The inaugural Formula E championship comes to a close today in London after nine months and eleven races.
The all-electric racing series has been touted by some as a potential future rival to Formula One. But has it done enough in its first season to get your attention?
The usual advantages of a single-make championship is that the cars tend to be reliable and the racing close. The former was always going to be a concern with cars packing so much cutting-edge technology, but the number of breakdowns has been encouragingly low.
The closely-matched cars have produced some excellent racing as well, particularly in the latter stages of races.
However the limited performance of the cars is painfully apparent. With a top speed of just 225kph (140mph), it’s debatable just how far down the single-seater ladder a Formula E car belongs, but it would surely be comprehensively seen off even by a Formula Three car.
The standard of competition has been very good in Formula E’s first season. The sheer number of ex-Formula One drivers who’ve appeared in the series has leant it instant credibility.
Their ranks have been bolstered by many hotly-tipped names from the junior single-seater ranks who arguably deserved to reach F1 but didn’t, such as Antonio Felix da Costa and Sam bird.
On the downside, only a dozen drivers are currently slated to complete the entire season, with many ducking out to fulfil commitments in other championships, such as Da Costa in the DTM.
Formula E’s green credentials and whisper-quiet cars has allowed the organisers to base the championship entirely in urban areas where it is far easier to attract a crowd than out-of-town tracks.
It was an ambitious move by the organisers to run a calendar almost entirely on new venues. However when the series has visited tracks used by other championships – such as Monaco and Long Beach – it has made the gulf in performance between Formula E and top-flight single-seater championships all the more obvious.
The new circuits run the gamut from ‘tight and slow’ to ‘really tight and slow’, and some clearly work better than others. Berlin’s unusual circuit, built in a disused airport, was a highlight; the angular Beijing track was not.
Close racing in confined quarters between quality drivers in smart cars – Formula E has got a lot of the basics right. When it all comes together, Formula E’s racing has been good enough that the ponderous nature of the cars can be overlooked.
Some will probably never reconcile themselves to the lack of volume, however.
Having each race split in two by a mandatory pit stop to change cars does demonstrate the shortcomings of all-electric propulsion very clearly. But the organisers plan to open up the rules to allow more competition and development between different manufacturers in the future, so perhaps we will be able to look back one day and marvel at the gains that have been made.
The involvement of F1 teams such as Williams (batteries) and McLaren (electronics) lends vital kudos to the championship in this respect.
An innovative, forward-thinking way to engage with Formula E’s fanbase and help promote the championship across social media?
Or a tawdry gimmick which reduces racing drivers to begging for votes so they can have an extra power boost, without which they might be passed by a more popular rival?
There tends to be no half-way house on this subject.
I’ve watched most of the Formula E races prior to this weekend, though not always with the same level of attention I devote to other championships I’m more invested in.
While the quality of racing and the many familiar ex-F1 names draws me in, there are a couple of things that put me off. The sheer slowness of the cars is a big minus for me – although the often narrow circuits help give an impression of speed, the cars are otherwise distinctly unimpressive.
And then there’s Fanboost. I’ve said my piece on this once before, suffice it to say I still think anyone who believes motor racing should ever place popularity before performance shouldn’t have anything to do with running it.
What's your opinion of Formula E?
- No opinion (1%)
- Very negative (11%)
- Slightly negative (13%)
- Neutral (10%)
- Slightly positive (33%)
- Very positive (33%)
Total Voters: 485
An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed in stead of the voting form.
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150 comments on “Has Formula E won you over?”
28th June 2015, 13:06
I never thought i would say this but i am a huge fan of FE. The main points for me are:
1 The technology will only get better and more diverse as manufacturers will be allowed different solutions.
2 The tracks are in city centres and mostly street format.
3 My wife of 30 years has expressed an interest where there was only indifference before for any racing formula.
28th June 2015, 13:17
My wife watched her 1st FE race yesterday and was surprisingly interested in it. If I’m watching F1 she normally does something else but yesterday she watched the entire race and was asking lots of questions.
She was genuinely surprised to see electric racing cars, and while motorsports fans like us may be able to see the huge differences in performance she thought the cars were going very fast and was shocked when I told her how much slower they were. And she didn’t really care that they were slower as, in her words, “at least something is happening in this race and the cars are able to drive right behind each other and look like they’re racing.”
28th June 2015, 13:23
Thats almost exactly what my wife said. Its nice to know others are having the same experience with their spouses. Maybe just maybe she might come with me to an F1 race. Thanks beneboy :)
28th June 2015, 13:33
It annoys me when people talk about how much slower F1 cars – or when people argue about fuel saving, on the TV you can’t really tell either – it’s the radio transmissions that are letting us know they’re moving slower.
Get rid of that, get rid of part of the problem.
28th June 2015, 14:24
I fell in sleep by the silence passing of the cars.
I don’t mind if my wife is not interested in F1.
She has a lot of stuff going on were I’m not interested in.
We both together have interest in the most basic things of live.
So we give each other some space to have our own interests.
F1 and motor GP is, and always will be, my number one sport
to look at and to follow.
28th June 2015, 17:27
Same for my wife; I’d have no chance taking her to a F1 race – the Berlin race was a great day out in the city, and she was more active than me looking for the best spot to see the cars battling on track.
28th June 2015, 18:00
Same here! My fiance watched both races with me this weekend and she was like “WOW!, that was exciting!”. She’s asking me questions and getting into tactics, the drivers, etc.
29th June 2015, 1:28
Interesting point on the close racing. Anyone who argues that aero is what’s keeping F1 from having much good racing could probably use FE as proof. There’s never been much of a problem in following your rival closely. But sadly, I suspect a good many of those same people are those who dislike FE because there’s no noise and it’s not fast enough :/
28th June 2015, 23:44
I voted slightly positive, to me any racing is better than no racing. I’ve only seen the Berlin race (TV) and to my surprise it featured J. Trulli driving a train, ahhh the nostalgia.
Positives: The silence and slow speeds make this series ideal for inner city racing, I can see it happening in places like Centennial Park only 3km from the Sydney CBD.
Negatives: I kept wondering how much faster they would be if they were using the drivetrain from a Tesla.
Question : When will development be opened up to allow newer and better technology, surely FE can only justify its existence if it pushes the technological envelope.
29th June 2015, 1:02
Oh yes, that is definitely the next step. They open up drive train development next year with 8 different manufacturers putting their next gen electric motor, transmission, electronics, etc forward. The following year they are scheduled to allow battery development among the teams. But even next year they are upgrading the batteries (still spec for all teams on that front) and they will allow ~10% more power and supposedly lighter as well…similar to what Porsche did this year in WEC.
The racing was fun, but the interesting part comes to see when the racing begins to improve the technology next year. I expect the cars to be lighter and faster next year so better racing. I’d say that within 5 years we’ll see some interesting times on traditional circuits comparable to other series. I’m NOT talking comparable to F1…that’s at least 10 years out. Just my opinions of course. :)
29th June 2015, 4:19
@daved, thanks for the info, I guess baby steps is a good strategy to begin with. As for the chassis, I wish it looked like a sixties F1 car, ie minimal windage, form following function not fashion, those wings must create more drag than useful downforce, just as in 1965 F1 no wings were used because the cars needed every available HP to use for acceleration and top speed, and even in 65 with 1.5L NA engines they were faster than FE today.
29th June 2015, 15:40
Yeah, the wings are not helpful if they try to go for downforce with them. I’ve not seen any data so I’m purely speculating: I think those “wings” they have now are not that heavy on downforce and the front wings in particular are more for those fairings in front of the front wheels to try and reduce drag. If that’s true, then they’re doing what you said and going for more speed rather than downforce. Again, that’s my speculation because I’ve never seen even a discussion on it…much less any data.
As for the total speed, that’s actually limited artificially this year simply because of the battery limitations. They even turn them up about 40hp for qualifying and next year they’re supposed to jump up another 30hp or so. But the current batteries couldn’t sustain the minimal laps they do now if they let them go any faster.
But here, I have the same comment/suggestion I have for F1: Stop with the fuel flow/hr limits or in this case power limits. Give them a certain amount of energy they’re allowed to spend during the race and let THEM manage that! If they want to jump up 100hp on a straight (which they’re capable of doing) that’s their problem because they can then try to manage the total energy expenditure for the race as they go.
Unlike F1, this is just an early suggestion from me rather than a criticism of someone that should know better. F1 has had DECADES to get this straight. FE has had about 9 months. :)
29th June 2015, 5:46
My wife will watch IndyCar and F1 with me, and is responsible for getting me into NASCAR. She hears the Fe cars and leaves the room quicker than a Fe car. Oh well, three for four ain’t bad.
29th June 2015, 10:51
Good point on the last one there @joolsy. I know my brother managed to get his wife (who is well known for her dislike of noisy cars) to join him to watch the Berlin race live (being mid city with a park right next to the track where one can lie down and relax more or less undisturbed by the racing also helped!).
Something I am sure of would never have happened with anything using a combustion engine.
I do think the format with the 2 cars is a bit awkward, I think the fanboost should go and the rules and execution need some fine-tuning (those penalties for more energy used etc were hard to explain), but overall it has turned out to be far better than I expected.
Not an avid fan yet, but it is getting close to the place IndyCar takes in my “lets watch this” list, while I am hugely more likely to visit a race (Berlin is 400 km from here, Budapest might have been an option for me as well etc), because its far cheaper, gives better access and if you go on a weekend trip, the shorter weekend format works.
I am not really bothered by the speed either, you can see that the drivers are on the limit of their equipment (especially live) and the cars technology is only going to improve. And I actually like that the grid is not completely hammered in for the whole year, it gives it a bit of that WEC top race / old days F1 atmosphere were it was not all professionals and strict.
28th June 2015, 13:09
I watched the race. Slow speed, ugly cars, silly ‘pit stop’, idiotic ‘fan boost’ and all in all a pretty dull affair. Boring.
