Start, New York, Formula E, 2017

Carey not worried about “street party” Formula E

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In the round-up: Formula One CEO Chase Carey says he isn’t concerned about the rising popularity of Formula E with car manufacturers.

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A theory on Sauber’s decision to switch back to Ferrari for 2018:

I wonder if the discussions on potential new engine regulations may have given Sauber some extra bargaining or leverage to get a better deal out of Ferrari.

With three Mercedes powered teams, three Renault, three Ferrari and one Honda it would give Ferrari an equal say to Mercedes and Renault on the definition of the new engine specification (any historical contractual clauses aside). Where as with three Mercedes, three Renault, two Ferrari and two Honda they could be at a disadvantage and leaving Mercedes and Renault to lead the way.

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  • 38 comments on “Carey not worried about “street party” Formula E”

    1. Calum Menzies
      29th July 2017, 0:22

      I don’t like Fan Boost but I’m looking forward to the Formula E shootout weekend.

    2. Not a surprise that FOM is editing it. They did so last Race as well when that journalist asked Lewis a stupid question and Lewis responded in kind. The YouTube version cleverly edits that out.

    3. Funny that Carey brings that quote because it sounds like what he was saying he wanted to turn F1 into last year. There’s not that much difference between a street party and a festival with a lot of sponsors right?

      Also throwing tantrums under safety car, slowing down to goad an overtake to cause an accident to try to win the championship and having one of the best drivers be languishing in the middle of the field for years with no hope of competing doesn’t really fit with “great heroes doing incredible things that are awe-inspiring.”

      Calling FE not a sport is a bit of a joke. Any spec series is far more sporting in terms of driver accomplishment even if they’re not the fastest cars in the world. F1 has the speed, sound and history, which is more than enough. Claiming any more than that is just making the wrong arguments.

    4. Audi designed the 919, it’s actually a B-spec of the R18 Audi kept the number 18 as Renault held the designation for R19. Obviously Audi and Porsche are the same so you could say that either Audi or Porsche designed both cars, as much as they said they were separate entities, their cars were 2 different iterations of the rulebook in order to maximize their chances of keep winning, different powertrains, one riskier on the electrical other safer, and complete opposite aero set up, Audi high downforce, Porsche low downforce, so the Audi was always going to be strong in the rain and more reliable and the Porsche quick enough to get pole and if hot and dry favourite to win.

      1. All of that is wrong, except for

        their cars were 2 different iterations of the rulebook in order to maximize their chances

        Of course they are, so is the Toyota. That’s how it works if you want to win. Porsche 9R9 MY17 is an evolution from their 2015 design, and has nothing to do with the R18

    5. I think Chase is wrong in ignoring Formula E.
      While the racing is poor, drivers sub-standard compared to Formula 1, for the manufacturers, being in Formula E is an important marketing exercise. While the automotive sector is going through large scale disruptions (driverless cars and electrification), Formula E provides a cheap avenue to showcase to the prospective car buyers that they are also innovating and not lagging behind.

      These broader implications mean that money is eventually gonna flow into Formula E and over time, there could be shifts of top engineers and drivers into Formula E. IMO, by 2020-2021, Formula E would be equivalent to Formula 1.

      1. I think you’re right. The UK government recently announced plans to make the sale of petrol and diesel cars illegal from 2040. How is F1 going to be anything but a cultural relic if it doesn’t switch to electric eventually to compete with FE’s relevance to the real world let alone the car market by that time? Sad times for sure!

        1. … one thing I would add would be that i think F1 should focus on circuit racing rather than street circuits to differentiate itself now and in the future… There’s something of the grand scale of circuits that temporary street circuits can’t compete with.

          1. Cultural relic? Horse racing is still huge.

            FE is the new LMP1 that series a few years back was being backed by many loud mouths on the internet to be overtaking F1. 3 years later it’s dead. At least LMO1 was interesting FE is so boring because the cars are milk floats that serve the vanity of some manufacturers. Electric cars will not be main stream until 2140. UK 2040 plan is stupid it relys on technology that does not exist yet and the UK government can’t even get HS2 online and that only relies on proven technologies.

            F1 should rebel and move to 4 litre aspirated V12’s that have to be as loud as a 747 on take off.

      2. @sumedh Carey isn’t ‘ignoring’ FE, and indeed is acknowledging what you are saying about it, that it is an important marketing excercise for those who have chosen to be involved. He just sees it as something those participating are doing in order to be shown to be socially conscious about the environment.

