Formula E needs different approach to F1 – Prost

2014 F1 season

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Four-times world champion Alain Prost says the FIA’s new Formula E series for electric cars needs to differentiate itself from Formula One to attract an audience.

Prost believes the decision to host its ten races in cities, rather than at racing tracks, will allow it to attract more spectators.

“We need to do something different,” Prost told the Formula E website.

“F1 and the other disciplines race on the normal race tracks, you cannot attract the same kind of people and I think that was the best way to be in the centre of the cities where the electrical cars normally are.”

Prost, who ran his own F1 team between 1997 and 2001, is joint team principal of the Formula E squad E.dams, which is run by GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 outfit DAMS.

More manufacturers will eventually join in the series, he added: “The constructors are waiting for the final regulations, but if everything is correct it’s going to become a good platform for constructors.”

Prost had his first sight of a Formula E car running at the Circuit Issoire in France.

Among the ex-F1 drivers to have expressed an interest in racing in Formula E are Jarno Trulli (pictured), Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Bourdais, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Takuma Sato, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Sebastien Buemi, Karun Chandhok, Lucas di Grassi, Christijan Albers, Narain Karthikeyan, Franck Montagny and Bruno Senna.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Formula E needs different approach to F1 – Prost”

  1. Alex McFarlane
    23rd April 2014, 13:36

    I’d quite enjoy it if they went for a World Superbike style format, a pair of relatively short sprint races. Not sure about the idea of having to swap cars, surely it would be more economical to build cars that have easily changed batteries than to have 4 cars per team? Would probably do more for battery technology as well.

    1. My feelings exactly. I was excited about this series until gimmick after gimmick showed up in the regulations.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        23rd April 2014, 14:14

        Is ‘fanboost’ still in?

    2. +1. I completely agree. Two short sprint races works great for other series so why do the cat swap gimmick which sounds silly and increases costs?
      Every year, they could extend the length of the races by 10% as a technical challenge to advance the sport and keep relevance to real world needs

      1. Sorry about that. Did that entry from my phone and autocorrect ran amok. It should have read “Two short, sprint races works great for other series so why do some gimmicks which sound silly and increase costs?”

      2. Yes to a cat swap. Could be difficult handing over mid race!

        1. Yes, but it would be very entertaining. Of course once you do cat swapping, it leads to the dreaded cat juggling which has been banned in most countries, ever since Steve Martin made it famous!

    3. Not just that, but imagine two sprint races as allowing you to give twice the potential driver base a drive. Which means more talent gets showcased, more skilled drivers get more publicity and that can only be more conducive to cars, teams and manufacturers springing up.

      And besides, the sprints would make for more aggressive and exciting racing, right?

  2. IF they get that right , just as F1 is FE could take their place…

  3. this series looks interesting to me. the motion and sound of them remind me of the 1980s scalatrix racing toys that ran on rails. heck, from trackside camer they sound about as loud as the current f1 cars, but more unique! if they can muster up some interesting high level drivers it will be worth watching. this is more the future of racing then boring old v6 turbos, and probably more relevant to road cars in the long term then what f1 is doing.

    1. from trackside camer they sound about as loud as the current f1 cars

      I was at the F1 race at Sepang a few weeks ago & saw the Formula E cars at Las Vegas in January.

      The current F1 cars are way louder than the Formula E cars.
      The new V6 turbo power units been used in F1 are significantly louder than people are making out they are.

      The Formula E cars are not silent, But there not really that loud either & standing around watching them the noise they do make is really irritating. Not something I want to go listen to again.

      1. Here is a video of one of the demo runs I saw in Las Vegas-

        1. that is.. the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard :/ sounds exactly like an RC car from Argos.

  4. Did they get rid of that ridiculous “vote to win” mechanic yet?

    Seriously this isn’t motorsports, this is just some stupid social media experiment.

  5. E.dams. Really? How long did they think about that?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      23rd April 2014, 16:24

      Cheeses Christ that’s a ridiculous name… How can they brie so stupid!?

      1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        23rd April 2014, 19:01

        That name is no Gouda!

        1. I think its a cracker! But being run by big names like dams and prost they feta be somewhere near the front.

    2. I will just have to think about men with straw hats lugging yellow wheels around (being dutch and all …)

  6. I am delighted that TV coverage is via ITV 4, rather than Sky! That will set it apart from F1 immediately ….

    1. … the BBC reduced its coverage of F1 to help pay for its political move to Salford “confirm its commitment to the big national sporting moments”


      1. They used the “savings” to buy the Voice.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    23rd April 2014, 16:19

    If they go forward with the idea of voting to give a driver a boost, I will have no interest in the sport at all. I want a good series with great racing and sporting integrity. If this ends up as X Factor on wheels, I’m out.

  8. Im just not all that excited about this series, Not because of the fact the cars are electric or because of the sound.

    I just don’t like the car swaps, The Fan Boost idea, Some of the other more gimmicky rules or the fact there as far as Im aware only racing on street circuits.

    There are so many other spec series around which race on proper circuits, Don’t require car swapping or pit stops every 20mins, Which don’t load themselfs up with gimmicks & which provide the sort of racing I enjoy watching (Pure, hard fought racing) & I’d just rather watch those.

  9. Electric isn’t the future unless it’s self reliant. I would guess a 30min race would be about the maximum anyway. I’d watch it and see but i’m guessing i wouldn’t be getting up to watch.

  10. chris jonez
    24th April 2014, 9:52

    Imagine how well Maldonado would do with fanboost lol

  11. The more worrying in that story is the driver line-up … Hope this will not become the fallback for poor drivers.

  12. PLEEEEAAASEEEEE, don’t change the rim size for F1 cars ! These photos with the FE car are proof enough I don’t want to see F1 cars with that kind of wheels.

  13. Ok, before I didn’t understand what fanboost was talking about. I thought an actual mechanical FAN would be give some sort of help.

    But what it saying is the spectators will be able to vote on what driver will get some extra energy to help them out?


    The person who thought about the idea should be fired and never to be heard from in the world of motorsports.

    I was willing to give this series a shot, but not any more.

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