Extreme E: Your verdict so far

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    Extreme E held its first race last weekend. Did you watch it, and what do you think of the new series?

    Dr. Basado

    I enjoyed:
    >the stunning visuals of the cars racing through the desert, in particular that camera angle that showed how steep the “drop” was as the cars plunged down the sand dune.
    >the commentary team
    >the fact that it was free-to-air and available on multiple platforms (BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports, Youtube…)
    >qualifying, especially how close the times were between some of the leading teams
    >the first 30 seconds – 1 minute of the races
    >the focus on sustainability and environmental concern permeating the entire event, from logistics to making a temporary paddock that would leave no footprint to the trophies being made from recycled materials
    >good mix of well-known names and new faces.

    I didn’t enjoy so much:
    >the races, which were all pretty much over by the third “checkpoint” due to the drivers behind having their vision obscured the the plumes of sand and dust. Might have been better to make the entire weekend’s running a WRC style event.
    >penalties in qualifying ruining what was a relatively closely-fought battle at the front

    I definitely saw enough to make me interested in watching the 2nd round at Senegal. Hopefully they’ll work out a better format for Sunday over the next few weeks and months.


    I’d agree with everything you say there – the dust issue just ruined what could otherwise have been some very interesting races! Although the massive differential in talent between a tarmac driver like Jenson Button and WRC/WRX/Dakar drivers such as Loeb or Sainz may just have made this gap more obvious. Maybe as well as having a male and female driver, have a tarmac and off-road (or something similar) requirement too so these things are evened out. Finally, whilst I agree the commentary was generally very good, the fact the lead commentator (heard him many times, not sure of his name…) kept referring to well renowned female drivers as “girls” was a little horrifying to say the least…


    I enjoy watching the Dakar each year. Extreme E not so much. I watched it on ITV and the coverage was rubbish, it reminded me of the over-hyped US style of sport presentation fluff and very little content. With the actual competition that was shown it would have made a 10 minute program bot the 1 hour that it actually was. Very little of the hears was shown, not much in car footage. I am sure that Channel 4 would have done a better job than ITV did. I doubt that I will watch it again which is disappointing it could have been so much better.


    Final race (the main event!) was over by the first ‘corner’ as cars behind the lead car couldnt see through the dust kicked up.

    Also only 3 cars in the race? Make it 10 and I’d be interested.

    Terrible camera angles just showing dust. They should only use aerial shots and the odd onboard for a sense of the work rate behind the wheel.

    Anyway, very boring. Just make it a time trial event in dusty/Sandy locations.


    In line with @arcada above and qualifying was great (if we take apart those outrageous penalties).
    There is room for improvement but a nice way to mix motorsport with global challenges such as climate change and women in motorsport.

    They need to modify those penalties to something like getting an arbitrary pit time (from entry to exit) which is 15 sec slower than a typical stop.
    There wasn’t too much focus in comparing the women to the men times and impressed by the women top tier. As expected tighter field on the man side.
    Actually dust was to be expected but they lacked variety of lines on the course. In theory it was a free field but in practice it turns out in everyone taking the same line. If you have gates at both end of a rocky island, teams can go either side, avoid the dust and race. Maybe widen the gates to make them less of a bottle neck and allow for more racing.

    Quality of the coverage and commentary was overall good for a first event. Sad that format was fixed last minutes and even commentating team didn’t know how it was going at times.

    Last, this RXR is gonna be tough to beat…

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