29th June 2015, 2:49
Agreed, can’t bring myself to watch a full race for those 4 exact reasons. Hopefully in 5-10 years it will be worth watching.
29th June 2015, 6:44
– ditch fanboost
– get rid of the car switching system as soon as possible
– review the track selection
Then I’ll watch.
29th June 2015, 11:28
My sentiments precisely…
6th February 2017, 14:29
I agree. I’d never pay to watch this entirely artifical set-up. A complete waste of time and money. There is a hundred times more fun and interest and involvement going to a typical “club race day” at any proper circuit.
Matt Buck (@thenewno2)
28th June 2015, 13:12
I quite like it as a sport, and, despite initial reservations, I think Fanboost actually works quite well. On the commentary this weekend one of the drivers was talking about being overtaken by a driver using fanboost, and they said they were laughing because “it wasn’t the driver overtaking me, it was all the fans overtaking me”.
The experience for fans is excellent – in addition to the involvement via fanboost, the drivers all seem a lot more willing to get involved with things than they do in other formulae. For instance they staged a 100m sprint to compete for Usain Bolt’s fanboost vote.
However, the track experience I think needs work. I can only speak from the Battersea race, but the organisation there was abysmal. No signage, no maps, staff who didn’t know the directions and who didn’t know where to get the radio earpieces. Worst of all, unless you had a seating ticket, there was no place you could actually see the cars from. I found one good spot, then when I tried to return there the entire area had been closed off. I eventually found myself standing in a thornbush along with Emerson Fittipaldi, and went home before the race.
Craig Woollard (@craig-o)
28th June 2015, 13:12
The organisers have done a phenomenal job with this series and it has been fantastic considering how young the concept is. Yes, there are a few things which need looking at (FanBoost, qualifying, the Formula EJ) but it’s produced excellent racing and a genuine title fight. How it will fare next season with multiple manufacturers though is a completely different thing. I’m almost a bit sad that the one-make format is going.
Matt Buck (@thenewno2)
28th June 2015, 13:19
In motorsport, the letters EJ never mean anything good.
28th June 2015, 23:57
imagine and EJ style livery based on his wardrobe
Max Jacobson (@vettel1)
28th June 2015, 13:12
Certainly my main criticism is the speed of the cars. I do hope the rule makers aren’t reluctant to allow significantly more technical freedom than F1 currently has to allow the cars to get faster.
28th June 2015, 14:23
hi mate @vettel1, long time no see you on this site!
on FE speed, yeah it’s a bit slow. but let’s not forget it’s only first season. they will get better.
my complaint is more on the venue. I’m not convince racing on the street will provide that excitement we craved. I saw a lot of footage and boy, the track seemed always that tight. in F1, I thought one Monaco is enough, but FE has gone the complete opposite, and I’m disappointed that way. Yes, maybe they do not want any comparison with F1, WEC, or any championship yet in the same track, but I hope they will run in proper racetrack. the sooner the better, I guess…
Max Jacobson (@vettel1)
2nd July 2015, 19:48
Studying commitments and all. ;)
I was expecting the cars to be lacking a bit in the power stakes, but hopefully that’ll ramp up fairly quickly (and we can get rid of the necessity to run two cars, which exposes rather comically the shortfalls of current storage technology).
I think the street circuits mask the speed deficiency of the cars, so I am not against that philosophy. However wider and faster circuits would be much appreciated as some were borderline ridiculous; certainly not conducive to overtaking.
28th June 2015, 14:49
@vettel1 I find myself yearning for some quick corners, but on the plus side they’ve got the weight/power:grip formula about right, so the cars at least look dynamic.
28th June 2015, 13:17
It’s won me over throughout the season. Some great racing, some cool tracks. The lack of speed hasn’t really bothered me, occasionally you notice how much slower they are but to compare to F1 is a bit silly. FE is all brand new, and I think it’ll go from strength to strength from here.
Main negatives for me though: Fanboost & changing cars half way through the race.
28th June 2015, 18:03
+1 I’m hoping they’ll drop the fanboost and I know that the batteries will allow for full racing and no car swapping within ~3-4 years.
28th June 2015, 20:00
The tracks are terrible (small street circuits with fences every where), the cars ugly. I do like the line up of the drivers. But, for me the series is not interesting enough. I’d rather see F3 or Renault 3.5 (as long as they’re driving on good tracks)
29th June 2015, 1:07
I have to admit, I long for a real track to see what they can do. But being realistic, it’s their first year and the cars aren’t ready to be compared with other series yet and they’re trying to build a fan base in multiple city-centers right now.
Maybe by year 3 or 4 they’ll be ready to compare themselves to a F3 or R3.5. But not yet and they’d only look even slower out there in the open.
29th June 2015, 3:13
It’s their own fault they are compared to F1 because of the name and the look of the cars.
30th June 2015, 14:45
Eh, if you take that statement to an extreme conclusion then a Formula Ford should have been as fast as a Stewart/Jaguar-Ford F1 car.
28th June 2015, 13:19
The driver list is the real highlight. Other than the fairly high turnover of replacements and new faces, the main field is pretty solid quality and I like that there’s a sensible single seater alternative available for F1 drivers in the “was good but didn’t quite make it” category. Stops a lot of them being lost to WEC.
The cars are a bit slow but at least they look a handful and they’re pretty unsensitive in terms of aerodynamics when following other cars. It does actually give a fairly decent spectacle in the second half of the races once it’s not power limited and where the field is bunched up.
I don’t mind the car-swapping (in the early years anyway) but the minimum pitlane time is a bit daft now that they have decent experience in doing the actual transfer. Fanboost is a bit gimmicky (I’d argue not really much more so than DRS) but it’s actual effect over the course of the season has been relatively minimal, I think, so I find it easy to ignore. But switch it for next season and just give everyone a one/two-shot-only powerboost for when they want to use it.
The real downer is the tracks, which are mostly rubbish. They might help generate a crowd (it’s hard to tell a lot of the time, but it never looks like a massive crowd) but they don’t do much to help produce good races, other than making a heavy crash and SC more likely than not.
Overall though I’m more interested in it at the end of the season than after the first round and I think it will get better over the coming seasons. First years of a new single seater championship are always difficult. It’s going to take a bit of time to refine and enhance the product.
There’s no way at all it’s going to be bigger than F1 by 2020, though. Sorry, Richard, you’re talking out of your beard. Maybe one day, but not in 5 years.
Clive Allen (@clive-allen)
28th June 2015, 13:25
It is the way of the future , of course, but so many points make it obvious that it’s time has not come yet. The silliness of some of the gimmicks used in an attempt to increase interest reveals how unsuitable the electric motor is for racing as yet, as does the business of swapping cars. Give it another ten years or so and electric racing might even be a serious proposition, rather than a sop for the environmentalists.
28th June 2015, 13:28
In general, I’m a bit neutral on this championship. At the start of their season, I was really enjoying it, it was something new, something I hadn’t seen before. But as the novelty wore off, I started to enjoy the races less and less. I guess the main argument for that is that the cars don’t excite me, the Spark chassis just looks slow and heavy.
Thinking about it, I think this sort of championship may have come to soon. The main flaw here, in my opinion, is the type of tracks they race at: tracks with relatively long straights, so long periods of full throttle. This drains the battery very quickly, turning the races into an endurance event. It would be much more exciting to see these sort of cars sprint, for instance on karting tracks with much more nimble chassis than the Spark-Renault. Now that would be exciting, in my opinion.
So yeah, I think it’s too soon to have a championship as ambitious as Formula E, but I’m sure it will improve very quickly.
Craig Woollard (@craig-o)
28th June 2015, 13:37
The Spark chassis looks slow and heavy because it is @andae23 ;)
28th June 2015, 18:10
I’m thinking they can reduce the battery weight AND increase the power the way Porshce did this year for their WEC entry. I think 10-15% lighter and 10-15% more powerful in the next year or two will make it very interesting.
But I thoroughly enjoyed this season even as it was. Lots of on track action and this weekend was really intense because there was so much action and tight racing.
28th June 2015, 13:31
I have become a big fan of Formula e, it is worth mentioning I am also a big fan of the 1.6 v6 hybrids in F1 also. The internal combustion engine is over 100 years old and it is inevitable that technologies change and we need to embrace that.
Formula e is never meant to be compared with F1 which is why it must stand alone. It is important firstly as it will help drive battery technology which can be applied to road cars and other technologies and secondly it provides an accessible form of racing within city centres. We are at the end of the day a world of 7.5 billion people, are resources are not finite and we need to drive future technologies. On top of this, I also find the racing pretty decent, I like the circuits overall although some are a little narrow including Battersea park. I would get rid of fan boost though.
28th June 2015, 15:30
The irony is, in one sense, you’re looking at replacing one form of motive power (the internal combustion engine) with an even older one, since electrically powered vehicles pre-date the first motor cars (electrically powered vehicles were recorded in the 1830’s).
If you’re looking to a body that is promoting rapid advancements in battery technology, you should turn your mind to the consumer electronics industry – they collectively pour tens of billions a year into battery technologies and have been the ones driving forward developments in rapid charging technology, material science and power management systems, and developments in the wider automotive world have tended to track that sector instead.
29th June 2015, 9:49
I really enjoyed FE! Yes, there is things that need to improve but it’s new and will learn.
What I did dislike at Battersea when they showed the view from the helicopter all we saw was trees, no racing at all!
The tracks in general are a bit too tight for my liking.
About the fanboost, the first one should just be given to Piquet jr as he always gets it… if they keep it…
28th June 2015, 13:35
I think Formula E is OK but was left far from impressed after attending the Saturday race.