        @travis-daye Street circuits that are temporary are exactly what FE has to use…they have to bring the racing to the people…the people aren’t going to fill grandstands for FE yet.

        As to the talk of electric taking over by 2040…I doubt it. One government is legislating this. Has it passed? Will it still be in the legislation by then? Much will happen between now and then. The pollution caused by the manufacturing and disposal of batteries is still an issue. I envision more hybrid work ahead, where a gas engine, getting smaller and smaller yet more powerful and efficient will regenerate better and better and more environmentally safe batteries.

        Meantime, let’s also talk about industrial pollution and that created by air traffic. The world’s environmental concerns are not all because of the car….by far.

        1. Cars going electric by law to reduce pollution are the easy target as most people own one or more, they are not too expensive and a shift to electric for most car owners is feasible, as most people would not travel more than a hundred km in a day. For most legislators I’d say tackling industrial pollution is too hard and there is no way electric or anything else can provide the power required for mass air travel. So the car it is.

          The appeal for manufacturers I believe is that FE has a spec chassis. It’s ugly, and the tyres are rubbish, but all a manufacturer has to do is innovate with the power train and the rest is already taken care of. I don’t like the look of their new chassis either btw. However the approach is the antithesis of the DFV era of formula one, I.e. Instead of everyone using the same engine and building a chassis to beat everyone else, everyone uses the same chassis and build better motors and gearboxes to win. It’s obviously popular.

          Given the developments of the last week with Mercedes and Porsche going FE in a couple of years, formula one now really has to regroup and I think it must go full bore entertainment, as technological development and road relevance will surely be the domain of FE.

          Back to loud engines, no need for any hybrid systems, not even KERS which will lower costs, keep the current chassis regs just tweaked to improve racing and get someone other than Pirelli to make really sticky tyres, and be pure sport again.

          Horse racing has survived the auto era. Formula one will survive in the electric era.

    6. If Carey has any sense he will do one thing and one thing only: Make the cars loud.

      Sound is F1’s big differentiator to electric. Formula E can have all the great racing it wants. I will pay to see LOUD.

      I will never forget the first time I heard an F1 car in real life. I still tell the story to this day. F1 used to have impact. Bring it back. Electric can have its innovation. F1 will have the wow factor.

      When an electric racecar revs in an empty forest, will anyone care that it doesn’t make a sound?

      1. @Jon I agree with you totally, but let’s remember, it does not have to be one or the other, which is, inexplicably, something that often people seem to think. We can work towards viscerally impressive cars AND great racing.

        I have many vivid memories of pre-2014 F1, having attended 30-odd F1 races, and many are inexorably linked with sound. Don’t expect universal agreement though, many folks don’t seem to care at all about this.

        As for me, I have not visited a live F1 event since Barcelona 2014, when I saw people actually laughing at the F1 cars, as they were so underwhelming after what we had been used too…

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          29th July 2017, 8:58

          I completely agree with both of you. They did sound a little louder this year trackside, mainly off the throttle but the sound is still very uninspiring. I’m not expecting miracles, time moves on and technology changes but I wish they could at least get them sounding a little more raucous, a few thousand more revs and a more aggressive tone and that would make the world of difference. GP3, F2 and Porsche’s all sounded better. Even the Merc safety car sounds better.

        2. @paulguitar the primary reason for the muffled sound is the MGU-H system that recovers heat from the exhaust. It is almost a certainty that this will be dropped in the next PU reg change. It is also one of the most complex and expensive parts of the PU.

          Next PU reg change should result in much louder cars and lower cost, which would be really good for the sport.

          At Silverstone and Goodwood Fesival of speed this year I was fortunate to see the Renault RS01, and it sounded glorious!

      2. As per my comment above, this approach might work for maybe the next 15-20 seasons, but far beyond that, if F1 cars are still generating their sound from petrol engines (no matter how viscerally exciting) to the eyes of our children and grandchildren won’t the cars appear as technologically irrelevant and antiquated as a steam rally does to us (even if they are loud)? It makes me sad because electric cars could never give me the same buzz as seeing a ‘living breathing’ mechanical F1 car roar around a circuit!

        1. @travis-daye the fundamental limitation of electric car technology is the weight of the Lithium ion battery system. A step change or alternative will be required in the next decade or so for F1 to even consider planning for an all electric future with manufacturers involvement.

          Personally I find electric cars extremely dull! Linear power delivery and no noise, great for city air quality but not for motor racing!

    7. Nice letter in Autosport this week from a British Grand Prix marshal about Hamilton slowing up Grosjean and the different rules that apply to Hamilton.

