Analysis: The car that will change motorsport.. even F1 forever?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jan 2018   |  11:36 am GMT  |  156 comments

“This car represents the future of racing.”

As statements about new racing cars go, this one from Alejandro Agag is pretty confident.

Launching the car that Formula E teams will race in the all important Season V starting later this year, Agag claims that his electric racing series will lead a ‘revolution’ in motorsport. And it starts with this car and with its capacity to do the whole of a Formula E race with one charge.

The next step in a few years will be a step up in performance and then pit stops with rapid charging. At that point the racing at street venues like Paris and Hong Kong may have to be reviewed as the cars will probably be too fast for the nature of the track layout.

But all that is in the future…

“When we started Formula E, our goal was to break the mould and challenge the status quo – bringing a revolution to motorsport,” said Agag.

“This next generation car represents that revolution. The cars will be faster and will have almost double the amount of energy storage capacity and double the range, demonstrating the continuous evolution of battery technology. Together with the FIA, we’ve achieved a great milestone with the introduction of this car and I can’t wait to see it on track.”

What does this all mean for F1?

The stakes are high here.

Formula 1 has had it all its own way in motorsport for many years, partly thanks to the way that it was managed under Bernie Ecclestone, especially when his ally Max Mosley was FIA president.

There have not really been any threats to that and at the moment F1 still has a pre-eminent position. The FIA is not going to undermine a series that it owns and from which its long term license to Liberty Media brings in the bulk of the FIA’s annual income.

But Formula E it has a property with a lot of potential and in the long term could reduce the FIA’s reliance on F1 income.

The boldness from its chosen promoter for Formula E, Agag, is backed up by support for the series from FIA president Jean Todt, who has sanctioned a title sponsor being added to an FIA single seater championship for the first time and whose office has approved this futuristic design for the Season V car.

Both sides are going for it.

The new F1 management trio of Carey, Bratches and Brawn has inherited a resilient business with lots of unexploited revenue potential, especially on the digital media side.

But the critical move this team will make is to define what the cars will look like and how they will perform after 2020, when they have the chance to reshape the rules.

This is not straight forward as there are other stakeholders, not least the leading F1 teams, who have already shown that they have a divergent view.

Ferrari is particularly entrenched and will be hard to shift, especially if F1 also wants to level the playing field for smaller teams on the share of commercial money.

The Formula E car revealed on Tuesday is one vision of what a 21st century single seater will look like and whatever Formula 1 comes up with now will be compared to it.

I think it looks great and is surely a step in the right direction in terms of single seater car design.

Formula E is still on the nursery slopes when it comes to audience and global reach compared to F1, but not when it comes to relevance and also attractiveness to sponsors.

The tone of the rhetoric coming from Agag and Formula E reflects the confidence boost that the series has received from the arrival of Mercedes and Porsche for Season V as well as the massive financial boost from ABB sponsorship of the series.

Once Mercedes and Porsche start going to town on the marketing around their FE involvement and the cars get faster, it will be interesting to see whether the audience starts to grow.

F1 & Agag photos: LAT Images

What do you think? Does Formula E have the right product? Will you be watching the series in Season V when Mercedes and Porsche arrive? Leave your comments below


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1

The growth of F1 was always organic. From the start motor racing enthusiasts ‘discovered’ it via racing at their local track way before TV got a whiff if it. Fast forward 50 or more years and we have commercial enterprises literally forcing F1 and almost every other motor racing series down our throats and now, we are faced with an FE vs F1 battle. The thing is James, this is not of our choosing. Most of us probably appreciate and can accommodate both but these kind of articles ramp up the ante like it’s the one series vs the other and the loser dies. I call BS on that and I believe both series can coexist quite successfully and organically. I don’t think we should be drawn into this artificial battlefield just to satisfy a) sport ‘journalism’ or b) commercial interests. I know I will be shot down here (if anyone bothers to read most comments, which I actually do), but if you could call me anything, it would be your typical ageing F1 enthusiast that has been there since the beginning whatever value that has. (Probably not a lot).

2

Looks very sexy…wait, no more place for sexy in F1…it looks nice. Like tea, which is nice, too…

still goes “wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee……”, therefore, still not interested…oversized R/C car with the controller siting in it…

3

At some point soon, these will be faster than an F1 car. There isn’t much that can keep up with a well driven Tesla in the right circumstances now. The times, they are a changing.

4

The fenders (wings?) remind me of the failed single-seater Formula 5000 cars here in the states. Not the same shape, but the same idea.

5

They just don’t get it do they?

Motorsport racing made your hair stand up, it made your partner squirm, it put a smile on your face like no other….. when electric sewing machines do the same thing for you – you let me know.

Until then get lost with all this hyped up garbage.

6

In australia it’s probably now significantly more accessible than F1 which is effectively dead beyond Melbourne.

I’m willing to give it a go. Good racing is good racing, i dont care who’s running the show.

7

I won’t be watching. The previous seasons have been like watching paint dry – quietly.

At least the cars are supposedly able to complete a full race distance now !

At the moment, Formula E seems to be no more than the triumph of political correctness and marketing hype over everything that Motorsport is supposed to do ; Exciting the soul being one of them.

When I see Formula E looking seriously exciting around the streets of Monaco, I might start to get interested.

8

FE just doesn’t float my boat yet. Cars might look nice but their overall performance is light years behind F1. Hate the way they bounce around like home made go karts. It’s about more than the PU. F1 cars are optimised in every area to a mind blowing degree. I don’t see why FE is even held up beside F1, many lower category cars easily outperform FE. There is space for both but there is no real comparison.

9

I had a look at the Santiago practice today and yes they are very bouncy! It looked to me like they have no suspension and the tyres are at to high a pressure.
However it looks like someone listened at last and included some higer wider camera views so that some of the surroundings are visible.
But I am afraid all, in all it reminded me of my old Scalextric.