Unless you had tickets for the viewing platforms, the views of the race tracks were appalling. We were at turns 9 and 10 and they had put up huge advertising hoardings that obscured any views of the actual corner. Add to the fact that there were no TVs or commentary speakers around the track. They were giving out free radios but fans were not notified where they could find them, and they ended up running out, so many fans were left without them, and so it was very hard to follow the race. We ended up watching the race on the TVs in the eVillage, may as well have stayed at home. The organization overall was poor, and the were not enough food trucks for the amount of spectators, resulting in long queues. Somethings I can left off being a first event, but there was a lot of basic stuff that was lacking, and reflection that the venue was not right for the event. I am hoping they change it for next year. I have to say that having the podium celebrations in the eVillage was a great idea, and Formula E does a great job in connecting with fans.
I thought it was embarrassing that the race started under the safety car, and if it had been an F1 race, imagine the reaction, but most outlets largely glossed over that and that there were continuous yellow flags at turn 1. While there has been some interesting racing in Formula E, there has also been some patronizing praising of Formula E, case in point being the Saturday race, which I thought was dull, on an unsuitable track, yet people criticized the Austrian GP, although not being the most exciting race, it had better racing through the field. Double standards.
I am specifically speaking about one event and one race, but Battersea Park is not race track. Bumpy, narrow, and obscure views. I hope Formula E stays in London, but it needs to be moved.
Their many positives to Formula E but there are also some amateurish approaches to the organization of races, and the actual racing itself, which seems to be ignored. I think that F1 can learn many things from F1, but Formula E has things it needs to learn from other motorsports for its 2nd season.
28th June 2015, 13:41
Also I know people say don’t compare FE to F1, but people always do, I just wanted to highlight what I felt was a double standard. I do think they can co-exist though.
Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
28th June 2015, 13:36
In my opinion, right now Formula E is better than Formula 1. RIGHT NOW. A few years ago, Formula 1 would have easily been better than these slow electric milk floats but I have to be honest, with Formula 1 as it is right now with every race being boring, I would take Formula E over Formula 1 any day of the week just for the exciting racing, even if it is slow.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
28th June 2015, 19:30
@ultimateuzair That was a cracking final race!
28th June 2015, 13:37
So far, I have not been particularly excited about this series. The potential is there but it’s not hitting the right notes for me currently.
I like that they can follow each other closely, as that is one thing that Formula 1 is severely lacking in at the moment. However, the lack of overall pace is a big turn-off for me currently.
I get excited by seeing cars going at full speed and taking corners on the very edge of their grip limit (the camerawork in WEC makes this very obvious when you watch the LMP1s) so to see these cars go through some stop-start courses with lots of low speed 90 degree corners and hairpins is underwhelming.
Can’t complain here, there is a good mix of talent and experience.
I like that the series is taking races to cities that cannot otherwise hold racing events, however the design of a many of these circuits leaves a lot to be desired. There’s only so many times I can see high-barrier low-speed corners before switching off.
I get the fact that having close-confined circuits makes the cars appear faster, but hopefully once the performance level of the cars increases we’ll get to see these machines on tracks like Brands Hatch or shorter variants of Grand Prix circuits (like Hockenheim or Silverstone’s National Layout).
Volume isn’t an issue for me since I can hear the tyres hitting their grip limits.
Overall though the lack of car pace combined with the tightness of the circuits is not drawing me to the sport however.
I will say one thing however, the “double car” feature is turning me away from the events entirely. I know that this is a developing formula but having to swap cars midway through just highlights the shortcomings of electric racing to me. I would rather see 2 Sprint Races in a single car (or a swapped car that we are not aware of) than have the entire field stop halfway through to get into a second vehicle.
I’ve already mentioned the two car issue above. Other than that time will tell, the cars need to get faster and I am sure they will do in a few years.
To me it’s a gimmick.
28th June 2015, 13:38
I have been massively won over by the racing in Formula E but not so much in the other areas. Like many others, I’m unimpressed by gimmicks like the Fanboost and the “Formula EJ”. Formula E has the potential to be a recognised top-level championship in its own right, but these gimmicks make it impossible to take it that seriously.
Other than those gripes, though, I am really getting into this championship. I can ignore the lack of speed – it is, after all, uncharted territory for motorsport so I can forgive that. But what I’ve enjoyed most is the quality of drivers. There’s such a tremendous variety of drivers from disciplines all over the world, and that alone is enough reason to follow Formula E.
Above all, though, I’m just glad there is finally another alternative top-level motorsport for drivers to target. It’s been a long time since a brand new championship came about and immediately turned heads.
28th June 2015, 13:43
Now and again I remember the drivers are the so-called F1 rejects….
28th June 2015, 13:50
Enjoyed the first season and had a brilliant day at Battersea yesterday. The atmosphere was so much more ‘open’ and friendly than any F1 race I’ve been to.
Two thumbs up from me.
28th June 2015, 13:54
I was very excited about this championship and to be honest I am slightly disappointed.
First of all the cars are incredibly slow. I definitely didn’t expect them to be F1 fast, but it looks like they are the slowest single seaters out there, which is pretty sad. Watching the cars accelerate out of a slow corner is painful.
And then there are the tracks… There are a couple of decent ones, but the majority of them are really awful. That’s a big minus for me. I like the fact that they go into the heart of cities, but this is a big price to pay. Maybe these cars need these kinds of tracks, otherwise they can’t recover enough energy, which is a bit sad.
I was a bit disappointed with the calendar as well. I love the idea of a series that runs while all the others are on break, but it feels like most of the racing was when F1 and Indycar had already started.
The racing is good, definitely, maybe even better than I expected. But the shortcomings of batteries really limit the strategies involved. Everyone more or less stops on the same lap and everyone stays in the pits for the same amout of time because there’s a rule. Hopefully next year things will change.
Fanboost is definitely a gimmick, but I didn’t care about it when watching the races. One thing that I find annoying is the rule about the energy readings. Apparently the pitwall doesn’t have energy readings, but the drivers have them. The idea behind it is good, the driver has to manage his energy, but what ends up happening is that at the end of the lap everyone says random numbers on the radio, which is confusing at first, and then annoying.
I focused on the negatives more than the positives in this comment, but I want to say that all in all it’s a decent series. I find myself watching it and sometimes I chose it over other racing series. And I’m actually excited about the title battle in a couple of hours.
GT Racer (@gt-racer)
28th June 2015, 13:56
The cars are still too slow, The street circuits have been mostly awful, Fan Boost is ridiculous, I’m not keen on the car swapping & I also don’t feel the racing has really been that good from a purely racing POV as much of what seems to class as ‘good racing’ in FE hasn’t exactly been clean.
Its been a bit like A1GP, Most of the ‘excitement’ has come because of silly moves & contact rather than clean racing because again like A1GP’s street circuits many of the circuits have necessitated that sort of ‘racing’.
It should also be a bit concerning that (In the UK at least) the viewing figures have decreased as the season has gone on which seems to suggest that it isn’t hooking viewers enough to see them come back to watch more.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
28th June 2015, 19:32
@gt-racer As someone who looks out for it, I missed it yesterday because I didn’t bother to check ITV4.. I wonder what the figure will be for the title decider, today the qualifying and race was live on ITV1.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
28th June 2015, 19:34
*It would be interesting to compare it to the USA TV figures for NBC vs. NBCSN, to take in the effect of a paywall vs. just being on an obscure FTA channel.
GT Racer (@gt-racer)
29th June 2015, 22:52
@fastiesty Figures for Saturday/Sunday-
Duc Pham (@ducpham2708)
28th June 2015, 14:02
It’s a great show but if F1 and FE are simultaneously on TV, I’d still watch F1.
From personal liking, the cars are a bit too “gentle”, a bit too slow and the noise isn’t satisfactory. Furthermore, F1 features much more prominent drivers : how many drivers would give up their FE seats for F1 seats, and how many would give up F1 seats for FE seats?
I get that a lot of fans are frustrated with some problems F1 is facing and/or its incompetent management. But praising every other racing show (recently LeMans, and today FE) as “much more better than F1” is not a solution.
28th June 2015, 14:11
Some positive/negative and neutral points from my perspective:
+: they have better commentators (positive towards motorsport)
+: better streams
+: new, different, interesting technology in the racing world, showcases current technology
+: a lot of scope for technological improvement/innovations, gives extra motivation (money/attention) for the electric car industry (mainly battery tech)
+: a lot of support for the series at the moment by drivers, FIA, companies etc.
+: cars are able to follow and overtake quite well despite the tight tracks
0: running only wet tyres
+:No need for weather dependent pit-stops, start delays etc.
+:Masks the low power output and makes more difficult for the drivers, exciting to watch
0: tight city-center tracks
+:Appropriate for the cars, so they seem much faster than they would on a modern conventional track. (though not only seem faster, but actually are, relativity for the track, to be fair. Like in the example of 500 mph cruising in a jet vs 180 mph blasting through Monaco in an F1 car)
+: Some good tracks
-: Some really bad tracks
0: cars as slow as snails
+/0: Okay, not that bad. Just fast enough to be interesting for the tracks, and quite slow for it to be interesting to follow the development over the following seasons.
-: Much less exciting
-: not entirely brilliant qualifying format
-: not having the scope to change that q-format due to tight, short tracks and very slow cool-down laps
-: very slow pit-stops (long in-exit roads) and car swapping
-: much lower power in race mode, less exciting to watch the pure driving in race mode
-: short racing weekend and the race itself
-: frustratingly limited/slow development schedule set for the future by the regulations
-: the series organizers have followed the mistakes of F1 in choosing some “human-rights” venues that pay dirty money to host races for propaganda reasons
-: The Devil, aka Fanboost!
Things I did not mention, that can be mentioned, but do not differentiate F-E from other series:
* Good and bad decisions made by the officials, demonstrating some incompetence at times.
* Good organization of everything for the first season with some mistakes. Quick to solve some issues.
Overall, the series has a lot of potential. I think it is important the organizers take this seriously, as a sport. That would mean dropping things like fanboost, this is very important for electric racing, because if F-E does not make it, with all this support from FIA etc., there will be no replacement series any time soon, which would be a shame for technological reasons.