      1. You have a link to that? Looks like Lewis and Max both run under different rules than the rest.

        1. Sorry, I don’t. I subscribe electronically. I don’t think their letters section is on the website.

      2. I think in that case it was more than clear that no blocking was intentional on Hamilton’s part, and in F1 it can often be a fact that you are sometimes hard done by and other times not. Hamilton has been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh decisions in F1, including the worst I have ever seen in my 38 years of viewing, Spa 2008.

        1. This marshal said he was at Club corner waving a blue flag to let Hamilton know that a driver on a fast lap was approaching but that Hamilton ignored him because he was “hanging back” to start his own fast lap.

    8. Fully agree with Magnussen’s comment on Hamilton. I’ve been saying that for almost a year and while there aren’t many who feel the same way, it says something that besides Rosberg now another F1 driver has said this aa well.

      1. I don’t think it’s just Hamilton, it seems that there are different rules for the top drivers than there are for the rest.

        I can understand it in a way, they’re focussing on maximising everything to wring that last 100th out because the WDC (or at least a win) might depend on it.

        What they seem to forget though is that for the drivers further down the grid, their entire career depends on it. Their performances bare being monitored in every session by the teams and being blocked can mean their lap time might be 1/2 a second or a second off their team mate which could see them out of a job.

        They don’t block in qualy but they could afford the same respect in practice too.

      2. Loved that magnussen said, he might do the same in qualifying some day.

        1. @melgreen Given the fact Magnussen hasn’t reached Q3 this season and the Mercedes has plenty of opportunity in Q1 and Q2 to put in a top 10 lap, I think he’ll be fighting a losing battle there X)

          1. Ha ha yeah :-)

        2. @melmgreen Blatant hypocrisy? He said himself, “There’s not anything illegal in what he does…”. Blocking in Q is illegal.

      3. They said the same thing about Vettel on the radio yesterday when he threw his car out of the pit lane in front of someone. Ricciardo had the same opinion of Ocon always being in the way.

        I’m pretty sure all drivers get in each others way now and then, but they only complain when someone else does it, but of course keep pretending that the driver you dislike is the only one doing this.

    9. Jamesluke241988
      29th July 2017, 6:37

      Formula E is terrible, the circuits are boring just lots of tight corners, the grid is full of failed F1 drivers, the noise they make is pathetic, they dont even look fast, the sport has no history and regardless of its manufactor appeal it will always be a cheap spec series, Formula E exist just as a short term marketing tool!

      1. Where to begin? FE sounds the way they it does because they are electric. You cannot change science. The sport has no history? Well duh, Because it is new. Ask a grown up to explain this to you. Regardless of its manufacturer appeal it will always be a cheap spec series. Governments in many countries are phasing out Petrol and Diesel cars. In a few years most cars on the road will be electric. Think back to the beginning of the motor cars when everyone drove a horse and buggy. I’m sure myopic people like you said it would never catch on and motor cars were too slow. Whether you agree or not electric cars are the future and in a few years even F1 will be phased out as burning petrol will be illegal. Formula E cars will get faster, better and will blow F1 cars away in speed and distance. The tracks are short today because the cars are maturing.

        1. Performance in formula one is extremely restricted since the 80’s whereas FE is at the absolute limit, then you cannot say that FE will pass F1 in a foreeen future. Let the F1 unrestricted and you would have 20000 horse power reving at 30000/mn maybe more, top speed and G force not imaginable. Accident would be terrible and death like the 70’s, and an audience of 80% of the planet to see these wariors. And 20% of people in the street wanting to stop this. Then, FE can be populat because It can maybe in 10 or 20 years produce some kind of power wich will be one percent of the unrestriced F1.
          There is no breakthrough in battery power, 0. Maybe never be. Hydrogen or nuclear things for sure, but the futur using these battery is very not certain, someone must have to find something to continue in this way.
          The desesperation in FE is that the formula is trailing the automotive industry, it does not capture imagination using incredible ressource to produce extraordinary things. But it is the same for F1, where are the 1500 horse power from the quali in the mid 80’s, that was extraordinary, or the 20000 revs/mn, the engine in the La Ferrari among many examples look more incredible that the very extremely restricted engines uses now in F1

        2. Jamesluke241988
          30th July 2017, 19:31

          Timokin, I understand the concept of new being new u fool! I was refering to the fact all popular motorsports series have history built over years, the greatest motorsports events in the world like Le Mans, Indy 500, F1, WRC… have history thats why people go, for Formula E to have this will take 30 years by then F1 will have adapted to this threat.