10

Hate it. Hate everything about it. Looks like Batman’s car circa 1989. Hate the sound (or lack thereof). Won’t watch. Refuse to acknowledge it even exists.
Sorry…rant over.

11

If this really is the future let’s put one on a track next to an F1 car and see how that goes.
I would think it would need to have a head start around half a lap, and my money would still be on the F1 car.
On another matter could someone tell Batman they have found his car.

12

James if you are an SMMT member do you have access to the battery standards committee. (I am assuming that one exists because back in my time on the in car multi-media committee we talked about all sorts and had presentations from other working groups.) (We talked of 24 and 36 Volt car systems, the European satnav system (Galleo) CANBUS, etc almost 30 years ago!) It is the technical guys from the MMs who attend sessions with the DIN, SAE the EN the ISO, CEN, VDA etc to formulate standards that define the possible battery shapes sizes and most importantly connection points.
You used to write in the electric car blog where I often commented as a sceptic.
I see that now finally the people I expected to be the leaders in re-charging have just woken up. I had forseen the heavy involvement of the petro chem companies having already got the infrastructure in their filling station networks. Shell and BP have now shown first stirrings.
But of course until the battery and recharging connection type is standardised there cannot be a nationwide universal re-charge or replace operation.
Originally it was envisaged that batteries would be unlocked and slid out from underneath and a replacement slotted in. You will remember all that no doubt.
But battery technology has advanced and seems to be travelling towards higher capacity- fast charge instead of replacement. So while FE may be showing one direction of development it is not necessarily what will happen in road cars. Because of the lack of standards we have had MMs all developing their own, which is long term bad for the consumer.
Of course now being retired and with no inside access any more I may be entirely wrong in my musings which I do not expect you to post, but you may care to think about some sort of industry investigation for this F1 audience, the FE lot may be interested as well.

13

Fan boost is a dreadful gimmick, pandering to children to get an audience. It needs to rid itself of such nonsense.

14

Tbh, I don’t know what to make of it. Future developments are sometimes hard to predict. What I do know however is that F1 atm is the pinnacle of the sport and I am sure that they, (interested parties), will want to maintain that position for sure. So I’am looking forward how F1 is going to develop over the years to come. I hope that there will be battles for positions and WC’s which in my opinion is more important to attract ‘new’ viewers than the supposed threat of FE. Regarding the design of the 2020 FE car, pfffffffffff Disney would do a better job I guess.

15

This FE car is nice to look at

The 2018 Indy Car with standard aero-kit is very nice to look at

F1 cars with their hooked noses are uuuurrrgly!….Such a shame!!!

16

“I saw the future. I just didn’t hear it coming.” – Chase Carrey, Former CEO of the now defunct F1, Winter 2025

17

This car looks lovely and I hope it is OK but it is a racing car and for a racing car the function will always trump the styling. Doing something like this is OK for a 1 make formula, much as I detest them and the myth it is fairer for the driver, as long as it is stable and safe. F1 has always been an engineering formula – that was what drew my interest in the early 1960s. Certainly if power was limited back to the 200bhp level of back then tyres would be smaller, the wake would be much smaller (the loss of momentum in the wake is only related to the power of the engine so less power = less wake) but I can’t see the fans wanting that, given the marketing they have been sold so far.

18

I think one of the biggest challenges to F1 is not FE, per se, but the increasing predictability of the racing.

As a measure of predictability I used the length of a winning streak by an individual constructor (e.g. Mercedes is currently on a 4-year winning streak). The attached pic shows how the length of winning streaks by constructors has risen steadily, decade by decade.

This is the primary reason why I don’t not plan to watch F1 this year. When I started watching in the mid-80s, typical winning streaks were around 2 years (i.e. unpredictable). Over the past 17 years, a winning streak as low as 2 years has become the exception.

19

Main issue with Formula E is the poor track layouts with hardly any space to overtake. Make tracks wider in several places.

20

The cars lol great, and the future of road cars is battery based, so it’s a no-brainer for Merc etc. so get into Formula E.

I think the marketing issue now is the drivers. Some failed or didn’t do well in F1, but do well in FE. Unfortunately this is how they’re judged.

I would rather watch F1 drivers doing a karting weekend, than these guys in FE, as you know you’re watching the best of the best.

The problem for F1 in the future will come when FE starts to attract CURRENT F1 stars to cross over. The same as Alonso did for Indy. At that point viewing will sky rocket….. offload your Liberty shares.

It will only take a Hamilton, Vettel or Verstappen to be offered a pay day to go over, and then the barriers could open and more go. Free to air FE, bye bye rip off paywall F1.

21

For your information, another one of the Liberty companies (Liberty Global?) owns the commercial rights for FE, in the same way Liberty Media owns these rights for F1. Basically, Liberty can’t lose, unless both racing series go kaput.

22

Does it go uphill? Can it run the proper F1 course at Monte Carlo?
Will there now be real track events? Or will it continue to be like an indoor electric gokart race?
The major problems of FE are the missing noise and the missing scenery. It all looks the same at all the tracks no matter where, they even managed to make part of the Monaco FE track look like Battersea Park. Long straight lined walls, identical in every part. No proper data like in F1.
I have tried to watch it every season but given up halfway through the first race each time.

23

I’ve seen a lot of this new car, including the 360 degree view that Marc Priestly talked about.

However, I’d not seen next to a “current” (albeit previous season) F1 car. Wow. It really does make it look old fashioned and clunky.

With speeds of up to 300kmh, Formula E might just get a new lease of life. The racing is already mostly entertaining!

24

Definitely a massive downgrade from the old gen fe car. I suppose the bulky aesthetic fits the overweight and sluggish nature of these cars. The nose looks good though; I wonder why F1 cars can’t have noses like that.

