Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah, Formula E, Valencia pre-season testing, 2018

New Formula E car “a massive step forwards” – Vergne

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne says the series’ new car, which will race for the first time today, is a big departure from its predecessor.

What they say

I think it’s a massive step forwards in terms of technology and it’s super-good for the image of the championship, of the FIA and all the people working on this car. I think they are the same kind of car to drive, still quite difficult. Obviously braking has become more easy thanks to the brake-by-wire system which is good or not, every driver has their say.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Mexican Grand Prix

The Mexican Grand Prix organisers yesterday issued a statement in response to reports claiming F1’s return to the country in 2015 was “a result of bribery and corruption”.

The promoters also denied Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sports (CONADE) chief Ana Gabriela Guevara had made negative remarks about the race. “I do not know who wrote those words and who put them out there. I did not make those statements,” said Guevara in the statement. “I would never go against an event that is positive for our country.”

In a further statement the race organisers accepted an apology from French publication AutoHebdo concerning their coverage of the story.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved since the Mexican Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2015,” said the promoters. “Our contract runs until 2019 and we look forward to commencing discussions regarding the renewal with all stakeholders in due course. These conversations must and will take place in private.

“We run our event through strict governance, compliance and with full transparency. We will maintain this way of working and ensure that we continue to promote our country in a positive manner.”

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

Will forcing manufacturers to share technical information with new entrants work?

So Honda spend hundreds of millions to become competitive and then have to turn their blue prints over to a rival and what, give lessons on how to make the parts and understand the data? Receiving nothing but a thank you in return? What a stupid idea.

I doubt a rule like this would stand any legal challenge as it will be very difficult to compel a company to give up their proprietary information without at least significant financial compensation.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Max Jacobson, Steph90, John White and Reiter!

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On this day in F1

  • Born 105 years ago today: Walt Ader, who made his only world championship start in the 1950 Indianapolis 500. He died in 1982

Author information

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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34 comments on “New Formula E car “a massive step forwards” – Vergne”

  1. FE went from a car where you had to mind the step to another that is a massive step forward.

    1. You want to have a laugh, @johnmilk?
      I read this great heading on the mobile CNN main page: “Formula E tempts F1 legend out of retirement”.

      Of course, it would not have baited me in clicking had it said “Why Felipe Massa just couldn’t stay retired”

      1. @coldfly so there are plenty of legends there, why single one just Massa?

  2. If this is supposed to make me like it more, it isn’t working.#FE

    Good one, Keith!

    In a previous racefans post, Toto, posited if FE was a racing series or an event series. Appears to be more a marketing exercise than either to me. #FormulaMarketing

    1. For a series that positions itself as a super-modern youth-orientated brand, I have to admit the Formula E’s social media sucks.

    2. @jimmi-cynic, pretty much any form of motorsport is a form of marketing exercise though – the main difference seems to be how overt the message is and what exactly it is trying to say.

      As for the comment about marketing, well, whilst Keith says it’s not working, on the other hand there have been people on this site who have commented that there have been an increasing number of articles on Formula E on this site and that the coverage here does seem to be generally on the positive side – so perhaps it is working.

      1. anon: Agree. In principle, most motorsport is a brand building exercise. And in the higher tiers of motorsport, the marketing message is backed up with on-track performance that’s exhilarating to witness.

        For me, FE’s marketing is more electrifying than watching a train of identical E-karts trundling around urban ‘road’ courses. And yet marketing for FE is an empty mix of inane trendiness and fabricated audience engagement. Liberty purchased the wrong series.

        When/if battery energy density approaches fossil fuels and a non-spec electric series is created, perhaps on-track EV racing could be as exciting to attend as an average F1 race. (the average F1 race not staged in a desert parking lot)

    3. I really want to like FE, but I think this part of the problem I have with it. As Toto seemed to hint at, it feels more like an “event” than a “race”. It still feels too gimmicky, like an X Factor audition or Red Bull Soap Box Race. Things like fan boost and the speed boost mushrooms, the hip city locations, eco hype, and ex F1 drivers. The temporary courses.
      FE lacks the hundred years of history, the parade of oil blackened faces, triumphs and tragedies, tradition and pageantry that other motorsports carry.
      But hey, what do I know, I’m only a casual motorsports fan, and some old dude, its probably not aimed at me :-)

      1. You are 100% correct!! Still way too gimmicky to be considered a proper sport! The fan boost must go!!!! It’s not proper racing if the fans are allowed to influence the racing action! Let the drivers fight it out on the track man to man without fan interference! Stop all the stupid childish gimmicks please!!

    4. @jimmi-cynic FE followers is still so tiny for a world sport account, only 165k. To retweet good followers or any media comments is a mean to promote and expanding its brand and create a pool of fanatics.

      We may live in an era that valued technical insight more than engagement with the sources, but time has change. Any small motorsport social media account need this kind of connection to grow now. Every kids that got retweet will get exposure and earn many likes from strangers all over the world. He/she will become FE fanatics and tease others kids to do the same.

      1. That’s quite an eye-opening comment @ruliemaulana , nicely done

        1. @phylyp Thanks, mate. I knew there’s another way to shape public perception like buying Motorsports group, but that’s another story. Agag seem want to spend his money in taking FE majority share first.

  3. ,”I prefer, maybe, to win a race and then blow up in one than be consistently slow”

    No worries then.

