Start, Formula E, Diriyah, 2019

Formula 1-Formula E merger a long-term possibility, says Agag

Formula E

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Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag believes there is long-term potential for the all-electric series to merge with Formula 1.

Speaking at this week’s FIA EConference, Agag discussed how the two series might align in the future.

“I am a massive fan of Formula 1, I’ve always been,” said Agag.

“I think electric is going to be the power train or the way to move cars around in the future. And Formula E has a 25-year-long exclusive licence for a single seaters on electric.

“So that for me puts the condition to some kind of understanding in the future. How that will happen, I don’t know.”

Formula E would have to reach parity of performance with Formula 1 for the two series to combine, Agag believes.

“Once electric formula cars are as fast as combustion formula cars, I don’t really see the reason to race separately,” he said. “But I’m guessing that’s going to take a while.

“I may not be around or may be around but not have the responsibility I have now. Not imminent, but I think the conditions are there in the future for some kind of approach.”

The two championship are connected via John Malone, the chairman of the board of Formula 1 owner Liberty Media and Formula E owner Liberty Global.

“We have different shareholders which happen to be slightly related by the same top shareholder so they will probably have to make some decisions at that level, at operating level,” Agag acknowledged.

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26 comments on “Formula 1-Formula E merger a long-term possibility, says Agag”

  1. Its only matter of time. As much as I hate to say it (at the moment).

    1. Just no

      1. Just yes. There’s no way that in 20 years F1 is still the main form of motorsport. FE is on a growing trajectory whereas F1 is declining. I honestly think F1 will have to merge in order to stay alive. I don’t think it’ll be any time soon, but electric is the future and I can’t see why manufacturers would prefer an electric F1 series to formula e.

        1. Sadly eventually that is what will happen, but not what should happen. FE’s audience is a fraction of F1’s. Manufacturers can flock to FE, but the independents and purists will happily remain in F1, which is first and foremost an entertainment business.

          1. The independents and purists already don’t get much of a say in F1, it’s the rights holders and the manufacturers.
            I don’t think Mclaren or Ferrari will sell many ICE cars when an EV can do it quicker and we’re almost there now – Renault, Honda and MB will follow the general market (or get Chinesed into oblivion). So why would they want to promote their then superseded IP?
            Liberty already have the strategy covered and will make saleable product with whatever’s at hand (eg. this years series). No doubt they’ll work on the noise aesthetic.

  2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    18th June 2020, 7:43

    The key factor is battery development. Much lighter high energy density ones are on the way. It could be many 10 years, give or take, but the performance will come.
    The internal combustion engine has been developed to an amazing degree over the last 135 years. Electric powered vehicle development is in its infancy.
    I love the roar of a V8 or the wail of a V10, but everything changes.

    1. The first electric car was made in 1884 by Thomas Parker so not quite in its infancy. Karl Benz’s effort didn’t appear until 1886.

      25 years ago we were told diesel was the way ahead as it was so much more economical and created far less CO2 pollution and we should all buy diesels.
      Now we are told that diesels are the devil incarnate and that electric cars are the way ahead as they are economical and create no pollution.
      Problem is that while electric cars while running don’t create nasty output, the batteries make a huge disposal problem and huge problems mining stuff like lithium. There would also need to be a massive increase in power generation to be able to supply the power to charge all the vehicles. The power stations create lots of pollution.
      I can see electric cars being demonised soon just as diesels have been.

      Hydrogen is a lot more feasible once a good way of harvesting the stuff is discovered, and that is likely to happen way before a magic battery that lasts forever is found.

      1. I don’t see hydrogen being feasible. There are virtually no abundant natural sources of hydrogen but hydrolysis and that, by definition, will spend more energy than what will be recovered burning the stuff. So, you are awkwardly left with a negative ERoEI and I don’t see any economy ever being based on it. If electricity spending is your concern, than that definitely isn’t the way to go since it would be even worse.

        1. Chris Horton
          18th June 2020, 21:24

          Also, water vapour is a major greenhouse gas. If everyone starts emitting that from their hydrogen tail pipes, we’ll have a problem.

