“Pretty slow” Formula E doesn’t appeal to Raikkonen

2015 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button say they aren’t interested in racing in Formula E despite having watched some rounds of the new championship earlier this year.

The FIA’s new all-electric single-seater racing championship concluded with a double-header event in London last weekend. Speaking in a press conference ahead of the British Grand Prix Raikkonen said he “saw the race” but is “not so interested really in the future at some point to race”.

“They’ve done well to go in the places that they race,” said Raikkonen of the championship, which races entirely on temporary venues within cities. “I think it’s nice for the people.”

“But I mean for me unfortunately, we always talk here, it doesn’t go fast, it doesn’t look spectacular, in my view they are pretty slow.”

“The concept is probably nice in the future but right now, yes they get the good racing out of it but it doesn’t really… it’s something that doesn’t excite me. But obviously I’m happy for them to make such a good race series out of it.”

Jenson Button did not tune in to the double-header season finale at Battersea Park but said he has “watched a race this year”.

In Button’s view the strength of the championship is “not because of the cars themselves” but the quality of the competition.

“There’s a lot of drivers I’ve raced against over the years”, he said. “I think there’s 13 ex-F1 drivers, and that’s what makes the category exciting.”

“They’ve got some real talent there, they’ve done a good job of getting talented drivers in the cars.”

“I think there’s a great place for electric racing, if that’s what ypu want to call it. I think it’s great and I think there’s a good fight between the talented drivers that are there. But it’snot something that interests me.”

“Motorsport is motorsport, for me. Something that I love is the smell, the sound and the speed. And that’s what Formula One is all about.”

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

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20 comments on ““Pretty slow” Formula E doesn’t appeal to Raikkonen”

  1. Not even James May belongs in Formula E.

  2. Yep both KR and JB had summed it up very well. The strength of FE comes from quality of the drivers and consequently the racing. But it’s not exciting for a real motorsport fan in the slightest. For families in the middle of cities as a past time(you always have to think what to do with the kids to keep them entertained :) ) yes. But otherwise, for me, it’s a resounding(very quietly resounding) no

  3. Ron (@rcorporon)
    2nd July 2015, 16:11

    Maybe Kimi shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the idea… a slower car is probably easier to keep facing forward.

    1. Shots fired!

    2. @rcorporon
      LMAO!!! Now THAT was funny!

  4. The cars look cool, but that almost makes it worse. They are incredibly slow. Combine that with the Roomba noises and it’s not an appealing spectacle. A quick fix would be to give them slicks. I know it’s a cost issue, but how expensive are some 18 inch track tires your average dentist slaps on his GT3 for a track day?

    1. It’s only the beginning. Better tyres and speed will come as the technology gets better. For this reason i don’t really see the point in asking F1 drivers if they would be interested in competing in it.

      1. @racectrl

        I don’t really see the point in asking F1 drivers if they would be interested in competing in it.

        There are plenty of ex-F1 driver there already. Asking current F1 drivers if they’d be interested in racing in it gives an indication of how seriously they take it as the potential rival championship it has often been touted as.

        1. Yeah but those ex-F1 drivers are there because they weren’t good enough for F1 or had no seat and had to look elsewhere, not because they don’t want to be in F1. I just feel it was a little early for that question and the answer was always going to be a resounding no. However, I look forward to them being asked the same question in 5 years time when the speeds between F1 and FE are a little closer.

          1. pxcmerc (@)
            2nd July 2015, 20:28

            they won’t be, battery tech is useful in certain use cases, but petrol DESTROYS batteries when it comes to energy per unit of volume. Absolutely destroys it. If you want to make F1 faster, get rid of the batteries. Ditch the KERS and laud GDI as a great way to get more bang for your buck. Batteries might work well in traffic, but when you are “flat out” they just don’t cut it compared to fuel, and probably never will, Fuel cells, now that is something worth looking in to, the next step after diesel/gdi.

          2. pxcmerc (@)
            2nd July 2015, 20:44

            energy per unit of mass. to a lessor degree volume. 4 Kg of gas works out to about 130 Mega Joules before you start losing energy due to heat, etc… That means that that the cars hold about 3.25 Giga-Joules of energy before the beginning of a race, at 100kg. if a race lasts say 60 laps, recovery amounts to 120 MJ or 0.12 GJ. The weight of the battery is aprox. 50 Kg, or worth about 1.65 GJ of fuel. That’s a factor of of 13.75x. Batteries might work well to buffer energy demands in the home, or power a golf cart, or help you in a traffic, but fuel is far more effective when it comes to outright pace.

    2. @dmw, you would have to persuade Michelin to change their policies for Formula E – their marketing campaign for the series revolves around the fact that the tyres are designed as all weather tyres to negate the need for multiple different tyre compounds and therefore reduce material consumption, so switching to slick tyres would be fundamentally opposed to the image that they are trying to create.

    3. FE cars look like toys

  5. Formula E is, and will remain a last chance saloon/quirky dovetail in the eyes of ex-F1 peddlers. You can only agree with Raikkonen: until Formula E is substantially faster it cannot be taken fully seriously, something borne out in the way that the calender explicitly seeks to avoid clashes with WEC events (perhaps the default choice for an ex-F1 driver who is still hungry).

    However I think there is great scope for laptime improvements, not just from battery development, but in scrapping the ridiculous, thin, tredded Michelins for some proper slicks, and in developing what is currently a mainly aesthetic aero kit. Yes, it will never be an F1 car, but overtaking FR2.0 laptimes on tighter circuits could be a realistic goal.

  6. I’ve really enjoyed Formula-E this year, both on TV and as a paying punter in Battersea.

    Given the choice between tickets for Silverstone on Sunday or reliving the experience I had in London last weekend I would genuinely go with the Formula-E tickets.

    Without even comparing the racing, the accessibility of the drivers, the lack of over-bearing security and the excellent in-field facilities topped any Grand Prix I’ve ever been to.

  7. It’s a question of time really, and if they keep a close eye on keeping development fair and competitive as they seem to want to the racing can only get better. And thus more attractive to all.

    A slick and a full wet tyre wouldn’t seem so bad. (Though I bet some more performance could be squeezed out of the existing radials.)

  8. petebaldwin (@)
    2nd July 2015, 19:42

    I agree with Button to an extent – the cars don’t really interest me. It’s the quality of the drivers that has had me tune in and it’s vital for Formula E that whilst they work to improve the cars, they keep hold of the relatively big names.

    At the moment, it’s “impressive considering the cars are electric” but that’s not good enough. The tracks aren’t great, the cars are too slow and they change cars mid-race. If Formula E was exactly the same as it is now except the cars were petrol, no-one would be interested. I have faith though that one day, Formula E will be genuinely impressive as a racing series – just not quite yet.

  9. Apex Assassin
    2nd July 2015, 21:31

    “Formula E is NOT motorsport”
    – Jenson Button

    God I love that guy!

  10. Robert McKay
    3rd July 2015, 18:17

    To be honest there’s a difference between asking current F1 drivers “would you race in FE instead of F1” and “would you race in FE AFTER F1”.

    After your F1 career is over, or at least on sabbatical, basically it’s going to come down to “will you race in WEC” or “will you race in FE”, at least at the moment anyway.

  11. Fernando Cruz
    4th July 2015, 12:58

    F1 is full of politics and money and often there is only a team that can win races and championships. So FE is now much more exciting to follow. The cars are slow in top speed but look fast in corners of street circuits and the racing is better than in F1. It is a new way of motorsport and has a lot of room for improvement. Just like F1 had a lot of room for improvement when it started in 1950!

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