Formula 1 Going All-Electric Claims Are Nonsense, Says FIA President

SEP 16 2018 BY MOTORSPORT.COM 8

FIA president Jean Todt says that suggestions that Formula 1 will need to go all-electric in the future are “nonsense.”

The growing interest in Formula E, both in terms of fans and car manufacturers, has led to claims that F1 may need to consider an electric future if it is to remain road relevant.

But the situation is complicated by the fact that FE has an exclusive deal with the FIA to be its leading electric single-seater championship until 2039.

Todt does not see an issue though, as he believes it is wrong to think that F1 will ever go electric.

“It is true that we have an exclusive agreement on single-seaters for a certain amount of years with the promoter in FE, but it would be a nonsense to say that in the future Formula 1 is going to be electric,” said Todt.

“It is not going to happen. Simply you could not do it. We are talking about two completely different categories.”

As well as grand prix racing and FE being attractive for different reasons, Todt says that there are elements of electric racing – like its lack of top speed – that would not be suitable for F1.

“FE has not the performance of F1,” added Todt. “At the moment one of the reasons FE is hosted in cities is because it would not create any interest to have FE on a circuit like Monza, for example. We are talking about two different categories.

“It is completely misleading to compare FE and F1. F1 is a well-established category and I keep saying that for me, FE is a baby of the FIA, so there is still a lot to learn. But saying that, it is growing very well.

“We started four years back, and we needed to have two cars to do a race of 45 minutes. At the end of this year we will be able to do the race with one car.

“It shows how motor racing can be a laboratory, not only a show. But to lose time by comparing the two categories is just boring.”

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8 Comments on "Formula 1 Going All-Electric Claims Are Nonsense, Says FIA President"

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CDAVIS

FE & F1 will likely end up merging into F1E.

Nick

Sounds like they need someone a bit brighter running F1.
If car companies such as Mercedes are there to drive forward (and also showcase) their ICE technology, why on earth will they stay in F1 when electric vehicles are the norm and they need to drive forward EV technology?

krona2k

Of course all racing will be all electric eventually. It may be a long time for some. Aren’t WRC going all electric in only 2020?

G2

F1 is already gas/electric hybrid, so I see the electric side of the platform growing over the next decade until the ICE is vestigial, at best, as are our tail bones vestigial reminders of our tails (unless you are in evolution denial).

Kim Conrad Jorgensen

I guess it’s his Kodak moment; “digital photography will never take off”….Formula 1 either merges/goes all electric or gets killed off completely because lack of interest. And I just put fresh Duracells in my crystal ball, what can possibly go wrong?

topolm

I really disagree with you. Back in 2014 F1 introduced hybrid engines. They are started promoting hybrid technology when lot of fans did not wont it, despite that decided to go with it. Imagine if Tesla stops making conventional (gas) looking cars and star making something that is more suitable to electric drivetrain despite customers like their look with long hoods. Formula 1 was that bold and did right thing despite fans and switched to 1.6l hybrid engine. Fans for F1 make money same as customers for Tesla.

And about performance there are simply not there yet. Last race they drove almost 200 miles in one hour and 16 minutes with lot of hard braking and accelerating to over 200mph every lap.

I want to be clear that I am not some ev hater. I would love to see BEV vehicle that can compete F1 car or LMP1 car.

Apexerman

The two race formats will merge with electric taking over… probably long before 2039.

NeilBlanchard

Electric racing should have a large aerodynamic advantage of ICE – the shear volume of air that has to be pumped through the engine, and the much larger volume of air needed to pass through the cooling systems (both the engine cooling, and the turbo intercooling) on an ICE, combine to put the Cd of an ICE racer much higher, all else being equal.

Having lower drag is a big deal – since the drag goes up by the square of the speed – and the power required goes up by the cube of the speed. You can get as much downforce, and also have lower drag.