Aesthetics aside, I can’t fathom why some people are getting excited about cars that seldom exceed 220 kph down the straights and which can’t rival formula fords through the corners.

Plus the electric vehicle is a failed experiment and has no future in the marketplace unless the ICE gets banned.

25

honestly FE is looking great right now, and once the technology gets better alot of problems, like the pit stop and circuits used will get solved.

26

F1 racing has got more and more boring over the past few years & there’s no way I’m going to pay Sky to watch the procession, so F-E stands a chance, but I might just give up on the whole lot as it’s really just a way to waste my precious time.

On the other hand, F1 has an over-emphasis on aero, so you can’t follow close enough to pass without nonsense like DRS & is driven by shortsightedness/stupidity like trying to reduce costs by limiting the number of engines (resulting in making loads of engines & picking the best in no way lowering costs) or limiting testing (resulting in development of simulators with the richest teams spending the most on them), so anything which is different might be interesting if it has real racing.

Finally, how will recharging work? In F1, when it had refuelling, you balanced weight (of fuel) with lap time will F-E work on the idea that you use a smaller battery pack, but need pitstops? Seems to make a change of strategy 2->3 stop impossible, so all the cards are on the table at the start of the race (which is boring) – it sounds like an extension of marketing from the title sponsor.

The car looks interesting though! 🙂

27

As a 7 year old I was a huge fan of Senna and McLaren in the late 80’s, I have been an F1 fan ever since. But since F1 has gone to pay TV (Australia) my kids don’t see much of it. Worryingly for the F1 bosses, my kids and I watch all of the FE races on YouTube, my 7 year old is a huge fan of Buemi and my 4 year old is a fan of Bird….. I talk to them about F1 but they don’t see enough of it for it to be relevant. There is a massive long term cost to taking the short term cash bounce from Pay TV providers….

28

Interesting – That father-son dynamic is really important in passing on sports like football, rugby, cricket and F1

There are so many things demanding your time in modern life. One of my kids has followed my passion for motorsport, the other my passion for football. I don’t watch cricket and neither of them has developed an interest.

29

I have two boys. 11 and 7. Like me (& much of the world now), they watch more YouTube (& Netflix) than TV.
I have Foxtel Go on my PC during the F1 season so that I can watch P1-3 Q & R. Foxtel is so compelling that no-one else in the household watches it, even though it’s available on 3 devices.

Three years ago I bought a Williams F1 cap and wear it to school pick up every day. Not once has anyone commented to me about F1 or being a Williams supporter.

This sport is dying under a lack of promotion and an exclusivity that is going to make it irrelevant to future generations.

Keep in mind that my boys may never actually drive a car. I think FE will be more relevant and more accessible to them than F1 will ever be. A generation lost to F1.

30

Or father daughter? . I took my 13 year old and 10 year old daughters to see them last year at Silverstone on the Friday to see what all the fuss in our house over weekends is about . They loved it as an experience and mentioned how great the noise was! I smiled knowingly of years gone buy . This hit home , Sight , sense , smell , touch , sound . For most of us lucky enough to enjoy all the senses it creates the full experience . It is one Trump card F1 has over FE and it should be used to huge effect . These two series should be pushing to show the difference between them not an amalgamation in F1s case . F1 needs to become less sterile and more dirty .

31

It’s so busy and gimmicky that you barely notice the halo.

32

It’s so busy and gimmicky that you barely notice the halo

And the pictures are taken in front of a dark background with a car that has a lot of black in its livery. Naturally they didn’t want to show the halo like it would look on most cars on the race track.

33

Must admit – the halo looks ok on this FE car!

I will only watch if they race on better tracks. All too often there is little / no overtaking on Mickey Mouse street circuits.

The lack of pit stops might be a mistake. Often this was the one thing that shuffled the pack a bit in FE races.

34

The car looks cool but I’m not really a fan of the covered wheels. James is right to call this a single seater instead of an open wheel formula car. It looks like a sportscar from above with the seat in the wrong place. Even IndyCar learned that the wheels shouldn’t be shrouded or covered. Oh brave new world…

35

The future of F1? I for one don’t look forward to an F1 car with fenders…

36

They did a great job at making the car look fast even in a still photo but then again they had to because they don’t go much faster than that on the race track!

If they want to steal fans off F1 then they need to ramp up the speed….big time! I mean a model S Tesla would smash these things off the line. If in series 5 they have doubled the energy so reduce the race by half and double the speed. Simple.

They will always be second fiddle to F1 if the pussy foot around with slow cars.

The sound of a combustion engine is awesome but when you witness the brutal acceleration of an electric motor its just as impressive. IMHO that’s what FE should be trying to expose potential viewers to.

37

I watched the race . Had to turn the sound down. They need to make the shells out of a carbon fibre that doesn’t sound like a rickety rickshaw !! Also get the squeaking tyres a new compound.
It’s still a haphazard early phase of formula E .
The radio messages are barely audible and the car swapping hilarious (which I know will change next season) . Then you have the weird audience boost ??
What’s that all about 💣
Still at least it’s on free to Air so it’ll get a lot of ex F1 viewers next year 👍

38

Please someone find me a shovel so we can bury F1 once and for all. There truly is NOTHING worth saving. Slow and boring cars.

39

Thought the F1 cars in 2017 were amongst the fastest ever made?

40

I’m still waiting for an actual photo of the new FE car. The illustration in this article hides the black “Halo” in a black background.

41

Try this. White background prevents hiding of any of its shape.

https://youtu.be/15ELDwSIUEc

42

I find it rather ugly actually. Okay it’s futuristic but that doesn’t make it pretty.
I hope F1 stays away from this sort of design for a long time..

43

I tried to watch but have decided I cant really be bothered.
If they stuff it behind a paywall I may decide im missing something and value it more.
Sky should dump dinosaur F1 and lock this up for the next 20 years.

