We spoke to Jim Wright, Commercial Director of the Venturi Formula E Racing Team, about Formula E’s first season, its commercial value, what’s happening in season two and of course, its distinctions from Formula One.
With just the final round, and two races, to go at Battersea Park in London, it is the opportune time to sit down and have a chat about the series. Formula E is, of course, the FIA’s new electric powertrain racing series for single seaters racing in city centre locations.
As is done with almost all interviews, we had to cut some of Jim’s insight for the sake of length. So here’s a few tid-bits below which didn’t make it into the video.
On the environment:
“Formula E is the only motorsport series that can really claim to address environmental concerns. It is zero emissions and the championship custodians, the promoter and the FIA, took great care to make sure that it runs in a totally sustainable way. At some expense I might add, generations running on aqua fuel, made from algae, are used to power up the batteries so we can say with total acclaim that the FIA Formula E Championship is a sustainable zero emissions series.”
On Formula E’s commercial appeal:
“Formula E appeals to commerce because it ticks so many boxes. At the end of the day it’s the only zero emissions racing series in the world so it attracts businesses such as utility companies, electricity companies, power generation companies of course, it appeals to battery companies and increasingly, it is appealing to car manufacturers who want to use the platform of the FIA Formula E championship to develop their electric vehicle proposition.”
On season two:
“I think Formula E is going to be broadcast in more countries, amongst more networks, and those are principally free-to-air networks, and I think you’re going to see car manufacturers and other major corporations joining as sponsors which is just going to increase the awareness further.”
“The future for Formula E in season two and seasons beyond that, is we that start to develop electric power trains, which are allowed in season two and then from season five the battery technology is opened up. That’s when we’re hoping the platform of Formula E will help the battery manufacturers to develop their products quicker.”