    1. @slotopen: Could be Max’s way of protesting Liberty’s 21 race sched – only compete in a dozen.

  4. Cotd is making assumptions about how this Pu component and tech sharing would work. I highly doubt Brawn would ask Pu makers to give up their secrets. This would be done in a more mundane way than that.

    @todfod Interesting read on Williams and their deep seated problems far from just with the car. Even moreso than before I will not judge Lance as a rookie in a weak car followed by a single season in an even worse car, until I see him in a better car next year. He may prove to be worthy of a seat after all, even if the $ means you’ll never believe so, no matter if he impresses down the line.

    I like Max’s way of thinking, and he must be used to the constant possibility of unreliability mixed with some positives, so yeah if they can switch to Honda and do about the same as 2018, that would be like a victory. I just need to see it to believe it that along with the unreliability and the successes they will at least have equivalent power to Merc and Ferrari like Max and fans pine for. Fingers crossed for it would be great for F1 to have someone in the mix with Merc and Ferrari again.

  5. why have one when you can have both, Max!

    Remember those words next year, as you reflect on the possibilities given by the Renault engine during all these years. You won twice this season, if you recall!

    I really, really hope Honda takes the next step and becomes competitive, but i’d not hold too many hopes. Even if they improve, I don’t think the whole package will reach the peaks RBR-Renault reached in the past few years.

  6. If anyone is watching FE right now on youtube… they’re showing an actual conversation between race director and drivers as it’s been raining and they try to get some running. They show the conversation between JEV, Buemi, Bird, Di Grassi etc… No matter what you think about this series, you’d never see it in F1. No censorship, no PR people standing behind them. F1 could learn something from FE about fans involvement.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      15th December 2018, 11:47

      Yeah I watched the replay was great to have that access

    2. I just watched the first race of the new season. There’s some good and some bad. The new cars are definitely an improvement. Apart from anything else, they no longer look like motorized soapbox racers. These are real racing cars now. It’s hard to get a handle on how much faster they are with the crummy circuit they use in Saudi, but I know they’re supposed to be. Will it be noticeable in other races, though? The radio from Race Control is indeed a Good Thing, but the commentary team don’t seem to be aware of it, and talk over it all the time. It’s not new, but I kind of like timed races (I’ve always enjoyed the countdown when Monaco hits two hours). On the downside, fanboost is still absolutely bloody stupid, Attack Mode only marginally less so. The noise they make is properly unpleasant. The podium ceremony doesn’t half drag on.

      But there’s a germ of a good series there. It’s just not as good as the organizers clearly think it is.

      1. The new cars are definitely an improvement. Apart from anything else, they no longer look like motorized soapbox racers. These are real racing cars now.

        It’s an evolutionarily series. Heavily restricted before, still lack of freedom (potential) now, yet at the same time the owners organizers are not going to be held back by traditionalists. It will be the same as F1, held back by safety and money.

      2. @Duncan Snowden, you are correct when you say the fanboost is bloody stupid!! Let the drivers alone to race man to man on the track without the fans interfering and influencing the outcome of the race! All these stupid gimmicks need to be eliminated! Who cones up with these stupid gimmicks? Teenage boys?

  7. I desperately hope the Honda is a dog next year. I am sick of Verstappen going on about it endlessly.

  8. Drop a Mercedes F1 power unit in one of these things then I will be turned on..

  9. COTD is spot on! I thoroughly agree with it.

    “I prefer, maybe, to win a race and then blow up in one than be consistently slow.”
    – An interesting way of thinking by Max concerning the approach to Honda’s potential regarding both reliability and competitiveness. Also, an Interesting article by Racer, both insightful and informative.

  10. So now we have COTDA (Comment of two days ago).

    If Keith goes on like this he can soon merge it with ‘On This Day In F1’, and create some space to bring ‘Caption Competition’ back :P

    PS That Onyx guy looked a lot like the Rich Energy Drinks guy.
    And they both have a beard.

    1. It’s still COTD, Comment of That Day.

    2. Missing the caption competition though.

  11. Half of me wants the Red Bull Honda alliance to work well so that we have three teams fighting up at the front.
    The other half would love to see ALL the Renault blamers at Red Bull have to wipe egg off their faces all next season.

    Tough call.

    1. @nullapax
      I’m so with you man, because all the blame RBR put on Renault was completely unjustified, right?
      Let’s ignore that it was Renault who pushed for these engines, let’s ignore the fact that since 2014 Renault has been promising improvements that never matarialized, let’s ignore the fact that Honda is already ahead on power output and let us never mention the fact that thanks to the complete piece of garbage engine Renault sold to RBR, RBR lost out on atleast 2 WDC and millions and millions of prize money.
      But hey, let us be “the bigger person” and blame RBR for their honest assesment of the Renault product.

    2. @nullapax: LOL! Delicious dilemma. But why can’t it be both?

    3. Agree @jimmi-cynic, why not have it both? @nullapax
      – Red Bull Honda alliance fighting at the front, and
      – Renault PU to be at par with the top PU’s, with Ricciardo/Hulkenberg closing in on the top 6.

      Then it would only be hoping for McLaren and Williams to build a decent car.

    4. If all races were at altitude Red Bull-Renault and Verstappen would have likely been champions.

  12. Hey keith maybe these Formula’s need to be put in the hands of people like Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn?

Comments are closed.