44

Too late for sky, BT sport already shows it

45

I highly recommend watching Indy racing over Formula E. Better racing, and the cars look great, too. Plus, they make noise for those of you who like that.

46

Voted for “No”, the reason is simple, they have Fan Boost. Scrap that and I’ll watch the season and probably even find a way to attend a race.

To be honest, I’m a bit worried about all these big names and companies now involved with FE. If things go really big, I would not be surprised if they turn into something F1-like, overly political, running after money and completely forgetting sporting element.

47

It beats F1. And at the moment remains FTA – so I expect some growth in the next couple of years while F1 languishes behind the SKY paywall.

48

If they are still doing fan boost, I’m still not watching.

49

James, why introduce the ugly halo in F1 and not in other FIA sanctioned racing categories? I don’t quite see a halo in this FE car model. any answer?

50

Have a closer look – there is a halo fitted in all the pictures I have seen.

51

It will be in other categories including FE

52

my bad, didn’t take a closer at it sorry 🙂

53

Indycar is lucky not to be FIA sanctioned because it will now have the sexiest single seaters in the world. And they will continue to race on superspeedways, three wide at 360 kph with concrete walls only centimetres away to punish any indiscretions. How can formula e compete with that?

54

Very nice looking car, even if I am not a fan of formula cars (open wheel, single seaters) having too much wheel fairings, as in Indy, but I guess it has to do with less power and energy savings needed in electric racing

Still looks much better than the multi winged, barged, t winged, shark finned F1s
I guess the split rear wing allows closer racing, which is spoiled by the too narrow, too tight tracks they use, so I hope they improve on that

Went to see last year’s home race because I can afford it, unlike F1, and had a good family day (wife and girl) with the racing, the cars and the activities around it
No screaming sound but none expected so I did not miss it (later went to WEC and had an earfull to last for several years)
You can actually hear tyres and brakes working on FE which you cannot in other series

55

Great looking car, though would like it even more if it was fully open wheeled and had some beefier tyres! What’s great about it though is that it genuinely looks different from the other classes of racing. And of course for a formula that’s all about the future, it really looks futuristic. Good stuff!

56

Such a amazing car this is. I am impressed. Look at halo it is not looking horror at all 😀 I know that even in the F1 car’s it will not look bad as well once it will be painted with the color scheme. On looks it is nice car will that going to help F1 I really doubt about it…….. slightly off topic James could you provide us knowledge about new 3 engine rule will it going to play in favor of Ferrari or Renault teams? or it will be Mercedes dominance again. 🙁

57

I attended the Berlin race last summer at the old Templehof airport. It cost about 10 euros to get in. I’ve never seen such a diverse crowd. LOTs of children, including many couples with babies. Old couples dressed up for the day, etc. I didn’t bother getting a grandstand seat, but could walk around over half of the circuit and had my hot dog an beer right of against the fence at the hairpin, with the cars not 25 meters away. (And a lot of action in that corner.) I certainly hope they’re back this year.

58

It does look cool. And electrified racing certainly has its place in our world, and likely more as we move forward. However, it is a bit of an unfair comparison to F1. This is a spec series and the beauty of a spec racing series is they (the poser that be) can blend aesthetics with function. F1 (as well as many other series) the form and details of a car are determined by what the constructors believe will give them a competitive advantage (function over form).

I enjoy IndyCar racing which is essentially a spec series (teams can tweak some things) and the bigger/better teams tend to win the majority of races. That being said it isn’t the silence of FE that turns me off, it is the street races. We tolerate them in F1 because they are a novelty not the norm. Street racing almost always equals bad racing.

59

The new F-E car does look like it’s making one thing right: The wings don’t contribute a lot to the overall downforce, they rather provide some balance, but it’s got a huge diffusor, so the floor creates the downforce.
This is a good recipe for close racing.
Just think about it: LMP prototypes show that ground effects plus simple wings work well.
Patrick Head designed a Formula 2 Turbo car with this strategy in mind and it worked very well.
The 2018 Indy Car concept was Indy Car’s reaction on the idea of custom aero kits – as it quickly showed the idea of very complicated wings was the wrong path to go.

The bitter joke is that the 2014 Formula 1 generation was planned to use ground effects as well, but the teams voted against it and as a result we got a huge mess – the new fuel-restricted turbo engines had to push the complicated wings through the air, working the air like crazy, and as a result got a fuel consumption that was higher than projected with ground effects in mind. So the resulting excessive “fuel saving” got a lot of flak from the racing audience. This is what happens, if you have a coherent concept, but sissy out mid way, making it inconsistent so you get a half baked result that doesn’t go down well.
Formula 1 should again embrace the idea of ground effects. They have taken one step into the right direction, which was to make the cars wider and have a larger diffuser, but they also made the wings larger without reducing their complexity – and allowed for more freedom behind the front wheels, which again messed up everything.
Yes, Formula-1 must go back to the drawing board. We need simplified wings, and more ground effects. Formula 1 can do this step by step to not scare off the teams, that love their wind tunnels, but this should be the direction to take. You can’t have cars that have mega complicated wings and overly complex aerodynamics and expect them to work well in dirty air. Aero has to be dumbed down and made more reliable and this would allow us to open up on other areas, like weight distribution, active suspension (this would actually play very well with ground effects) and we could also lower the overall weight and have the teams put more effort into weight savings (we have load- and crash tests for safety and as we will now have a minimum weight for drivers and seats drivers don’t need to lose weight to be competitive – a change that was long overdue).

60

Really? The plan was for this PU car to go ground effects-ish? Can you point to any writeups about how this fell apart?

61

Why don’t they just call these essentially closed -wheel -design cars…..”sports cars”?

62

Because then we’d have to concede that a “sports car” looks better than an F1 car.