          I am a avid supporter of the electric car in day to day life, so get your facts straight. My dislike of Formula E is nothing to do with electric cars its to do with motorsport. The thrill of motorsport is watching loud engines scream their way round a exiting race track, Formula E offers none of these and for the Fanboost option my god that is so unsporting, giving an opponent a advantage because of his popularity rather than skill.

          On you comment about FE tracks they are crap because the whole concept is designed to get them close to cities rather than produce an actual decent race track. This is doomed to fail.

          Also petrol race cars will never be phased out, restricted yes but there will always be petrol car races just like they still race cars from the 1930s now, motorsport is built on passion for cars not the need to simply upgrade to the latest technology. Formula E is here as a short term race series to satisfy manufactor needs. I know very few people in motorsport and yes I am involved in motorsport in the UK that think FE is more than just this.

          I am also not against up coming series, RallyX which is growing in popularity is excellent, 600Bhp petrol engines are exciting to watch.

          More noise less eletric for me. Kept electric cars for the road.

    10. Does anyone have access to any viewing figures for Formula E?

      I’m guessing they are very small. If I’m right then that does kind of clarify Carey’s comments – if very few people are watching then the event itself does just serve as a nice day out for the teams and drivers. Even the attendance figures are small due to the nature of the tracks. So I get his point. And this is from someone who actually has an overall positive view of Formula E!

    11. Formula E: enjoyable wheel to wheel battles, but ridiculously slow soulless mute cars.

      For TV watching is ok, but I guess for track spectators is not that good to see slow cars that make no noise.

      When you attend a race you want to smell gasoline and burned rubber, go deaf by loud engines, watch 300+km/h flybys and admire beautiful grid girls.

    12. GtisBetter (@)
      29th July 2017, 8:55

      so no porsche in WEC 2018. wonder what will happen there next season. You can say a lot about F1, but even with Bernie and teams disappearing it always had a respectable grid.

    13. So, Hamilton was slowing Magnussen down in FP… So why didn’t Magnussen simply overtake him?
      If you are faster and he’s holding you back – well, son, it’s motor racing, step on the gas and zoom past.
      See? Easy-as.

    14. I can understand both the pro-E and the anti-E arguments, just want to share a couple of thoughts on it:
      – Back in 2014, when the series started, the grid was really full of ex-F1 drivers, but failing to secure a contract in F1 doesn’t neccessarily mean you failed in F1. In Season 3, less and less drivers have F1 roots, and the likes of touring car champion Jose-Maria Lopez surely don’t lower the standards.
      – Renault was a core contributor to Formula-E when it was estabilished (and also McLaren and Williams contributed a lot), and privateers soon got backed by other car manufacturers, like Virgin by DS (Citroen), Abt-Schäffler by Audi, Andretti by BMW, then Jaguar entered, then Mercedes and Porsche announced their entry. This might be a marketing tool, but as soon as so many car manufacturers are involved, the prestige of the sport rises rapidly.
      – Formula-E and Formula-1 don’t neccessarily need to be compared. It’s like comparing soccer and handball, just because both are played with a ball. The whole concept is different, and I don’t think they are meant to compete each other. Formula-E doesn’t represent the top level of allround car racing in many aspects, but never aimed to be, and also cannot be treated a lower tier feeder series.

      – It’s not the fastest of all the series. But do always the fastest cars deliver the best racing?
      – It’s not the loudest of all the series. The tracks are deep in populated cities, I wouldn’t think that noise enhanced by buildings is the spectators are want.
      – It doesn’t feature the most exciting tracks of all the series. Again, the tracks are created by blocking out certain street sections of metropolises, so track layouts are kind of limited by buildings. However, the narrow and tights sections compensate for the lower speed, and require similar precision and skills as regular wide tracks on high speed. And this way the racing is excellent and action packed.
      – It doesn’t attract the most viewers. The stands around the track might be somewhat misleading. Don’t forget, that we are in large cities, and building also provide a nice point of view, sometimes for the whole track. Considering that we live now in an intertwined world, Formula-E should have better chances to attract more people than Formula-1 had back in 1952, in its third official season, however I didn’t see any of these figures.

      I believe that the aspects of businessmen (owners, manufacturers and sponsors making money), the rule makers, or simple viewers couldn’t be much more different, and it is impossible to satisfy all of the at the same time, and Carey’s comment was somewhat provoked by the media. I think that those that can enjoy both Formula-1 and Formula-E can have more quality experiences watching them.

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