The proposal from certain European countries to ban petrol cars from 2040 has left motor-sports fans wondering: what does the ban mean for the F1?
Luckily for racing enthusiasts, there’s a new kid on the block just waiting to fulfill all your adrenaline needs:
First conceived in 2012, Formula E is a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars. 10 teams with two drivers race on temporary city-street circuits across the globe, in cities like Montreal, Berlin and London.
For the first season, all drivers were given identical race cars, the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. However, in the following seasons, manufacturers were able to create the motor and other elements. 9 manufacturers took part last season, including Jaguar, Porsche, and Audi, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz recently announcing their plans to join the competition.
The focus on technology and innovation has sparked a new interest motorsports for a younger generation of viewer. Over 190 million tuned in to watch the inaugural season across more than 100 countries around the world, and the competition is even catching the eye of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, who co-founded the Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team .
Formula E has also embraced the power of social media to get its action to the masses. Video updates are shared within seconds using live-streaming app Graybo, and fans are even able to make a real contribution to their favourite driver – by voting via social media, they can award drivers an extra 100kJ power boost, or ‘Fanboost’, to be used during the race.
Some petrol-heads aren’t buying it, though. For a few die-hard F1 fans, Formula E just doesn’t have enough oomph. The electric motors produce 250 horsepower, nowhere near the almost 1000 horsepower produced by F1 engines. This means that Formula E cars have a significantly lower top speed – about 220 km/h – than their bigger F1 brothers, which reach speeds of more than 370 km/h.
Whether you’re a Formula One maniac or an EV enthusiast, Formula E is giving racing fans something to look forward to when the ban on petrol-cars comes into effect in 2040. The 2017/2018 season starts in December and runs until July 2018.
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