63

In many cases they do.

64

Here we go again. . . “Whole race distance.” is what?
Is it by any chance, 1.5 hours? That would would put it on-par with F1.

65

look how ugly that f1 car looks beside this…
f1 currently shooting itself in the left foot….. FE shooting f1 in the right foot and both knee caps.. quite funny, all the money in the world & f1 still wont be able to agree on a set of regulations that enable cars to look as good as this, let alone race side by side

66

In the next 5 years or so, I predict that FE will outperform F1, and the top tier of drivers will move across.
F1 will eventually become a heritage support series, inducing nostagic ear-ache in the older spectators while they wait for the main event on Sunday afternoons.
You read it here first !

67

ICE F1 cars will become vintage racing sooner than many petrol heads on this site would like.

68

I predict that formula e will fizzle out very soon, along with the entire electric car industry.

And the electric fe car will never outperform an ICE F1 car. In fact, the performance of ICE f1 cars is constrained by the regs. Open up the regs to allow whatever they want for max performance and Fe is doomed.

69

Skittery, too slow, and remind me of corporate hire karts.

The new car looks cool though.

70

I can’t tell how much I like the car from that image. The image looks great but I’ll hold out on judgement until I see a real one.

I’ve only ever seen one Formula E race which was last seasons finale and it was very exciting. I’ll definitely try and catch more of it this season.

I wonder if there will come a point when a Formula E car becomes faster than an F1 car?

71

For some reason, even the Halo on the FormulaE car looks much better than the one on the F1 car.

The car itself does not seem too very different from some of the futuristic prototypes that Ferrari and Redbull had put out in the recent past.

One of the 2 cars above “looks” much better than the other.Looks like FE has stolen a march on F1, when it comes to looks.

72

I certainly will watch. it looks like it could become pretty exciting. have a thing that holds a baseball card against the spokes and we’ll have exciting sound as well!

73

I don’t really care what the cars look like. Some of the most iconic F1 cars were pretty ugly. F1 fans want to see the best drivers driving evenly-matched fastest cars on tracks that enable overtaking. If Formula E kills F1 it will be because fossil-fuelled racing will fall out of fashion and F1 is deserted by manufacturers, not because the F-E cars look more futuristic.

74

Which iconic F1 cars from history would you describe as ugly?

75

Hi James, it’s a matter of personal taste of course, and I was perhaps stretching it to say “iconic”, but plenty of championship winning cars have been pretty ugly in my opinion. Off the top of my head, I’d say the Lotus 72, Ferrari 312 T2, McLaren MP4/13 and most of Schumacher’s championship cars.

I think my general point was that while it is nice to have good-looking cars, this is a long way down the list of what most fans would prioritize.

76

The Ferrari 312 of 1979 won the championship but you couldn’t call it pretty.

77

I have a print of the Tyrell P34 on my wall. It’s very iconic and interesting to look at but it’s definitely not pretty,

78

All of the cars between 2009 and 2016. Especially the ones in 2014.

There has been some criticism of the 2017 cars, but the 2 metre track, big fat tyres and a proper rear wing are a winning combination. No doubt about it.

79

Anything with a stepped nose

80

The 6 wheeled Tyrell.
Great piece of innovation, the essence of F1!
But still ugly😊

81

Tyrrell P34, Arrows A2, Colani Eifelland-March E21.

82

71 March
79 Ensign
76 Ligier
Granted, not all that iconic but butt ugly just the same.

83

Can we please add the following to the list:
Tyrell’s P34 4-front wheels car in 1976.
The Brabham from 1968 with the weird large double wing planes front and rear.
The Tyrell 006 from 1972 which I think Steward drove to fame?

84

It’s not people like me that you should be asking. The future belongs to much younger generations and I am not sufficiently in touch with their psychological make-up to make even a wild guess as to how they would foresee the future of motorsport. For myself, brought up on a diet of unfettered exhausts and the smell of Castrol ‘R’ mixed with burning rubber and clutch plates, I couldn’t imagine a race meeting without that heady mix. I don’t mind electric vehicles at all and once you have enjoyed the instant torque in tap, it can become addictive. I own 2 in fact, although unfortunately they are mobility scooters! My only comment about FE is that really, I don’t believe that in it’s current form, it makes good television and I won’t be rushing about trying to watch it anytime soon. I believe their first error was trying to make the cars look like F1. For such a completely new racing concept, perhaps a bit of blue-sky thinking on the design elements should have been employed. For as long as I am able though, I shall be sticking to the sound and smells of traditional forms of motor sport.

85

I’ll watch it – but they need to change some things. Tracks are rubbish, cars sound like a game of basketball, no stupid music soundtrack and definitely no fan boost.

86
Tornillo Amarillo

The car is nice, it is what Formula E needed. However, the halo is in it in its basic design, I don’t think it will remain the same.

87

I think the look of the car is REALLY GOOD.
but I can not say I will watch as I just feel as if I am watching milk float racing with that noise.
But stich a proper race engine in it……
Hell yes!!!!

88

I used to race a milk float…it was good fun. Our aviation stores transport was an old milk float and when all the management had gone home, we’d have timed laps of the airfield. There was one downhill section with an s bend; it could be taken at 25mph flat out if you got it right.

89

I hope that for everybody’s safety the milk float was fitted with a Halo…..

90

It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste but I agree it does make one serious statement.

But if only they could rid of that halo… 😐

91

@ random…It’s interesting to note that none of the F1 purists seem to have come out fighting in regards to the fact that this new model could be said to cancel out ‘open wheel racing’. Basically, put a canopy on that and you have a quasi WEC endurance model! IMO the Renault concept car was quite sensational and is more in line with what direction i would love to see. That, and a variance on Newey’s take as well.