        2. I think a lot of people miss a primary reason hydrogen is touted – there is an abundant natural source – fossil fuels.

  3. I don’t see how the 25-year-long exclusive licence is a positive thing for the fans.
    Surely it would be better to have alternative series competing to push development?

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      18th June 2020, 10:58

      Indeed, what’s with these contracts that FIA sets up. It’s almost like that absolute scam of Mosley selling the commercial F1 rights for a 100 years period to Ecclestone for only $360 million instead of the billions it would actually be worth.

      1. So I agree with you in principle, but it doesn’t stop other series being in place, just means that they will not be FIA recognised. Could Indy come up with an Indy-e series perhaps?

  4. LOL

    In his dreams only!
    FE has much better chance to disappear altogether.

    1. Not really. The manufacturers have moved into FE and also F1 is under threat.I really cant see Renault, Haas or Williams being around much longer. I can’t see alfa romeo staying with Sauber either.

      1. As F1 disappears into FE, it allows Indy Cars to be the premier single seat motor racing series. Am sure Penske wont hesitate to have a few races spread around the globe and thus have a world championship titled series.

        Only concern will be how many bums on seats and viewers eyes, through streamed content, each series will get.

        Place your bets, FIA versus Penske.

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          18th June 2020, 16:21

          F1 will only go electric if the racing is as quick and long lasting as now. That means it will still be the premier single seat series. I love Indycar, but it won’t eclipse Formula 1.

          And I truly believe F1 will go 100% electric at some point in the future.

      2. +1 @broke84

        I think people view F1 as too big to fail but right now it’s hanging by a thread. Smaller teams are close to collapse due to budgets. There was speculation around Mercedes and always around Ferrari. I think their preferential treatment is the only reason they stay to be honest. More manufacturers are going electric with it being government policy in several countries to be all electric production in the future. I just can’t see how F1 can survive without adapting into FE.

  5. F1 should make a deal asap. What’s carbon free F1 going to be anyway?

    V4 engine but much bigger car with so many batteries for electric power? Then what?

  6. “Formula E would have to reach parity of performance with Formula 1 for the two series to combine, Agag believes.”
    “Once electric formula cars are as fast as combustion formula cars, I don’t really see the reason to race separately,”

    Good sentiment, I believe it is more than speed though, FE needs to be able to match the race distances on the same race circuits too, then we will have a fair comparison.

  7. Mark Boudreau (@motorsportprospects)
    18th June 2020, 12:52

    Once they achieve parity in performance I think you will see an F1 that encompasses both electric powertrains (whether using a battery or hydrogen fuel cell) as well as hybrid engines using sustainable fuel. That will probably be the motorsport battleground in the medium term until one source of power emerges as the obvious leader. This also allows F1 to neatly sidestep the exclusive contract that FE has with the FIA as F1 will not be exclusively electric so won’t infringe on FE.

  8. By the time that 25 years is up they won’t even want F1 cars as part of their series, teams yes, but the cars will look like dinosaurs compared with FE.

  9. tony mansell
    18th June 2020, 15:28

    Yeh ICE vs E would be good. Boomers vs Millennials.

  10. GtisBetter (@)
    18th June 2020, 19:11

    Possible. Usually when there is a merger both sides want to come out of it stronger. If one side is dominating interest and sponsors, they aren’t really keen on sharing. WEC and IMSA started working together because they both want the same thing and both have had up and downs. They know it makes sense.

    We still have to see FE and F1 getting closer together though. Right now I see a different philosophical approach to racing. Both can exist I think and if F1 can succesfully get cost down they can prevent a LMP1 situation and the need to merge with anybody.

  11. Merge is a strong word..more like FE will be dissolved

  12. Won’t happen.

    If ever they begin to converge on technology and cost, F1 will will always be the more attractive option for manufacturers because of the prestige and history, & they will switch series.

    FE needs to remain very different from F1 if it wants to survive, otherwise it will eventually just cease to exist.

    The only way there will ever be a merger is if the big name teams own the FE series and take it to F1 as a package deal (like the CART / IRL scenario), or with an exclusive product that plugs an immediate hole (like with the TCR / WTCC scenario).

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