Formula E has been met with both excitement and criticism as the opening round gets ever so closer.
Is Formula E the racing of the future or an odd-ball series that will fail gain any traction and eventually fade off into oblivion? If you choose the latter as your arguement, then you've already lost the debate. The formation of this unique racing series has been met with both rapturous applause and intense criticism from race fans. Well, I got some news for both contingents.
Formula E is here, and here to stay. It's an FIA sanctioned world championship that will feature a lot of big names behind the wheel and behind the teams. In fact, the driver lineup is stacked with notables such as Lucas Di Grassi, Mike Conway, Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost, Sebastien Buemi, and Nick Heidfeld to name a few. As for owners and backers, don't expect random guys in suits with owners you've never heard of and will soon forget about either. Prost, Penske, Andretti, DiCaprio...need I say more?
The notable people involved may have some fans talking, but it's the cars themselves that have really created a stir. The machines are one-make single seaters and here's the kicker....they run fully on electric power.
The series is trying things that most racing disciplines have never even considered, let alone dared to try out. Along with the electric powered cars, certain music will be played at the start of races, at the finish, during pit stops, and when crashes occur.
And here they are taking a page out of NASCAR's notebook when it comes to fan engagement. The fans can vote to give their favorite driver a power boost during the race. Oh, and this will all take place on city streets, not the famous road courses that are scattered across the globe. You may have heard of a few of the locations...Beijing, Monte Carlo, Berlin, London, Miami. Yeah, this series isn't messing around.
A couple of their ideas are a bit bizarre, but maybe that's what more forms of auto racing need to do in order to keep the fans intrigued. At least they are actually willing to go out on a limb in order to reach new and different demographics. Too many just sit there content with dwindling attendance numbers and low TV ratings, remaining in a comatose state of sorts.
Formula E isn't afraid to go places no one else has though, and although I don't agree with a few of their ideas, they have me interested. And isn't that the goal here?
They have the star power, electric power, fascinating locations that will draw a lot of eyeballs, and engaging fans to the point where they can alter the outcome of a race. It's a very different form of motorsport that seems to have all the ingrediants of racing series that will prosper.
The world is moving towards more enviromentally friendly forms of power, and racing is going to have to follow suit someday, so why not now? It's a far cry from the bellowing engines that rattle the ground and blow out the ear drums of engrossed onlookers, but as Formula One has taught us this year, on-track action supercedes car noise any day of the week.
The future is here folks, and it's pronounced Formula E.