92

More to the point F-E still a new racing series, so it doesn’t have the same baggage as F1, why shouldn’t they go with a full cockpit solution?

Who’s going to complain?

93

Despite the rhetoric and spin, Formula E is stuck like all spec series, by the technical limitations imposed. This is usually the power source.
Electric vehicles have never had a problem with power in over a century. The problem has always been with the energy storage and it’s infrastructure. Agag’a bold claim that “clear proof of the incredible advancements #EV technology has achieved” is nonsense.
Yes they have re-evaluated the torque curve of electric motors and need for gears. They have improved modern electrical controls, but these are benefits of a few percent.
Even using LiIon storage technology, the energy density is orders of magnitude lower than FF. The S1-4 batteries have been reasonably reliable and crash resistant. The S5 pack save weight by being within the extended tub. Does it save or just move weight. The less than doubled capacity is still using conventional LiIon with better, tighter structure. Remember Samsung and Boeing tried that ……..

So where is the incredable advancement. Well possible the games design of the body/aero. Of course, as a city centre series, the speeds of cornering don’t really need downforce, same with acceleration. So the new design is about reducing the drag of the more conventional looking (and working) aero.
TBH all it leaves me wondering is how many rear diffusers are going to be rear ended and smashed, and what the bill will be?

94

Even using LiIon storage technology, the energy density is orders of magnitude lower than FF.

And here is one of the downsides of this series – it’s that there is no competition on the battery side.
I can imagine a model, where each team may buy any battery from any competitor for a fixed amount of money that the FIA sets into the regulations, after the race, but each team is free to use any battery they want. A battery has to be “plug and play” with the standard interface and software of the car.
There is a series of load, crash, and quick charge/discharge and overcharge tests that any battery model has to pass, before it can enter the competition, but it should be open to new products.
I mean: There are solid state batteries in the labs right now that can outperform the batteries you’d get in today’s electric cars. Why not bring them to the track and hone them to perfection?

95

That is part of the deliberate strategy for Formula E. Keep the spending arms race in the areas that the manufacturers want it to be in. When the drive-trains have evolved to the right place, they have the option to open up competition in battery technology for a future generation of car.

96

“I’m going to buy an electric car to help with climate change………..”

“My local power station imports coal from Australia………………”

Oh dear………..

Oh, and the nickel from the batteries is imported from Canada, the platinum from South Africa, the carbon composites is derived from “pitch” from Saudi Arabia…………..

97

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
All this electric garbage won’t start to make a scrap of difference to the planet until electric car owners disconnect their house from the power stations, & only charge their cars from a windmill on their roof.

98

Right on the money, Gaz Boy. Whilst electric cars might be politically correct, is it what motorsport fans REALLY want? A significant part of the motorsport experience is the sound (the noise that these amazing machines make, or are supposed to make) – just look at the continuing furore over the pathetic sound of the current F1s (fans are unhappy). And besides, aren’t motorsport fans referred to as “petrol-heads”?
I think electric cars are great. Really. Phenomenal technology. But they are oh-so-boring.
In my personal opinion: stuff political correctness.

99

Formula E batteries are charged with generators using virtually emission free glycerine. The tyres are all weather so that they don’t have to waste energy travelling with the unnecessary weight of different tyre compounds, and these are recycled. Street Circuits mean you can get almost all spectators to arrive by public transport. They arrange the calendar so that they can make use of boat or road freight as much as possible.

It’s not perfect, but it is getting there…

100

@Gaz Boy: So where is the Aluminium in your petrol engine made from and all the other materials you needs for the alloys? Is forging, milling and rolling these alloys for free? All the bits and pieces in your conventional cars create themselves out of thin air? Where is the petrol imported from? And do none of the pipelines leak? What’s with the occasional oil platform or tanker catastrophes? Are there no military comflicts for oil, that are fought with, say for example depleted uranium ammunition from A10 Thunderbolts?
Did you know that just from the energy you need to refine the oil to gasoline or diesel to drive a Mercedes S-Class or a BMW 5 Series, you can actually drive a Tesla? Just do the math. That means you can actually drive 2 Teslas (and a bit) for the fuel that a BMW burns. And to put the icing on the cake: Did you know that the electric car can use electricity that is not created by burning coal, but for example from wind, hydro and solar power plants? So how’s your gasoline car going to do that?

101

According to the various analyses of the environmental impact of electric vs ICE, most notably by Arthur Little, the electric vehicle is 3 times more toxic than the ICE over its lifetime.

The ICE does produce more CO2 than electric, but that’s not a problem because CO2 is not a pollutant.

102

#MOW there are verious “ learned” reports out there on the cost of generating and delivering electricity vs Petrol. How refineries are reconfigured to make jet fuel and LPG but not anything else is also going to be an expensive on cost of the electric car. The resl issue is not polluting our towns and cities. As. 100% petrol head not even I can argue with that.

103

In order to examine the fundamentals it is important to ask the question,what is it that excites one about F1? It is speed,sound, and close to the ragged edge racing. All those elements combined give me the ‘charge’ that i love. Combine all of that with the technical/engineering magic of F1 specialists and we have a unique product. I do find it almost impossible to get the same level of satisfaction watching FE . That might change in the future but i fail to see it. For me it’s hard to disassociate the past with the now and almost impossible to contemplate the future, in any detail. Change is only good when it improves the status quo. FE has changed nothing for me.

104

@kenneth
Agree Kenneth!
I think I’ll stick with my old scalectrix set if the alt left thinks FE is the right way to go.
Jeez, can’t even call FE “ motor racing” really. But I’m sure one day it will be given a right and just name by the powers to be….electrified automobile racing sounds about right🤮

105

“Jeez, can’t even call FE “ motor racing” really. But I’m sure one day it will be given a right and just name by the powers to be….electrified automobile racing sounds about right🤮”

Let’s start a poll. I propose; Wizzbang Winged Battery Flatteners.
When FE can beat a F3 car in a proper 150km race, I’ll start to get an interest.

