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Is This The Winning Formula For Motorsport?

The debut season of the hot new motorsport, Formula-E, has come to an end. Nelson Piquet Jr. was crowned the sport’s first World Champion following a rather dramatic closing double header around narrow streets of London. With the conclusion of a sensational inaugural season of Formula-E, many have been quick to compare the new electrical racing series to the ever popular crown jewel of motorsport: Formula One. It is the new opinion that Formula-E will be more popular than Formula One by the year 2017.
Formula-E has been on my long list of motorsport that I watch and I have been fortunate enough to have been able to watch all eleven rounds of the championship. However, I never really followed the championship battles or the rest of the circus that revolves around the sport, as I do with Formula One. My Formula-E following has only been for the races. I will be the first to admit that I was a little bit skeptical about how successful the new sport would be, however after sticking with the sport for the entire season I can say that I actually enjoyed the sport and plan to watch next season.
As for the question of whether or not Formula-E will be larger than Formula One, I think that the answer is pretty clear: No. It’s true that electric car racing is a step in the right direction in regards to the eco-friendly movements of this day and age. Formula One has made the steps towards this direction by changing to the hybrid systems in 2014 and reducing the amount of fuel consumption, but Formula-E has taken a larger step. However, being fans of a sport that involve cars driving around in circles for multiple kilometers, motorsport fans are not necessarily concerned with the effect that their favourite sport has on the environment. In most cases, we are more concerned about the quality of the racing.
Austria Grand Prix 2015
There are multiple reasons why Formula-E will never be as successful as Formula One. The first is the style of racing. Formula One features a variety of different types of circuits, whereas Formula-E only features street circuits. Many motorsport fans criticize street circuits, claiming that they are slow and have restricted passing. This is a common complaint every season when it comes time for Formula One to travel to the principality of Monaco. This lack of overtaking is usually because the circuit is too narrow, but there is nothing that these racing series can do to change this because these are actual public roads that are used everyday day in normal life. We saw narrow streets in the Monaco ePrix that caused the first lap pile up and in the London ePrix. The difference between Formula One and Formula-E, in regards to street circuits, is that Formula One has other types of circuits, whereas Formula-E does not. The current Formula-E cars are just not fast enough to provide the fans with an entertaining race at a regular circuit like the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. With so many fans against street circuits, people will be turned off by the lack of variety. Another issue is just the lack of speed in the Formula-E cars. Petrol heads enjoy speed. Although there are more factors to a great racing series, speed is a big factor that not only keeps the current fans interested in the sport, but also attracts new fans. Formula One cars that zoom past the camera at speeds of over 300km/h are more appealing than the Formula-E cars that cruise past the camera at speeds around 200km/h. Now the engineers in Formula-E are faced with the challenge of increasing the maximum speed for the cars while still getting the maximum energy life from the battery. This is a task that, with the current technology, is very unlikely to advance far.With the introduction of the new V6 hybrid engines at the start of the 2014 season, many fans were disappointed by the lack of sound the new Formula One cars produced. This was such a high profile issue, that there was research and development carried out to produce an amplifying system for the car’s exhaust. This project never made it past the testing process, leaving many to remain disappointed about the absence of the noises that we are used to. Formula-E will be faced with the same issue. Without the presence of a fuel powered engine, the noise produced is almost null. The sound of a current Formula-E car is equivalent to that of a child’s remote controlled toy. Although sound isn’t important to the actual racing portion of the sport, it adds to the overall appeal of the sport. Without the appeal, people won’t be as interested in wanting to follow the sport. Because of the absence of the gas powered engine, Formula-E doesn’t even have a logical method to produce the required noise.Nico Rosberg Mercedes Pitstop 2015Formula One is a globally recognized brand that has been grown over the course of 65 long years. Over the course of these seasons, Formula One has built a strong reputation as a brand. Alongwithhigh profile sponsorships, Formula One has a history. This is something that Formula-E lacks. Formula-E is the new kid on the block. It hasn’t been established as a well-known brand. Only timecanachieve the level of awareness that Formula One has. Until Formula-E gets this success, it can never be more popular than Formula One.The final thing that leaves Formula-E at a disadvantage is its first season. The first season was off to a great start with the drama at the end of the Beijing ePrix. When something like the crash between Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld happens in the first race of the season – let alone the first race of the series – people seem to expect thatall of the races of that series will contain such dramatic events. We were treated with a season that contained lots of action in most of the races, but in the races that didn’t have the same level of action, there was really a backlashamongst fans. Even the races that people claimed were boring weren’t that bad. The issue is that the sport has set the bar too high. The bar is at a level where every race has to be more entertaining than the first race in order for the fans to be entertained.Formula-E At Long Beach 2015 (2)The same applies to the championship. Nelson Piquet Jr. took the championship from Sebastián Buemi at the end of a championship that was down to the wire. Piquet won by just one point. Now, the championship will have to be equally as tight or else the fans will claim that the championship was boring because it wasn’t as exciting as the previous season. Formula One, on the other hand, started with domination and has spent many seasons at various points in time under the domination of single teams or drivers. There have been some seasons that have been close competition, but it is in no way the normal.

Formula One and Formula-E are two entirely different disciplines of motorsport. Not all open wheel racing series are alike. It is very hard to compare these two Formulas and is really something that you can’t do. Comparing Formula One to Formula-E is like comparing apples to oranges. However, if you have your heart set on comparing these two series, then you have to know that Formula-E will never pass Formula One. There is no doubt that Formula-E will be successful and will grow quite a fan base, but Formula One will always be the superior sport. The massive pothole that Formula One is stuck in at the moment doesn’t mean that it is finished. There have been issues like this in the past, but the sport has survived. After 65 years of success, Formula One is not going to collapse now.

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Writer Info about Wesley Branton

Wesley Branton is a Canadian writer. His most notable work is motorsport articles, Formula 1 in particular. His portfolio of writing includes articles with motorsport.com and he is the owner of RacingClothesline.com . He will be keeping you up-to-date with the latest from the world of Formula One.

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