And a side note: Fanboost is not innovative/new anything, it was around when I was growing up in the 90’s, it was called “reality” TV and popularity voting contests. And my observation though life has been that the Venn diagram of people who enjoy that type of thing and people who enjoy “cars going round and round” are basically two circles.
And one other thing, if somebody is pro-fanboost and has some good pro-fanboost arguments I would like to hear them. I am still compiling a list, but it is still quite barren and incoherent in nature.
28th June 2015, 14:52
+1!!! Sometimes the race isn’t that exciting but the commentators make it look like it is! All that positivity is lost in F1.
29th June 2015, 0:03
To me that was a major turnoff, I can’t stand commentators that yell and scream to give the impression something dramatic and exciting is happening when clearly I can see it is not.
29th June 2015, 7:44
[+1!!! Sometimes the race isn’t that exciting but the commentators make it look like it is! All that positivity is lost in F1.]
Don’t you think that is lying? and worst of all pretence and fake. If you believe that’s racing I rest my case. I guess you can’t bluff a true F1 fan.
Vincent Ouwehand (@bazzek)
28th June 2015, 14:17
A lot of good things have been done for FE. Not in the least the close racing. BUT… it has fanboost, which is like admitting to itself it is not a real racing series. Just that makes me slightly negative about the series.
Also, the slowness of the cars kinda chase me away (f3 and FR35 are so much more fun to watch)
28th June 2015, 14:30
Was very excited about Formula E and prepared to follow it full on as my second sport, but after hearing cars would get a boost in races from people’s twitter messages have honestly not bothered to read even a single article about it. It’s obviously a complete joke.
28th June 2015, 14:31
It’s not live on free-to-air TV in Germany and there’s no streaming service, so I have no idea if it’s any good. I don’t see the point of putting a new racing series on pay-TV. To me it’s just another racing series with just another flawed business model and a shrewd strategy to bypass the target audience/market, which sounds like Mr. Jean Todt could be involved in this in some way.
28th June 2015, 15:47
It’s on FTA in other countries so you can’t really blame the series rather than the likes of ARD/ZDF for not picking it up. I could see the series doing well on the ÖR. DTM on the Norisring has just finished, so this would be a perfect tie-in.
On another note, go subscribe to a DNS provider. For less than 30 €/year you’ll get access to F1 (half on BBC, all of it on ORF/SF1 through Zattoo), Formula E, BTCC and others. Not mentioning stuff like 20 different country selections on Netflix etc. Best decision ever, I haven’t had a cable connected to my TV for 3 years now.
28th June 2015, 17:30
It’s not on FTA here in Belgium too. FE site though streams all races for free no?
29th June 2015, 10:06
@xtwl and @schmorbraten It is streamed live on the FE website. In South Africa there is no chance of watching it on TV. But then I streamed DTM and all it’s other races anyway.
That’s something I liked a lot, streaming was free and I hope it stays that way.
29th June 2015, 11:10
As far as I know the site only allows free streaming in countries where no regular TV station (or none at all??) have the footage. I could watch it after entering that I live in the Czech Republic, I guess it checks your IP adress. @xtwl, @friedatwo @schmorbraten.
On the other hand, i did not notice much effort (so for at least) to take down streams for other countries either.
Sure enough a sign of the series gaining some success will be that the free online watching gets either dropped for more an more countries as regular TV picks it up, or it will look for a way to earn money from the streaming (we saw the same with Indycar dropping the online race footage as soon as they got a TV deal).
28th June 2015, 14:31
This is a brand new series featuring technology in its infancy. Formula 1 and the internal combustion engine has had decades of investment, research and development into what we are seeing today. It seems very unfair to compare it with F1 et al, since it is not meant to be a clone.
I feel the weakness in its lack of top end speed has actually added to the spectacle. My initial thoughts on the London circuit was one of disappointment but it proved to be very challenging. Not many other series would contemplate racing on such a narrow, twisting and massively bumpy surface. The big name hugely experienced drivers can and do make minor yet costly mistakes whilst still being pressured into taking massive risks to make up time and positions.
The qualifying format increases this pressure on the drivers especially when they know they will be unable to respond to times set by the later runners. Seeing them push the cars to the limit of adhesion and up against the wall on the final corner on Saturday was something we do not see very often in other series.
Swapping the cars during the race introduces a strategic element. Drivers and teams have to decide how far to push the tyres and energy reserves. Go far into the race with a short sprint at the end or push at the start and hold position until the end. We have seen a lot of races completely change after the swap. Getting the minimum pit stop times perfect and to the second must take a lot of preparation and risk.
I think the Fan Boost is an interesting dynamic. As motorsport fans we all like to see a close fight for the championship and perhaps if we group together (like the whole of Japan appeared to do so for Yamamoto) we can use this to manipulate things for our own selfish benefit. It has not really made much of a real contribution so far but it proved to have a spectacularly negative effect for Piquet on Saturday!
I am undecided about the future. The single specification series shows us how much difference a driver and teams can make. At the same time we do need an incentive for the technology to advance to the level of maturity reached by internal combustion. We also need more races over the winter period whilst the other series are in their off seasons.
28th June 2015, 21:28
@suffolk, I really would not say that the technology is in its infancy – on the contrary, one of the complaints that I’ve seen levelled against Formula E is that the systems they are using are actually pretty conservative designs.
If you compare the equipment on the Formula E cars, there is nothing that is especially remarkable when compared to current commercial cars such as the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3 (I think that the batteries used in Formula E are actually standard “off the shelf” units that were picked precisely because they were relatively well proven and robust technology that wasn’t prohibitively expensive).
I’d agree, though, that there is no point in comparing it to Formula 1, or really any other form of motorsport, because the aims of the series and the demographics that they are aiming to target are fundamentally different.
Part of the reason why they are holding races in city centres is precisely because most conventional racing cars would not be allowed to compete in those conditions, not just because of the speeds (the slower speeds means they can get away with lower key safety measures) but also because of other factors, such as noise emissions. It also plays into the way that they target people – the race itself is simply part of a wider collection of events aimed at attracting a wider and more diverse audience, many of whom may be far less interested in motorsport and cars than the more dedicated hardcore that most racing series target.
28th June 2015, 14:57
Its a gimmick, its a bit of fun and the fan boost is silly. But to compare it to F1? you put these cars on a regular formula 1 track and they would look ridiculous. I rank it alongside formula 3 and GP2, its here to stay, but it is not going to become a threat to F1 or replace it.
28th June 2015, 17:30
@addimaf1 It never had the intention to replace anything. Also, how is it next to GP2?
28th June 2015, 17:39
I was referring to Richard Branson’s comments. I hope in the future that formula e will become a feeder series to F1 alongside other single seater series, teaching drivers efficiency and acting as another root for young drivers, mind you GP2 hasn’t exactly been doing that job lately.
28th June 2015, 15:07
My pros and cons:
+ the technology
+ reaching new audiences in a very effective manner
+ good names amongst drivers
+ some nice circuit layouts
+ still a small competition, drivers are accessible
– appaling performance of the cars
– car swap is ridiculous, but chances are that it’s only a matter of time before they’ll make batteries that last until the end
– race length, way too short
– noise (even if I’m quite a fan of current F1 noise)
– fan boost is by far the worst, this is not racing, it’s even worse than Abou double and DRS together, and wheighs heavily against the formula.
So I went for ‘slightly positive’, but I’d rather have chosen something between slightly and very positive.
A good debut!
28th June 2015, 16:51
Almost forgot one of the nicest feature, you don’t mention it either Keith:
Multi cameras in free streaming, with onboard features.
Thrilling finale by the way! :)
28th June 2015, 17:33
Depends where you live as the streaming stuff is Geo-blocked in a lot of regions.
I was in France earlier in the year & none of the streaming stuff was available due to geo-blocking caused by regional TV contracts (Same problem F1 has with broadcaster/region exclusivity deals).
29th June 2015, 11:57
Ah, sad to hear that! In Belgium that was all fine :(
28th June 2015, 15:15
Personally I love to see the tight racing, more risk taking and name drivers, some who were perhaps unable to bring F1 level funds to the table or simply the timing wasn’t right to earn a seat in F1. The only downside IMO is switching cars during the race. Hopefully either the rules will change on this or Williams will develop a battery capable of going the distance.
I must digress a bit…put the F1 ERS on FE and bring back the V8’s (or 10’s)!
28th June 2015, 15:32
I never expected myself to like it before the season but it’s fantastic. Yesterday’s race was amazing we’re looking at the possibility of this racing season’s best race in about half an hour.
For the future, I hope that Formula E gets faster, ditches the fan boost and allows for switching batteries instead of the whole car. If that happens, I see a big threat for F1. I for one do not care about the fact that the cars are electric or that they produce a different sound. Something I also would not have expected before the season.
I must admit though that I voted on the fan boost for the first time just now. I hate the idea behind it but I really want Buemi to win this thing.
28th June 2015, 16:54
Well, there you have it. The second half was the best race I’ve seen this year. Shame about Buemi but a fantastic race.
28th June 2015, 15:45
I voted for Neutral (with slight tendency to negative) for now. My point is as follow:
Cars I really want to like the cars, but I just can’t overlook that a) it was artificially limited to be so slow (for racing standard, let alone the caliber of the drivers competed). b) Changing whole car in pit stop is ridiculous enough, and yet they even make it mandatory (eliminating driver skill to manage power) and minimum pit stop time too. Too ridiculous for me. c) As someone pointed out in other article, Tesla car can probably race better than Formula E cars.
Drivers This is one of strong points for the series. But despite of that, seeing the top drivers is someone who only middle pack at F1, some is never get into F1 for whatever reasons even though they look good enough, and not all driver committed to race whole season can’t help to make some people think this is just another “second grade” series.
