Are they competitors or complementors? F1 and Formula E are FIA’s cousins, if not the enemy sisters of modern motorsport. Is F1 threatened in the long term by Formula E? Or through promoting hybrids on the one hand and electric power on the other hand, should we talk more about cooperation than confrontation?
The collaboration thesis gained momentum: Jean Todt, president of the FIA, and Alejandro Agag (founder and president of the FIA) had a discussion (last year) about the possibility of organizing Formula 1 and Formula E races, on the same weekend, during the same grand prize ( For the 2022 or 2023 seasons).
This discussion follows an idea put forward by Agag himself. And Jean Tod could have accepted it, according to the Italian press.
“Something like that can work, but Formula E has to keep its future face as well.”
On the Agag side, it appears that investors will press for doubling the bridges and synergies between F1 and Formula E in the future. Ajaj confirms the ongoing discussions, and his personal investment in the matter … even if some of the stakeholders change their minds.
“There is a lot of talk today about the rapprochement between Formula 1 and Formula E. I’m pushing for that, I like the idea, it’s something I’d like, but right now, the stakeholders aren’t going in that direction.”
“So I keep pushing, knocking on the doors, and we’ll see if that happens in the end.”
“I like the idea of the two big tournaments collaborating. At the moment, that is not the case, but we will see in the future.”
We still have to find suitable circuits to accommodate the two completely different series. The Mexico City track will be the lead in this region (with a track shortened for the Formula E race). Singapore and Vietnam will also be in the race (two urban events, matching well F1 DNA).
Another difficulty: it would be necessary to change the groups of sponsors among other paths, from one track to another, even if the graphics could be used in virtual reality.
However, opposition is many. An unnamed team manager told The Race that it wouldn’t be “Send the right message at the right time.”
“The tournament has to be completely separate, develop further on its own and be able to prove itself for a few more years.”
Jamie Rigel, General Manager of Formula E, has also expressed doubts …
“Formula E and Formula 1 are two different sports, each with a distinct appeal and points of difference.”
“City racing is an essential part of our DNA and we are committed to respecting the privacy of Formula E. Urban environments are a key component of a future driven by electric cars and sustainable mobility solutions. During the pandemic, we considered moving away from the city racing model and instead using permanent tracks, but if we do That wouldn’t be Formula E. ”
“In this season and in the future, our calendar will likely combine popular urban tracks like Rome and Monaco with specially designed circuit diagrams in cities like Valencia.”
Running through the city in Singapore or Hanoi will make it possible to overcome the contradictions indicated by Rigel. But the path of cooperation between the two fields also masks commercial and image rivalries that will not be easy to overcome overnight.