Start, Formula E, Diriyah, 2019

Formula E not a rival to Formula 1 – Carey

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In the round-up: Formula 1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey says he doesn’t consider all-electric series Formula E as a rival to the championship.

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Comment of the day

Did the bonus point for fastest lap add anything this year?

I liked the idea at the first few races but it lost its novelty soon after. Apart from Australia, we barely saw the drivers trying to compete for that fastest lap. It soon became just a bonus point to whoever is so far behind from the big three and lost all meaning as a result.

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1923: Onofre Marimon, who took two podium finishes in the fifties but was killed in a crash at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 1954

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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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21 comments on “Formula E not a rival to Formula 1 – Carey”

  1. It’s fairly obvious what’s going to happen with Formula E. At some point the Formula E rules will become the Formula 1 rules and the series will merge.

    Give it 10 to 12 years and we’ll be watching fully electric F1 cars running on ultra light solid state battery technology. Less than that for the lower Formulas where less power and endurance is required.

    1. Agree 100%. Cant see where F1 will fit in 10 years from now.

      1. When they can compete head to head on real tracks, Great.
        Until then they are pretenders to the crown, not contenders for the crown.

    2. Ultra light. More like ultra heavy. F1 has been moving towards heavier and heavier powertrains ever since they added kers. Move to electric will be just another 80% weight increase over the current engines just like the move from v8 to hybrids was 80% weight increase. 80% added to the current 200kg+110kg engine+fuel is 560kg which probably puts the total weight of the car around 1100kg when the change eventually happens. It is all about getting to that point where the weight of current cars have risen high enough and the battery weights have dropped down close enough. 1100kg is where I put that switch point. Which is super sad because with proper engines these cars can weigh as little as 600kg with driver.

      1. @socksolid You and the singling out the PUs again – If the overall driver+car weight would be 1100 kg, then there’s no way it could be 600 kg with a different engine/PU, LOL. There’s quite a bit more to the increase in minimum car+driver weight over the years than just the PUs.

        1. @jerejj, you are indeed right that socksolid is happily ignoring the changes in chassis design and the safety regulations, the net total of which has added a large chunk to the weight of the car – not to mention ignoring the fact that the 18 inch rims he has advocated for are another driving factor behind future planned weight increases.

          However, that would require him to question his beliefs, and that he cannot – he has decided what a “proper” engine must be for F1, which quite clearly is what engine F1 was using when he begun watching, and therefore the engine that the sport must stick to in order to ossify itself for his benefit. No matter what information you present to the contrary, he will still stick to the same handful of sources that are getting quite far out of date now.

          1. If there is one constant on this site then it is this anon guy and his snark. As always his post is full of total uselessness. I have proven more than once that majority of the weight increases are because of the engines. In 2014 alone the engine weight went up so much that the teams ran their cars overweight because they could not make the cars lighter. It is so without a doubt proven that these engines weigh 80kg to 100kg more than v8s depending whether you include the kers of the v8 or not. If there is someone who won’t change his beliefs it is him. Despite all the evidence I have presented his answer is always the same. Off tangent nonsense and total ignorance of evidence. This guy is full on denial and if nothing else works he disagrees with me just to have an opposing opinion. Unlike him I’ll change my mind when evidence proves I am wrong. He never even has any evidence. He thinks his different opinion makes him right.

            I have not “advocated” for 18 inch wheels. I don’t really care either way. There are positives for both 13″ and 18″.

            And of course I have opinion what is proper engine for f1. Everybody does. Just because my opinion is different than yours does not make it wrong. You do you.

        2. 600kg is a tough target but it is doable for F1. Current car weight is 740kg with driver. These hybrid heavy engines weigh 180 to 200kg. A competitive f1 standard naturally aspirated engine with 800-900hp can be had for 95kg which is 85kg less. That already puts us at 655kg (740-85). Then let’s undo the 2017 rules package with bigger tires and wings all of which was unnecessary. That is 26kg. Now we are at 629kg. We can then make the cars shorter and because the car is over 100kg lighter there are weight savings everywhere. And in reality that would already take it under 600kg because the numbers I used are the low ball numbers. The modern hybrid cars need a lot of radiators and airflow because everything needs coolers to be cool. Batteries, computers, all the 3 letter engine parts. That stuff is no longer needed.