Tracks What I hate most from Formula E. The track are silly. Straight-chicane-90 degree corner-straight repeat. Add 1 or 2 hairpin. Even if they want city road track, made it a good track layout please. And they can even race in tracks that have trouble with sound limit now to showcase that racing doesn’t need to be loud. Use full Monaco GP track, Interlagos, Valencia, etc.
Spectacle Another strong point. The TV coverage just need more GUI to give people who watch more information on what going on.
Technology When a production Tesla car can compete full race without swapping car, they need to do at least the same. I really hope this series can push R&D like F1 and not just a “new series” but has no improvements like A1GP (which end badly too).
Fanboost No. This is the second worst thing of Formula E (losing to the circuits just because the drivers looks they hate it too). If you want driver that active and engaging in social media, learn from Lewis Hamilton. Whether people like his social media activity or not, the result he got in race is his work. If I want to see the “hero” win in a sport because of fans involvement, I’d watch WWE instead.
With those being said, I still follow Formula E because it has interesting concept. Fix the circuit, eliminate fanboost, and at least remove minimum pit stop time, I’ll be happily change my vote to positive.
28th June 2015, 16:55
Kill fan boost. Improve the track conditions. Deal with politics. More races and better scheduling.
28th June 2015, 17:09
After the finale, it certainly has won me over.
Three famous F1 surnames are still active here thanks to Piquet Jr, Nicholas Prost and Bruno Senna. Really happy for Piquet Jr for keeping the famous surname alive in motorsport.
The Battersea Park circuit was also perfect, synonymous with the green credentials of the championship. Great effort by Agag and Todt. It proved that exciting action need not always involve Eau Rouge, 800 bhp internal combustion engines or eardrum breaking sound (not that I don’t love all of those)…
28th June 2015, 17:26
I disagree I think its one of the worst circuits i’ve ever had the displease of seeing cars race on.
Too narrow, Too fiddly, Full of stupid chicanes & so bumpy they had to alter the track to avoid the bumps that were causing the cars to break.
I thought the 2005 CART circuit at San Jose was bad but this appalling track was ever worse!
28th June 2015, 17:16
Neutral – as a race fan I like good races, whatever cars or bikes, so I liked this one for example. I would not bother with following this like I do for example the WEC or F1. Whilst I was watching this on my laptop I was also watching the 6H of the Glen to which my eyes more often went than Formula E.
Both the cars and sound don’t impress me and the fact we get free development next year will possibly also ruin the close racing we now sometimes get. Thing I hate most is the nonsense tracks. Make them faster, move to faster tracks and sure we got a fun formula but next season is much going to be like watching a movie for the second time I think.
Next to the rubbish fanboost I also don’t think it’s anywhere near acceptable they penelise drivers for using all their energy…
28th June 2015, 17:20
The one thing I’m looking forward to is as these cars get faster, and as the batteries start to last longer, we should see better tracks for overtaking, that could be both longer in distance, and generally just longer straights. In connection with that, hopefully we start going to even more cities, with even more variety in circuit design!
28th June 2015, 17:24
Not really, I watched this year & have not been that impressed to be honest.
The cars are slow, The tracks are awful & the racing has been dull a lot of the time with only action created by amateur driving & contact.
Won’t be watching next year.
28th June 2015, 17:24
Formula 1 isn’t doing the business, WEC is the only racing worth watching this year I think, that and seeing Lewis succeed are probably my only interests in 4 wheel racing. Used to watch a lot more (classes), but can’t afford to waste the time like I used to. Also I don’t care for the whine of the gearbox/diff on those cars, it’s annoying at best, and too much of a spectacle, and not really any kind of racing I would ‘truly’ enjoy. It’s over regulated to the point of just being ad space for the interests of other people’s agendas.
oh yeah, no racing slicks. shakes head.
Craig Woollard (@craig-o)
28th June 2015, 17:37
@pxcmerc I actually like the all-weather Michellins provided, they looked to work really well in qualifying.
28th June 2015, 17:43
I think the series has a lot of potential. Next year I expect the need for two cars, cars being quite slow, to improve; on the whole, the racing was okay to good – would be good to have a more fixed set of drivers (otherwise it limits who can fight for championship right from the start). So some positives in the racing, but also things to improve – but they are happening.
As an event, the races were well organised, the information clear, and the location/set up for visitors great, in cities, usually not too remote so fantastic for a day out (and there the quali before race format helps too) with the family, also due to low pricing and easy entry (and being able to go out, come in again).
Fan boost should go – though in my experience it didn’t actually have too much influence, it is just stupid.
To be honest I wasn’t entirely convinced until I went to the Berlin race – that track was great, the location splendid (in between events, just go out, relax a bit on the Tempelhofer Feld eating something, go in again), the price very reasonable (though stupid Geman ATM system(s) are stupid so make sure you have cash or tickets pre-paid, sigh). One thing I’d change from that overall great experience – music/sound was distracting from racing; commenters even worse (at the track, on stream are great). All in all that was a very enjoyable event that made me think about going to London this weekend.
28th June 2015, 17:46
Good effort for the first year and I was quite impressed with the crowd mix in Battersea Park – lots of families. The track looked ridiculously bumpy and narrow, but there was a high standard of driving on show none the less. Nice for Sam Bird to win the final race, and Nelson Ângelo Tamsma Piquet Souto Maior is at long last, just like his dad, now a champion.
28th June 2015, 17:55
I don’t think it is difficult to be left with positive impressions from Formula E, because it has often been entertaining in its first year of competition (arguably more so than F1 in 2015). It possesses the ingredient that, no matter what the formula, will generally always see the delivery of engaging racing: first-class driving talent. Like the DTM, Formula E is wholly indebted to its impressive roster of drivers. That said, the areas for improvement exceed the successes.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the fact that would struggle to make a fast road car like a Ferrari 458 sweat around an open track like Silverstone or Hockenheim: they are spectacularly slow and struggle to break 200kph. But more torque, a more serious aero package and getting rid of the ridiculously narrow, grooved Michelins would improve things. What is the point of even comparing it to F1 if it fits no definition of the word “fast”?
The second issue will be equally familiar to regular viewers: many of the tracks are truly awful. The street circuit preference is completely understandable, it is about generating green urban technology and maximizes the commercial impact of the race (plus placing the FE car on the Spa layout would rather expose its shortfalls). But instead of bouncing around makeshift circuits, why not add more of the world’s many established street circuits to the Monaco and Long-Beach rounds? A trip to Adelaide? Macau? Norisring? Why not open the season under lights on a shorter version of the Singapore street track?
I don’t feel I have to say much about FanBoost. Mr Agag, when fans said they wanted a more interactive sport they meant they wanted to have influence over the legislative development of the series. They did not want to dilute the meritocratic essence of sport by handing out partisan and illegitimate gimmicks.
28th June 2015, 18:07
Can’t understand why Nelson Piquet Jr still has a motorsports licence after Singapore. The guy will always be a cheat in my book. Congrats to Sam Bird for a balls-out performance in the second race.
Watching Formula E on TV today reminded me how motor racing must be the number one sport for nepotism. The track and the pits were packed with the sons of famous names.
29th June 2015, 7:38
[Watching Formula E on TV today reminded me how motor racing must be the number one sport for nepotism. The track and the pits were packed with the sons of famous names.]
I too suspect the comments posted here is a public relations ploy after reading all. Social media is the current trend and can be too much faking IMHO.
28th June 2015, 18:08
I guess I have ‘no opinion’ on Formula E because I have not bothered to watch it. Why?
Firstly, I cannot legally watch it LIVE in my country (Latvia) and I prefer watching races on TV to illegal live streams. Secondly, I am not able to dedicate all my free time to motorsports. F1 is still my only true love but I also try to watch the WEC as much as I can because it feels like ‘true racing’. There is not much room left for other series and even if I started to follow another championship, it would probably not be Formula E.
It seems too artificial to me and everything about Fanboost (the concept, asking fans to vote for you on Twitter, apologising for not using it) is just ridiculous. So right now watching Formula E is out of the question but who knows, if the ‘experiment’ turns into a serious racing series and gets rid of things like the Fanboost and music one day, then I might start watching it.
28th June 2015, 21:00
@girts – Where did you make that logo in your avatar?
29th June 2015, 8:13
@xtwl It’s actually very simple, I have no experience with graphics software so I just used Microsoft Word to create the letters (I got the colours via Font -> Text Effects -> Text Fill) and the circle (colours: Format Shape -> Line Color), then combined them in Paint.
28th June 2015, 22:14
@girts – I was always able to watch it live on the stream on the official page (http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/live-streaming.aspx) Although I am not sure we are supposed to be able to, the stream was not geo-blocked for Latvia.
29th June 2015, 7:59
@mateuss Hmm, thanks very much. Latvia is not on the list of the countries with streaming access but I will try it during pre-season testing.
29th June 2015, 11:20
It depends on whether Latvia has a TV station offering the footage @girts, @mateuss. I can get it for CZ if I am at home, but for example in Germany I think its not available, as they have Sky running the footage (guess that means back to not official streaming bcause “Setanta Sports Eurasia +” is supposed to show it in Latvia – looks a bit like the Sport 1 thing that now has F1 over here, offering it only either over satellite or O2 internet TV).
28th June 2015, 18:09
With Lewis now dating Kaitlin Jenner I am all in with Formula E! F1 has run its course. Nothing more to see.
I wish there were more races in their season.London looked Great! Good Racing.
don wilson (@ferraridon)
28th June 2015, 18:24
I watched the race live in Monaco, only because it was free grandstand seats, I was unimpressed I have followed F1 since 1960 & seen every Grand Prix in Monaco since 1970. & from a spectators point of view, no comparison. There is no sound, which is necessary for the whole atmosphere, you don’t know when the cars are passing, no impression of speed.
To make up for the silence, The commentary was very loud in French only, & they played very loud disco music from the loud speakers to make up for the lack of sound, very disconcerting. Not a sport to watch live, maybe ok on the TV with a good commentary.
It will be good for the sponsors & manufacturers to develop new products but not for real motor racing enthusiasts.