106

Not only watch but have my ticket for the Paris round. My veins run with 5 star leaded petrol but like it or not Formula e will become more relevant to road cars, and the FIA is now a commercial organisation with an eye on future income. Won’t stop me being an F1 lifer but I suspect a lot of the play station F1 is boring/ F1 is dead brigade may well switch.

107

The new car looks incredible. The halo is barely noticeable as it seems to have been incorporated into the design. In contrast, the 2017 Ferrari looks old fashioned.

The main thing Formula E needs to fix are the circuits. The current crop are as bad as some of the A1 GP circuits. I’d like to see them use some proper race tracks, of which there are some superb ones not on the F1 calendar.

Surely they need to also licence out a video game. Formula E is prime for gaming at this point.

108

Matt, you haven’t seen a Formula one car with fully integrated halo yet. The ones we saw last year in testing were just mock ups designed to be easy to fit and remove.

109

Awesome looking car. Way of the future no doubt.

110

I am committed to Formula E this year.

The halo and Fernando Alonso have driven me out of F1 and into the experimentation phase. Motorsport needs to embrace future green technology.

Hamilton needs to move to a Formula E with me.

111

Sorry mate, there’s a HALO on the new E car too. Have a closer look.

112

That begs the question!!! Who are you?

113

Random, why would he want to drive anything as slow as that?

114

I think you need to embrace independent thought and doing your own research, instead of listening to the propaganda spewed out by the popular media.

115

Embrace independent thought? When he can’t even come up with his own user name?

116

Maybe Random 79 is his real name…..

117

Possibly Tim, but somehow I doubt it 🙂

118

Random, I can’t think of another reason why anyone would just start using someone elses screen name like that, totally bizarre behaviour!

119

That’s probably because you’re a rational thinking human being Tim and he’s not 🙂

120

I hate formula E, most people think I’m a dinosaur but I love the roar of an internal combustion engine and the silent nothingness of FE leaves me cold.

Ignoring that bias for a minute though, that car in the photo just looks like a ‘created by Hollywood’ or video game car rather than a real actual car that bumps and scrapes its way through a race.

Long live the high revving N/A internal combustion engine!!!

121

The answer to all this Ferrari posturing is really WEC.

It’s there.
It’s not in great shape right now.
It would benefit hugely from Ferrari/Alfa/Maserati joining.
It would allow Ferrari/Alfa/Maserati to split efforts in LMP1, LMP2, and have actual road car models out there as factory efforts as well.
And I’m quite certain that WEC would give Ferrari what they want for joining, including veto over rules and share of money from series.

So…clearly Ferrari would go there, buy into WEC when it is low, rebuild it and get the financial benefits. End result F1 loses.

122

The problem is the viewing figures for WEC are terrible. It’s a series for car nerds and although I count myself as one it has no resonance with the wider public. The Le Mans winner gets almost no wider coverage on mainstream news sites or newspapers. They will get a tiny article somewhere near the bottom, if they get one at all.

WEC would just mean Ferrari spending almost the same amount as they do on F1 with a tiny fraction of the marketing returns.

123

The fact that Ferrari actually are back in a big way may just be the carrot needed to increase the audience. Would any of the Tifosi not follow them?

124

I think bagging big brands like Ferrari/Alfa/Maserati would really boost the profile of the series. And I’ve always felt that the fact that you’re seeing actual cars that look like cars you can buy on track among the LMP1 and LMP2 cars is a big selling point here.

I wonder how much progress could be made to combine WEC with IMSA and get all these great races and US Market on board. I mean, IMSA has a great foothold in US, it could be argued, much better than F1. Combine the WEC and IMSA calendars, cars, and get the Ferrari LMP1 lift, and it’s one heck of a series.

125

You aren’t going to convince many sports fans to watch a race that takes 6 or 24 hours.

126

It had Porsche, Audi, Toyota and somehow still failed to resonate with any wider audience outside of, maybe, the LeMans 24h race. Highly unlikely a brand like Alfa or Maserati (which really have no racing credibility in modern times) would give it any boost. Ferrari of course would, but if they had their way with the rules (the way Audi previously had) the races would be boring processions. In other words, it might sound appealing on paper but I just don’t see it.

127

Isn’t it interesting that Formula E is the one to launch a car first with the Halo? Beating Formula 1 to it?

128

And I haven’t heard a single derogatory remark!

129

Could be because we have feelings about F1, and not so much about FE.

Feelings are the reason why we “feel” so strongly about some of the recent developments with F1.

130

That pretty much hits the nail on the head. Plus F1 has heritage and a very distinctive DNA, which has been messed with too much in my opinion. Fe in contrast cab be anything.

131

@ Sebee…I don’t think that it’s anything one would be proud of?

132

Well, considering F1 is taking all the lumps for Halo, it’s a bit of a coup for FE to launch a car with it first.

134

Sebee, FE only has to design one car every five years or so, F1 designs ten a year….

135

Exactly it’s evolution is as slow as the iphone battery.
The BF battery by Elon Musk came out quicker than a bowel movement by Orange Face Trump after a big bucket of KFC and a tank of cola followed by a ton of Apple slices . Trump probably needs that nervous navy doctor to put on his rubber gloves for a manual extraction ☝️😄
Formula E has been slow at developing their tracks too. I’d rather see them use a few circuits blue ribbon circuits like Spa and Brands Hatch to see the cars try and get up a Hill. Maybe that German moto gp track Sacchesring excuse my spelling.

136

That’s part of the problem.

Clearly there is middle ground between the two.

137

Sebee. The teams designing and building their own cars is F1’s usp, and for me one of the best thigs about the series. So no, it’s not a problem.