          And it would be fast. And it would have all the safety features the current cars have. There would be halo, the crash structures and the weight adjusted driver seat etc.. It is pretty simple math. It is sad that people think f1 cars need to be heavy just because they are heavy.

          1. The minimum weight applies at the end of the race, not the beginning. A battery weighs the same if it charged or not. A petrol tank does not. That’s 100 kilos right there.

            Batteries will probably get lighter, and construction techniques will likely allow fast battery changes mid race (c.f. refueling), so the total weight of an all-electric car will almost certainly come down quite a bit.

            What interests me more is what happens when the AI systems learn to drive race cars faster than the best humans can. AI is still slow, but it’s getting better every year. I don’t think a human will hold many lap records in 5 years’ time. Not that the FIA will allow humans to race machines (sadly), just that teams will use AI to set the performance benchmarks and then use that data to get humans up to speed.

      2. @socksolid solid state batteries are around 10 times lighter than the current batteries. The technology is established though not yet commercial. They have the potential to drop the weight of F1 cars once again. I think the next generation of hybrids will be battery/capacitor hybrids.

    3. I don’t know about that. Could be using a renewable fuel source becomes the final path and batteries goes the way of BetaMax. That would leave Formula E looking for a different path.

  2. I expect F1 will inevitably want to be electric at some point and given the license FE has as sole electric series rights till 2040, surely F1 has to make a deal with them or risk becoming irrelevant? There is so much money going into battery research that even in 5 years there will be some serious advances in power density. I don’t see how F1 can continue on for 20 years without being involved in the biggest auto revolution since the internal combustion engine.

    From a sporting point of view, I’ve been forced out of F1 due to costs and yet I can watch FE for free. I follow F1, but I watch FE and I really enjoy FE. I tried with the original cars and couldn’t handle them, the new cars are gorgeous, the racing is almost always action packed and the quality of drivers is decent. I’ll probably pay to see the 2021 F1 season but for now, I’m very happy with FE.

    From my point of view (and i know many won’t agree), I think FE is more of a threat to F1 than Carey is letting on and I think they know it.

    1. Spot on. The rate of possible performance improvement is greater for FE than F1. As soon as the FE performance curve hits a certain threshold the game will be up.

    2. @antznz Whilst it is true that FE have a “monopoly” with regards to a full electric race cars from the FIA; I should point out that the commercial owner of FE is Liberty Global which is the sister company of F1 commercial owner Liberty Media. So if F1 want to go full electric, I don’t see a problem.

      1. @ijw1 that is a very good point, I had heard that recently and promptly forgotten it. It will be interesting to see how things develop.

  3. I like these yearly-videos of radio messages re-imagined.

    As for the FL-bonus point: This whole time, I’ve been more or less entirely neutral towards it. In the beginning, I felt it wasn’t necessary, but neither has it been harmful, so I’ve been perfectly OK with it.

  4. petebaldwin (@)
    19th December 2019, 10:19

    It’s a bit silly to say it isn’t a threat or a rival because it clearly is. It’s not currently going to challenge F1 currently but fast-forward another decade and things will be different. It’s a bit like the various high-street stores that were saying “online shopping isn’t a threat” 15 years ago.

    Those that spotted the threat and put plans in place are still doing great. Those that didn’t (HMV in the UK is a good example) aren’t.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      19th December 2019, 13:27

      I think he means it more like that the Wec isn’t a thread either. The two championships are doing their own thing and can perfectly live next to each other. Though I do think they have taken notice that the car manufacturer interests have shifted. Depending on Honda and Renault F1 could find itself in a bit of trouble in a couple of years.

  5. Still beating the anti FLAP drum I see Keith.

    God forbid someone get COTD for seeing it’s merits, you’ve posted about 5 of these now. We get it, you don’t like it.

  6. It is a threat when a lifelong F1 fan is looking more and more to FE for exciting racing …and I’m not the only one!

  7. Charouz lineup – sons of two greats.

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