28th June 2015, 18:38
I have to admit, I found the cars annoying in the first race, but once I got used to them, I don’t mind them. I really like the driver roster and tracks too. My only real problem with FE is the approach. It’s cheesy. Fanboost is a weird way of trying to allow the fans to have an effect on the outcome of the race, which completely undermines the idea of it being a ‘sport’. The whole thing is being marketed to teenagers. The problem is.. teenagers grow up and no longer think having a DJ at the race is ‘cool’. So, the whole thing gives off a bit of a 55-year-old riding a fixie and getting drunk with his teenage daughter’s friends, which can be hard to watch. Being the actual product is pretty solid, all FE needs is some authentically clever marketing, instead of just trying to be ‘youthful’.
28th June 2015, 18:40
I’ve enjoyed it – Beijing was a bit of a dodgy start, but after most of the races are enjoyable, with good racing from some really good drivers – I really like seeing the likes of Sam Bird et al getting some real live international TV exposure – I’m watching on ESPN in Singapore.
As mentioned by others my wife has enjoyed watching it, this evening (race was 11pm here) and was out in the living room 5 minutes before asking me is it starting yet and watched the whole race without leaving the sofa – F1 only time she does that is when she’s dragged to the themselves races by me.
Honestly slow, electric cars with good racing versus watching two world champions get 25 place grid penalties (on a 20 place grid no less) and then most likely break down within a few laps – and well I’m rather liking Formula E……
28th June 2015, 18:48
I recently returned from a week on the Isle of Man, watching and photographing the TT motorcycle races, which now include what’s called the “TT Zero” class, consisting of all-electric motorcycles. The best lap times for the electric racing motorcycles is now equal to the racing sidecars, and close to the 650cc Lightweight class lap times.
In short, they are extremely fast and quick, … and almost no one cares. I spoke to literally dozens of people during the TT races, and whenever the subject of the TT Zero bikes came up, the response was 100% negative. In fact, the only positive reaction I witnessed was at a small dinner event held in Douglas by the Mugen group, who are heavily invested in the success of electric race-bikes.
This same general negativity appears when electric racer events are held in conjunction with any internal combustion class events, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Those who specialize in human evolution can probably provide a link between the fire, explosions and noise needed for internal combustion and some ancient set of synapses in our lizard brains, but whatever the reason, electric cars or motorcycles, however fast they may become, will never be a satisfactory substitute for internal combustion in some, and possibly most, people’s minds.
And as far as Fanboost is concerned, when I first heard about it, I was certain it was a bad joke. And now that I’ve learned it’s actually being used, I remain convinced that it’s a bad joke.
Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor)
28th June 2015, 18:58
It was a great final race today, my first Formula E and I really enjoyed it.
28th June 2015, 18:59
Really great race today in London but I did find it very funny that the tv coverage plays a dramatic music when the lights come on since there is no build up of the revs before the lights go out.
However, the main thing I noticed was the amount of lift and coast talk. Plus it was very clear that Piquet was saving energy throughout his first stint in order to have more power at the end of the race.
This practice is seen is several forms of racing and sometimes I think f1 fans and drivers are being a bit silly when the say f1 must be a sprint from start to finish. My question is this…has f1 EVER been a sprint from start to finish??
In f1, drivers have always had to protect their cars mechanically, save tyres waiting for the right time to push and save fuel to extend a stint or have a bit more at the end. I think it was Fangio (please correct me if I am wrong) who said that he would try to win races at the slowest speed possible.
28th June 2015, 19:15
Having watched the London race for as a FE newby I was surprisingly positive for all the reasons others have listed. The one thing that worried me at one point whilst the SC was out was the potentially small number of actual racing laps out of the 29 total. In the end it wasn’t a problem and could be seen by someone less enthusiastic as a positive in that the action didn’t “drag on and on”. One is sometimes tempted to reach for the fast forward button when watching a 2 hour F1 race!
28th June 2015, 19:32
Only the quality of the drivers and as a consequence the racing prevented me to vote “very negative”, so “slightly negative” it is…
Above all negatives related specifically to FE like super slow cars etc. there is one huge negative for me which dwarfs all else. I’m against battery power as a concept. It’s an evolutionary dead end so to speak. It’s a huge waste of time and resources to invest in battery tech when there are much more promising concepts lying around. And FE is a part of it. A publicity stunt to promote PR and “green image” when it’s really a tool of the oil industry to keep us using internal combustion engined cars as no battery powered car will ever be as convenient to use. And when the oil runs out, and we still have no equivalent alternative fully technologically developed we will have the FE and the battery powered cars in general to blame for the reduced quality of life(not really, we’ll have only ourselves to blame for allowing the oil industry to pull this trick and close our eyes to the reality, all for their own short-term profit
29th June 2015, 11:30
I think you are wrong on the
part there @montreal95.
Rather it plays to the oil and coal lobby because it still pushes for having a hugely inefficient power grid (just look up power conversion in powerplants and losses in landlines) to load all of those batteries full of expensive and dirty chemicals (another huge industry) to lug around. So yes, not really a solution in itself.
Then again, when we look at countries that do not have those powergrids, they are actually starting to find how local power production (wind, water, bio-mass, possibly solar as well) can make things work well, so we might just have to sit out the time until someone comes up with a power storing pack that is more effective (charge rates, energy content, output characteristics as well as cost).
29th June 2015, 12:35
@bascb Your argument doesn’t cancel mine at all :) I agree with your argument fully too. It’s just that I chose to emphasize the PR aspect of it all with respect to convenience as it’s FE we’re discussing here which is the “face” of the whole battery concept
Where I disagree is that I don’t believe we’ll ever get a power storage facility which will be able to match the convenience of “fill-up at the pump and go wherever” cars of today. Technologies like fuel-cell can do that. There are many obstacles to overcome there, but that’s where I think the R&D budget should go. If all the money spent on battery research was spent on hydrogen fuel-cell research we might have had a real commercially viable alternative to petrol by now
Then again, if all the money the human race is wasting on wars, was spent on space research instead, we would be able to harvest every resource we might ever need from the asteroids by now. But it’s too depressing a thought and way OT so I’ll stop here :)
29th June 2015, 19:39
The part where I think that might be achieved is in places where they currently do not have much of a network of pumps to go by @montreal, apart from that, we are indeed largely in agreement.
The well developed network of refill stations is a huge advantage that gas has been striving to achieve with limited success, and it will really take a leap of faith (or maybe the oil companies joining in and making us stop there for new battery packs? They might if they see enough of a sustainable source of profit in it) to see how electric can get near. Not to mention that its quite a difference to be able to drive some 200 km or about 1k km that modern cars can achieve without too much trouble already.
I guess we need a military use first (submarines maybe?) and maybe then fuel cells will get developed for other uses too.
29th June 2015, 19:39
sorry missed a bit @montreal95
28th June 2015, 19:41
Absolutely love Formula E. More exciting than Formula One at the moment for one! Technology is more relevant, the circuits being in world cities is awesome (but I hope they do add actual racing tracks in the future)
I do agree regarding FanBoost, didn’t like it when it was announced and it doesn’t make enough of an impact anyway.
In terms of the lack of speed, it doesn’t matter what speed you’re driving at; if everyone else is doing the same speed then you are racing. And the racing in Formula E is fantastic
29th June 2015, 7:18
[Absolutely love Formula E. More exciting than Formula One at the moment for one!]
Anything can be as exciting as F1 now, LOL!!!
28th June 2015, 19:57
Love ♡ FE
Sharon H (@sharoncom)
28th June 2015, 20:20
+ The racing: the cars can follow each other closely and actual overtaking manoeuvres happen despite the nature of the circuits.
+ Fan interaction: open pit lane, podium in accessible areas.
+ Cost to the fans: you know, you don’t have to spend half your monthly salary to go and watch it.
+ Big names: they may be F1 rejects but familiarity with the drivers and some team owners does rack up the interest.
+ Circuit locations: holding it in city locations brings motorsport to the people and, more importantly, transport infrastructure.
– Fan boost: I can see what they’re trying to achieve, but it’s not exactly pure racing. Give it to everybody and let the driver choose when to use it.
– Speed: but on a street circuit, does it matter so much? Monaco doesn’t exactly let an F1 car show its full potential.
– Changing cars mid-race: one hopes technology will develop so this becomes unnecessary.
28th June 2015, 20:55
I get why people might not like it, but I think Formula E has been absolutely fantastic. Like Indycar, it just doesn’t take itself that seriously and is all the better for it – unlike the F1 paddock everyone looks like they are actually enjoying being there.
The racing is close, frenetic and unpredictable. Why not have slightly slower cars so that they can race on City centre street circuits? Watch any FE onboard and you’ll often see the drivers working harder than in F1, so I wouldn’t say that these are easy machines to handle. And with limited practice and set up time, along with much smaller and less sophisticated teams, everything feels less clinical and computerised. Things rarely happen in F1 that aren’t simulated a billion times first, and then communicated 10,000 miles from the factories to the track, sometimes it seems less like a sport and more like a corporate risk assessment.
The other thing I’d say is that Formula E doesn’t NEED to be seen alongside other single seaters. Apart from Indycars, most single seaters basically seem like lesser versions of Formula 1, same looks, tracks and all the drivers have their eyes towards F1. But FE can be and should be different – cars with different looks and sounds, different tracks, different rules and strategies, different event formats. That’s a good thing, and perhaps a vital thing to bring new generations into motorsport.
I’d actually love to see FE continue to go in a different direction to F1. I felt a bit guilty voting for the first time this weekend (for Simona), after previously seeing it as too gimmicky, but now I’m coming round to the idea. Why not let the fans have a little influence? It’s not like all the F1 drivers get an equal playing field. I hope the organisers get the confidence to try other things in the future.
