Is the electronic era of motorsport going to overtake Formula One?

Electirc Era in F1

Updated: Apr 8, 2021 1:12 am

The world is changing and becoming greener, motorsport has been no exception. Over the last decade Formula One has changed its cars. This has been for many reasons but being greener is certainly making its way. In 2014 the iconic V10 engines were thought to be too strong and wasteful and as a result, the FIA wanted to reduce to a V8 engine.

Then in 2014, the engines became turbocharged. The motorsport industry releases the damaging CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change. The emergence of green motorsport has only appeared in the last few years. Formula E has become established motorsport that is covered by reputable news sources. Since 2014 the green sport has seen support from many drivers from reputable driving backgrounds. It has seen older talents such as Filipe Massa compete as well as ex F1 drivers like Stoffel Vandoorne.

Formula 1 is one of the biggest sports in the world first racing in 1950. The circus which is F1 travels worldwide and attracts millions of viewers every race. It has produced some of the biggest and most iconic sporting talents in History. These sporting icons include Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Ayton Senna and Niki Lauda. The list is endless, and everyone has a different opinion. The sport is so large that can it ever be replaced by a new series with less history?

This sport holds such great influence and can shape the opinion of viewers worldwide. The following and love mean that F1 is more than just a sport to many people. Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon and George Russell kept so may entertain during the lockdown. For the first time in sport could viewers get to really know the sportsmen outside of their sport? It brought in many viewers on twitch that ended up following the sport and realising that it’s not just cars going around a track.

Various programs around the sport have allowed gaining viewers that have cemented this sport in so many people’s lives. Last season F1 reported that they averaged 87.4 million per race. However, this could have been more if races took place in Australia, Vietnam, Singapore where time differences meant that not many people could watch it live. In terms of the sport being replaced by Formula E, it will be a hard mountain to get over. The sport over time has produced an existing race that makes no two races the same.

The politics in the sport keeps people on tenterhooks and guessing on who will go where. The drama surrounding it creates an encapsulating atmosphere making it hard for people to get away from the sport. F1 is not a particularly aggressive sport meaning that anyone and everyone can get involved in one way or another. Last season Covid 19 had a massive effect on the sport. However, for people watching the sport for the first time, it is one of the most exciting in history.

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The season saw an iconic name of the Schumacher tease a comeback to the sport. (Mick is now at Haas). It also saw Hulkenberg come back twice! Fans also saw drama at Mercedes with George racing with them once and Pietro Fittipaldi. His name will have brought some people back to the sport due to the name being that of 2-time F1 Champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

This proves that F1 has a rich history that just keeps giving. The sport as it is having fast-paced action, not only on the track but also off the track also. The Logistics in the sport mean it is like a CO2 volcano. There is a lot of equipment to take across the world which is extremely expensive and terrible for the environment. F1 has tried to minimize the costs of logistics and therefore reduced its effect on the climate. Pretty much every team apart from Haas, Ferrari, Alphatauri and Alpha Romeo are not based in the UK. However, Haas does have a smaller base in Oxford to allow for cheaper logistics.

Formula E is a fairly new sport that started in 2014 has attracted a growing array of drivers. In the past large names from F1 have taken part in the green sport. Ex Ferrari driver Felipe Massa took part until the new season this year. Ex F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne takes part under Mercedes-EQ who is married to Toto Wolff. Susie Wolff was a British racing driver active from 2006-2012.

She has been awarded an MBE for her services to women in sport. As formula E is fairly new it has the ability to change how it is run before the sport get set in its way. It could be argued that F1 is to set in its way in some areas that have limited how much it can change for the future. The opportunity is ever-growing in Formula E and will not have to conform to regulations that will undoubtedly come by 2050.

This sport is made for the future, but as a result of this, it isn’t the most exciting to watch at the moment. Formula e is working as technology advances, unlike F1 where it is now more about downforce and grip as a pose to the longevity of the battery and the capabilities of it. On average an F1 car can get to around 230 MPH compared to about 170 MPH for a Formula e. This is surely only going to improve as technology advances. Toto Wolff also wants Formula E to become a support race to F1.

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This would undoubtedly mean that the recognition and reputation will grow if this did ever happen. F1 is focusing a lot of time on making the sport a more level playing field. While Formula e are looking to advance in every way it can. The sport is growing every year making it unpredictable what the cars will be like. The cars themselves can vary in differentiation making no team completely dominant like in F1.

However, it doesn’t have iconic figures or big team names. The tracks also look temporary and are more like Monaco in the sense that overtaking can be hard. However, as previously mentioned the sport is growing still and there is no reason that one day it cannot try actual tracks. Formula E has been proven more popular with people under 35 and as a result, is looking positive for it grew over the next decade.

The viewing figures have grown ever since its launch. It is different to any other sport as it has more fan interaction as well as having boost zones that are located off the racing line on some corners. This keeps the race interesting and making the pack fairly equal. It brings out the racers ability to race to bring points rather than relying on the car.

The emergence of electric motorsport has also been shown in the new sport Extreme E.

Extreme E is a green rally like series that races in areas affected by climate change. These locations include places like the desert, rainforest and ice. The sport has attracted some very big names in motorsports such as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Jensen Button and the Sainz’s.

Large American motorsport teams like Andretti and Chip Ganassi. All teams involved in the green rally like series are from reputable backgrounds and have the ability to spread the message of a better and greener future. The sport is made for the future of greener motorsport as all teams travel together on a boat and the drivers learn on how climate change has affected where they are racing.

Overall, the electric era of motorsport will grow as the world looks to become greener. F1 will be critiqued for its immense level of CO2. The sport has spread many important messages such as LGBTQ+ and Black lives matter and to get rid of racism. The sport has used its size to spread important messages and as a result, proves that it is more than just a sport. sooner or later, it will have to fall in line with a greener society. This will be one of the biggest things that the sport will have to adapt to and will it?

However, it could destroy the legacy of F1, but over time the sport has seen many changes in the shape of the car, the team names and much more. F1 has such a large following that its legacy or place in sport will never be replaced as it is close to impossible.

Electric series will continue to grow no doubt but the electric series is not the same as F1 and the sport and cannot really be thrown into the same basket. Electric series may grow faster than F1 as the new generation of fans come in but to overtake 70 years of history will be hard to outshine. Therefore will most likely shine in different shows, i.e different sports.


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