing football/soccer during the World Cup, perhaps the folks at Formula E are hoping to replicate this growing interest in more exotic sports.
But whatever your opinion of Formula E, it's intriguing to think 10 years ahead. What will happen if Formula E is still on the scene and has perfected its electronic technology so that its cars can rival the speed of their F1 counterparts and drivers no longer need to switch cars half-way through? Will the two merge? Or will F1 continue to evolve so that its electronic counterpart finds it difficult to keep-up and will forever live in its shadow? @karting your thoughts