Finally – wow, what a final weekend. I was at Battersea yesterday (Saturday) and it was a brilliant day out. Couple of event hiccups, but overall a great job. I brought my son, who honestly HATES motorsport, and despite initially being cynical he really enjoyed it. Just watched the Sunday race, and that really was one of the best season finales I’ve seen – so much tension, so many surprises and just great, aggressive racing.
No DRS, tyres that you can race on, tracks that punish mistakes… where F1 is leaving me quite jaded, FE has been a breath of fresh air.
28th June 2015, 21:46
Formula E has a lot of potential, but there are some major issues with the series that need to get resolved if it’s going to attract more attention and popularity. There’s a real lack of clarity with the penalties related to state of charge, vehicle swapping, etc. There were several times in races where drivers were awarded penalties for exiting the pits too early, or for draining the battery too much, without much explanation of why it happened. It’s pretty frequent that the order changes significantly between car swaps and we don’t know why.
Which brings up a second point, the difference in car swap times between drivers. It can be very substantial, and given the short duration of the race, has a major impact on the results. There needs to be a better way to get the drivers between cars, and a more clear way of the viewer understanding what happened if they botch a pit stop. In F1, you can see (and get many replays of) a pit stop mistake. If Formula E, you get nothing.
Next, there should be a way to get drivers back in the race if they have an early vehicle swap. Given the requirement for each driver to have two vehicles, if a driver comes in for an early swap due to vehicle damage, the teams should be allowed to repair the damage on the vehicle and get a second swap. (I’m actually not sure if teams are allowed to do this, but I haven’t seen them try when the opportunity has come up).
All the above said, there’s definitely potential…
28th June 2015, 21:57
Very negative. We watched some first race and liked them,
but later we got information about the fanboost and discontinued the watching of this series instantly.
We will never support race manipulator voter systems.
29th June 2015, 7:24
The fan boost is like, let’s all clap loudly for Justin Beiber. Whoever gave and used that idea must be a teenybopper who never experienced real motor racing.
28th June 2015, 22:05
Has it won me over? Not in the least. Electric racing cars barley doing 100 MPH for 40 minutes is just plain boring. Set up a big ass Tesla Coil in the middle of the circuit, transmit the electricity wirelessly to receivers on the cars via huge lightning bolts sparking from the coil, and the get the cars up to 200 MPH for 90 minutes – now were talking! I’ve got no issue with electric drive – but this series isn’t for me.
29th June 2015, 20:11
Kevin Amery (@k-l-waster)
28th June 2015, 22:38
The big turn off for me on Formula E is the circuits. I am struggling to think of a single street circuit that produces anything other than boring parades. That most definitely includes Monaco – I know that’s sacrilege, but really, the only time Monaco is exciting is when it a) rains, or b) someone makes a catastrophic strategic blunder. If all the teams and drivers do their jobs, they finish in pretty much the same positions they started in.
Formula E’s cars could certainly use more power, but if we give the engineers a free hand and a few years of development that should take care of itself. And yes, fan boost is gimmicky and should be dropped. But on the whole I think it has potential to be an excellent series. They just need to put it on decent race tracks instead of street circuits.
28th June 2015, 23:07
I agree with the track and changing cars comments.. both need to be studied and fixed.. what drives me away, at least watching on TV is the sound!.. I am constantly reminded of the dentist office drill!!.. maybe its not as bad watching at a track..but on my TV…. OUCH!!
28th June 2015, 23:30
I approve of the concept so I voted Sightly Positive. I find the coverage chaotic though; maybe there are too many cars. And I can hardly bear the sound.
Jarv F150 (@jarvf150)
29th June 2015, 0:04
Watched the first race(s), thought it was boring and slow.
Watched the last race(s), awesome!
29th June 2015, 0:14
I said slightly negative due primarly to:
1. Slow cars
3. Lack of sound, or worse: annoying high pitched sound on TV.
That’s not to say the series is worthless. The use of unconventional locations is a positive, and the number of ex-F1 or son-of-F1 drivers is fun.
But basically, being electric is not particularly interesting in and of itself. The technology here (needing to jump in another car halfway through the race, and the cars being slow) is not relevant yet. F1’s hybrid technology is much more relevant.
If you like spec cars or performance equalization then there are plenty of those: GP2, Formula 3, Porsche Supercup, DTM, IndyCar (basically), WTCC etc. etc. I’ve been watching some of those this year and there have been some fun races, and probably all of them are faster than Formula E. If noise in city centers was a real concern, there is the option of using silencers.
It’s a gimmick series.
29th June 2015, 0:19
I like it but for the two points that keith made the are a bit to slow and fan boost is silly.
29th June 2015, 0:24
Slightly positive, but not interesting enough to me for me to seek it out. The Fanboost thing is beyond dumb.
29th June 2015, 0:59
I only watched the final race today in London. It was pretty good, with Piquet Jr coming through for the win and some epic defending of Bruno Senna on Buemi – shades of Abu Dhabi 2010 with Buemi shaking his fist at Senna lol.
Have no clue what fan boost is, or some of the other terminology. I did like that they seemed pretty racy in the tight confines of the track–with F1 cars on the same track I’d imagine it would have been a straight procession.
They do seem to have their own version of lift and coast to extend battery life, though it’s a bit more obvious how it plays out as a strategy. That may be the problem with F1 and lift/coast. You don’t see the effect and you don’t really know anyone’s fuel load – in FE, you can see if they can go an extra lap or two.
I do like the 2 points for fastest lap. At least initially.
Overall, I’m inclined to watch it again, though I’m not marking it down on my calendar.
29th June 2015, 1:43
I voted “slightly positive.” It would have been very positive but for a few niggling points. The lack of the ability for the cars to go the full distance is one (hopefully that will be sorted out as manufacturers get freedom to produce their own car). Then there’s the fanboost. The less said, the better. Get rid of it. It has no place in real sport. The tracks, while occasionally interesting, really do suffer from the fact that they’re in the city centers. Chicanes abound (honestly, very few chicanes will make it on anyone’s “top ten most exciting corners” list) and passing is extra difficult. Though I like that mistakes are punished by the close walls, it also has made too many situations where the cars just hog one side (such as in the finale) and there’s then no chance of overtaking. Not to mention the amount of 90 degree turns which, again, don’t make for interesting track design.
But there are lots of positives. The racing has been fantastic and even though it took a couple races to realize it just retains a pattern of “slow-first-half, crazy-second-half,” as soon as you accept that it needs some time to build to it’s usual crescendo, you’ll usually love them. Already within one season we’re seeing multiple rivalries and driver controversy. Sport is about drama and stories and FE provides it in spades. Then there’s the speed. While some count it as a negative that they aren’t terribly fast, some of the best racing I’ve seen has been in lesser powered cars. Power doesn’t matter. Quality of racing trumps it every time. When a driver is pushing a car to it’s limits, you can tell. As long as the drivers are skirting what’s possible, it’s exciting and FE *IS* exciting to me. Not to mention, the lack of speed means that racing CAN be closer and if I’m not mistaken, the biggest gripe people keep giving is that F1 cars can’t race close because of the aero wash. WELL, there’s your solution: less speed and less aero dependency. Voila: close, hard racing. And of course the names are a big draw. Seeing people like De Silvestro, Bird, Senna, DiGrassi, Buemi, Speed and Vergne get their second chances (and some of them truly shining) brings a smile to my face. All the people who many of us have said “if only they were in equal cars” or “if they had the right opporunity” and now they’re getting it. We’re seeing their worth, finally.
Anywho. FE obviously isn’t for everyone because there’s those who are stuck in thinking it has to have a certain amount of noise or a certain rate of speed to be interesting. But for those of us who are simply race fans regardless of those things, I’d recommend it hands down. I was excited when it was first announced, then skeptical of the rules and finally won over by seeing the final product. The proof is in the pudding, for me.
29th June 2015, 4:40
There has been a significant amount of action and some astounding overtakes in FE this year. This lead me to vote “slightly positive” because I think it managed to overcome the drawbacks of FE which include the narrow, bumpy and ridiculous circuits, the lack of speed versus other race cars, the annoying but inevitable saving of power carried out through the race and the rather confusing pit stops.
The calibre of driver was a big draw card for me and I actually don’t mind the concept of Fanboost. (I do not understand however why Piquet has so much support.)
The changing of cars midway through the race seemed quite laughable at the start of the series but I found I actually enjoyed watching the drivers prise themselves out of one car and jump into the next. I also like the idea that someone could sustain damage but still have another car to continue the race in, assuming the damage wasn’t too great.
The overall positive attitude surrounding the series was quite a contrast to F1 at the moment even despite the obvious misgivings it possesses, rather like bright sunlight versus grey rain clouds.
In summary I thought it was enjoyable but I am not totally convinced that FE can sit amongst genuine racing series just yet.
29th June 2015, 5:34
I have watched much of the first Formula E season and I have to say I quite like it. I like the fact that it is something different and I like the strong gird of ex-F1 and rising stars. I don’t like the fact that the cars cant finish a race and have to be changed, but that will change in time as the formula is opened up. I do t like the tracks, though hosting the races in cities is a nice twist. So there are lots of positives about the Formula that can be built on.
However, Formula E will never be a match for, or a competition for F1. The two categories are vastly different and that is fine, because having a variety of Motorsport to follow is great. I am very keen to see how the category continues to develop.
29th June 2015, 7:10
Watched some races on youtube but after awhile, gosh it’s so slow and soundless. Didn’t enjoy it at all and never completed watching the whole race. It’s all hype about electricity. Look at what’s happening to F1 V6 turbo road relevance supposed to be. The worst is the fan boost, I thought that was trulli insulting for the drivers. The only hybrid series that’s super is Lemans, you can literally feel the cutting edge on the screen, flat out racing for 24 hours – makes F1 a joke now, and we have to tolerate the V6 till 2016. Nope, not a fan of FE.
29th June 2015, 9:17
To answer the title question, “Has Formula E won you over?” – No.