138

I saw this in a other article James. Not sure you can say Formula E is on the nursery slopes based on this.

Add this car that goes race distance and all the manufacturers coming on and clearly only growth potential ahead at this point.

>
For reference, Formula E attracts about half of Formula 1’s global audience, with 192 million viewers compared to 390 million.

139

Sebee, that 190 million for Formula e is the cummulative figure, meaning that it’s the total number of views throughout the season, so someone watching ten times, is counted as ten different ratings. The cumulative figure for Formula one is around 1.5 billion, so the lije for like FE percentage is 12 not 50. The normally used measure is of unique viewers, meaning each viewer is only counted once, no matter how many races they watch, this is the 390 million figure you quoted. It is also worth noting that the 190 million is the number quoted by Agag himself, and has been called into question by independent researchers who came up with a number nearer to 60 million, or 4%.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/csylt/2016/07/18/short-circuit-report-reveals-formula-e-has-4-of-f1s-tv-audience/amp/

140

I was under the impression that Formula E attracts around 5% of the viewer figures that Formula 1 does on TV, even with F1 in it’s current diminished state. Some races get a bit more (Beijing, London), some get a lot less (US rounds). To get to that 192million they must be employing some marketing maths and adding Youtube and Facebook clip watches to trackside spectators to TV viewership. Of course I have no published figures for the current season of FE to hand, but I find it hard to believe that it’s viewership has more than trebled since the 2016-2017 season.
.
It’s worth noting that Japan really digs Formula E, they account for over 30% of the viewing figures (according to Repucom). That certainly makes sense for a country that has more electric car charging points than petrol stations now.

141

This new F-E car is a VERY sexy looking beast which should attract many new followers.

142

I’m surprised they’ve shown a sexy car. After the pit girls gone there is no place for sexy in the 21st century.

143

I’ll watch it, just like I watch everything else from AMA supercross, to Dakar, WRC, IMSA, Indycar, NASCAR, V8SC, DTM, Super GT, Super Formula, Toyota Racing Series (read back, I told y’all about Lando before y’all ever heard of him), F3, F2, Indy Lights, WTCC, Conti, PWC, TCR Asia, WEC, D1GP, FD, MotoGP, WSBK…and that funny circus that happen every other Sunday, where they parade some time Trial cars around a circuit for a few hours.

Like…I work 40-60 hours a week, sink at least 20 hours a week into gaming, and still have time to stay current on all those series…it’s not even that hard. So how someone could claim to be a fan of racing, and then say, “I watch X, but I won’t watch Y”….FOH with that nonsense lol.

On the subject of the. new FE car, it looks heavy…very heavy…and a tad on the gimmicky side. Also not sure how I feel about the closed wheels….

Oh well, at least there’s still Indycar and Super Formula for open wheel, open cockpit racing.

144

You must not have any friends or family!

145

How many hours a week do you spend watching TV?

146

like I watch everything else from AMA supercross, to Dakar, WRC, IMSA, Indycar, NASCAR, V8SC, DTM, Super GT, Super Formula

Where?!! Where do you watch these series? I’ve been wanting to follow Super Formula ever since I first heard about it a couple of years back. Any time I do a search for TV listings I come up blank, and the official site doesn’t list any broadcasting partners. I’ve made comments here in appropriate threads before and from the lack of responses, it seems like nobody else seems to know either…

147

Also, a lot of series stream live on their own websites. PWC is an example of this. Another would be this weekend’s Bathurst 12hr, it will be streamed live for anyone outside of Australia on the official Bathurst website.

148

If I told ya, I’d have to kill you 😉

Indycar, NASCAR, IMSA, can all be found on YouTube. NASCAR is usually about a week delay, IMSA and Indycar are usually up on their respective official sites within a few days. Conti is usually delayed by a week.

DTM and Euro F3 are also on YouTube, usually uploaded immediately. Same thing with Blancpain GT.

Super GT is on YouTube as well, found on NISMO TV’s channel, with Radio Lemans English commentary.

WTCC and TCR are also on YouTube.

Those are all official YouTube channels btw, nothing illegal.

Other series, like V8SC, WSBK, TRS, etc….I have my methods of watching them, and I’m willing to share, but don’t know if JAonF1 is the appropriate place to share that info. He might not like me sharing these type of websites on his website.

149

If you have sky in the UK motorsport tv, channel 447, is showing Super Formula highlights of 2017 season. Tomorrow [Saturday] at 4.30pm it’s round 3 at Fuji.

150

Twitch-man you are all in. You must not need much sleep. I’d drop after maybe two days of your schedule.

151

It’s really not that hard….I don’t watch everything live, and most enduros I watch in chunks, but it’s very possible to keep up with multiple racing series over the course of a year.

I’ll also admit that a significant amount of my race watching happens at the same time in gaming – multi tasking ftw lol.

152

When I looked at the 2018 car my first thought was “mutton dressed as lamb”. It may look like the Batmobile but it will still sound like a washing machine on a spin cycle. Has it been made sexy to make up for its lack of racing credibility?
I disagree with anyone who says that Formula E is the future. It is not THE future, it is A future and I believe that FE and F1 can happily coexist for many years to come.

153

Lack of racing credibility? What does that even mean? Care to elaborate a little?

Do you watch FE at all? The actual racing on FE is 10x what it is in F1, aka Formula Time Trial.

154

I won’t speak for newst
But in my opinion as long as there’s fan boost it is not a credible sport it is just advertising and I don’t care what the cars look like I don’t care whether they can finish a whole race or not I don’t care how much they crash on too tight city circuits as long as there’s fan boost it’s not true sport

155

I agree the fan boost hascto go the way of the grid grip asap….but in the last 10ish races, it doesn’t even make a difference anymore. It’s played no role in the outcome.

156

@ newst…love the analogy. Spot on.

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