However, as a first season of a new class I think it was a pretty good effort. Everybody has pointed out the silly things so I don’t need to.
Currently I’ll keep an eye out for it next season because it will be interesting to see how quickly they advance, but won’t change any social plans to stay in and watch it.
29th June 2015, 10:08
@johnnik – Yeah that’s pretty much my thoughts on it too. It’s certainly not won me over but it hasn’t lost me yet. The series deserves a chance but there is lots of work to do.
I’m actually much more excited about the concept of watching a Formula E race in 5 years time than I am about watching them next season! Once they get to a stage where it wouldn’t look embarrassing to send them around a proper circuit, it’d be good to see them supporting F1 – might make the F1 cars sound like actual racing cars by comparison :D
29th June 2015, 9:41
I was there at Battersea Park yesterday between turn 5 and 6. Watching the cars go through there was really good, especially watching the drivers deal with the cars being unsettled by the bump in the middle of the braking zone.
I have been watching it fairly casually on the TV and been mildly amused and I’m sure it has a bright future as it develops.
Track-side could benefit from a few improvements, notwithstanding the points already raised about fanboost. General admission tickets were just shy of £30, which seems reasonable on the face of it. However, with no banking it does make it very difficult to find a position to see the cars clearly. Further to this, there are no support races, so you have practice sessions, break, qualifying and then a 3 hour break before a 40 minute race. Compare that to a ticket for a top line event at Brands Hatch with a full day of racing and plenty of good vantage points for example and all of a sudden the cost of a ticket doesn’t seem so reasonable. The concessions were also very expensive, again compared to Brands Hatch not very good value at all.
So I think this series has a lot of potential, but the live experience needs a lot of work. The obsession with street circuits, lack of support races and pricing structure could well be it’s undoing.
Arkady English (@arkady)
29th June 2015, 11:11
Yes! I was on one of the viewing platforms, which was really overcrowded. I went with my sister, who’s only 5′ 1″, and she couldn’t see a thing. Every tier of the platform was full at least 3 deep. It really needed a steeper tiering, and/or more steps to it.
So we went down to T12, where we got a great view of the cars braking into T12, and got to see the start of some good overtaking moves.
Sadly, we couldn’t see the apex, because of a massive obnoxious advertising board. There wasn’t even a TV camera that could see it. It was really disappointing that a great view should be so crassly ruined.
29th June 2015, 10:03
I’ve watched a few and so far, it’s joined the list of other series I will watch if the stars align (nothing else is on and the missus lets me). It’s in that second pot of racing series just behind F1, WEC, Indycar etc.
The thing that made it work for me was the drivers – they need to work hard to ensure the standard of drivers doesn’t slip over the next few years now that Formula E isn’t the big new thing.
29th June 2015, 10:08
You mean the championship crashgate guy won? Naah…
29th June 2015, 10:32
I put slightly positive. I was at the race yesterday, and had a good time, but I haven’t really engaged much with the series, so it has some work to do to win me over.
It’s got some really big pluses to it – they do city centre tracks and the cars are quiet enough that it isn’t going to really disturb the neighbours (the fans and DJ were probably much louder than the cars). It was nice to bike down and bike back from the race. The racing is good, though due to the nature of running on roads, the circuits are tight and passing is tough. I liked that the gave out a few radio so you could listen to the commentary.
There are a few things they could improve on – the stands (which are platforms to stand on rather than seats) were a bit crowded, so it wasn’t necessarily easy to see, especially for shorter people. You couldn’t see any screens from the stands, so it was hard to follow what was going on. Things weren’t signposted very well. They didn’t even have the stand’s numbers listed anywhere. You had to go up and ask the usher if this was your stand. On the series front, they need to tighten up the schedule – they often have 4 to 5 weeks between races, which is too long. You can’t get enthusiasm building which such long gaps.
All in all though, it was well supported. They have some huge sponsors, though I do wonder how much the sponsors are footing the bill. Everything was branded Visa, so if Visa wasn’t there, who knows how much they could afford.
29th June 2015, 11:13
A great start, refreshingly new. Obviously quite upsetting to old conservative rolex wearing f1 fans, judging by the comments. Definitely a possible route into the future. Hopefully without the destructive whinging endemic in f1 at the moment.
29th June 2015, 12:16
Formula E has won me over, but it never had a hard time with that. I was supportive of the concept from the outset. The real revelation for me has been just how good the racing has been. I was expecting fairly dull, processional races on uninspiring courses, and while some of the races have been a bit like that, for the most part the action has been absolutely spectacular. The finale was a fitting end to a great championship, with the champion not decided until the closing laps. It was nail biting. A lot of that has been down to the quality of the drivers, of course.
I don’t even really mind the fanboost. In fact I think it’s quite a good way of engaging with fans and making them feel like part of the action, and part of the championship – with extra points being given out for fastest laps, you can support your favourite driver by giving them a vote.
Of course, the format isn’t perfect. At the moment I think there are two significant issues. The first being the way the series has been marketed and presented. It feels old fashioned, with too much reliance on ‘sex sells’ – particularly disappointing when there are a number of decent female drivers. The way the information is displayed on the screen is confusing and needs a bit of work. And the second issue really is that the cars can’t complete a race distance and need to be swapped halfway through. While this does create an interesting bit of strategy (contrast Piquet’s saving of energy so he can push hard at the end, against Sarazin’s costly miscalculation which left him without any power for the final lap), it’s a series which is meant to showcase electric technology and I don’t think this does a very good job of it. One of the biggest drawbacks to electric vehicles is the lack of range (or the perception of it, at any rate) and the time it takes to recharge. Formula E’s format merely reinforces those perceptions.
But overall I really like this series. Weirdly, to me it feels more akin to Touring Cars, particularly the glory days of the late 90s and early 00s SuperTouring format. The cars aren’t that fast, but they look tricky to drive and the guys are clearly pushing hard. Of course it’ll never rival F1, nor is it meant to. One day, when the technology used in Formula E has matured to be genuinely capable of performing at the level of F1, F1 itself will make the switch to an all-electric powertrain. It’s only a matter of time. What Formula E does is reassure me that when that day comes, the racing will still be fantastic and well worth watching.
29th June 2015, 12:25
Positives so far have been the great selection of drivers and… that’s it. I like the cars aesthetically, dislike the sound and detest the circuits. It has a great future ahead, I think, and this is not a bad starting point.
29th June 2015, 12:53
Generally, my thoughts on the FE are pretty positive. As a championship it is pretty exciting. The driver championship was won by a point. It really could not get much better in that sense. While the cars are slower than F1 cars, who cares?! But really who cares. They are still very fast. The commentating on the highlights videos is excellent. I think there have been some great racing moments in the season but I am not sure I can as positive about F1 this season yet. A big plus for me is also that there is no Bernie and to a lesser extent there is no Ron Dennis. They often do and say things that make me cringe such as moaning about the noise level of engines.
I was at the race on Saturday and I enjoyed it. I thought the view from the sidelines was sometimes better than the stand I was in. I think there weren’t enough screens everywhere so you could relate to the live commentary which was a bit of shame.
A final thought: I cringed when I saw the banner protesting against the use of the park for formula E hanging on someone’s balcony. Anywone else see it?!
1st July 2015, 23:46
Why did you cringe? There were thousands of residents and daily visitors who were completely against this beautiful grade 11 listed park being hijacked for weeks on end in the height of the summer by Formula E sparkheads. Battersea Park is not fit for purpose (see comments) and the race should have been held on some existing racetrack.
29th June 2015, 16:11
It’s even lamer than current F1 and doesn’t even deserve a footnote in racing history. I am utterly shocked and repulsed that it is even discussed on a F1 “Fanatic” site. I look forward to seeing this series selfdestruct like rocket made by Elon Musk.
29th June 2015, 18:15
No. The noise is horrible, the cars look pitifully slow, and the driving is poor. Maybe it is a factor of the U.S. telecast I watch too. The commentary seems confused and bored. Leigh Diffy’s yelping seems particularly desperate. Even Steve Matchett, who just talks too much on the F1 broadcasts sometimes, mainly provides dead-air.
More broadly, the problem with FE for me is that they try to style it as a high-performance formula racing series, both in terms of car design and in promotion, but it is a low performance spec series. It has a kind of fraudulent air. The cars are slower than GT race cars, so this formula-style body work just seems absurd. I would much rather watch a bunch of spec Tesla Model S’s tearing around a track than a bunch of fake formula cars. At least I can relate to the Model S. It’s a real car and a very fast car too. On slicks, with some weight reduction, it would probably smoke an FE car too on a fast track. Also there are too many ridiculous crashes. It looks like amateurs out there, even with lots of F1 alums on the grid. I know in the future the powertrain (and hopefully the tires) will get an upgrade. I’ll be looking to see the cars justify the bodywork and the hype.
30th June 2015, 22:39
Its certainly more exciting to watch than F1 is currently (last few years).
I like it, i didn’t think i would but i do.
jack the hat
10th February 2016, 19:24
Racing cars should be a, faster than road cars and b, louder than road cars. When they’re not they look (and sound) silly. End of.
21st May 2016, 13:55
I think the key point about Formula E is that it is an attempt to widen the audience for motor sport to include gadget obsessed millennials of the type who need to get a new mobile phone every 18 months. In contrast I am a motorsport traditionalist who remembers the days before Murray Walker started commentating for BBC TV and the BBC only showed the first and last 20 mintes of a grand prix (in black and white). I must have watched virtually every form of motor sport in the UK ranging from stock car racing at White City Stadium to historic F1 racing at Brands Hatch. I never thought I would say it of motorsport, but I actually fell asleep during to 2 televised Formula E races last year although admittedly this was not not only through boredom, this was also because the white noise produced by those motors is so soporific. For me the cars seem desperately slow and the noddy tracks seem to be designed to prevent overtaking. However, perhaps this is not the point, I don’t think Formula E was ever designed to appeal to some one like me so best of luck to it and its youthful target audience.
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