Formula E No Threat To Formula 1, Says F1 Team Boss

3 months ago by Motorsport.com 15

Haas team boss Gunther Steiner says Formula 1 has no reason to feel threatened by Formula E, despite the rush of manufacturers to join the electric series.

Over the week or so, the interest in the Formula E has ramped up, with Mercedes announcing it would be quitting DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Master – a racing series out of Germany for touring cars) to join up from 2019, while Porsche confirmed a switch to Formula E from WEC’s LMP1 class.

But although FE’s future prospects have been boosted by the commitment from big car makers – with Renault and Jaguar already involved – Steiner thinks the reality is that there will be big stresses for the category in the future.

“I still see F1 in a very good place – it is the pinnacle of motorsport,” said Steiner, when asked by Motorsport.com for his views on the growing interest in FE.

“I think FE is trending at the moment – everyone wants to be part of this electric movement, which is fully understandable. But when there are seven or eight manufacturers involved, not all can win.”

“There will also immediately be a war over who can do more, who wants authority and all those sort of things.

“At the moment they are not attracting a lot of spectators so I don’t know how they can create revenue. It is difficult enough for F1 to create revenue, and this is a sport that has been here a long time. All the best drivers are here.”

Steiner believes that ultimately FE should be viewed as a good alternative to F1 rather than a rival – as he says if electric racing proved a big hit with fans, then grand prix racing could switch across from hybrids.

“I see it [Formula E] as an additional series, but I don’t see it as a threat. The easiest way, if it is a threat, we would just put electric motors in these [F1 cars] – because we have got a platform. Whatever happens, it will be F1.

“I can understand the interest because it is so trendy now, you need to be part of it, it is a wave. For the OEMs it is inexpensive, relatively inexpensive, compared to F1, so it is a pretty easy decision.

“Mercedes will spend a lot less in FE than they do in DTM, and the same goes for Porsche going out of WEC.”

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15 responses to "Formula E No Threat To Formula 1, Says F1 Team Boss"

  1. MaartenV-nl says:

    Car races did not end horse races.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      But gas-powered car races did almost entirely end steam-powered car races.

      Of course, that’s no guarantee that gas-powered car races will disappear even when the day comes that BEV racecars can outperform gasmobile race cars in every respect (except in generating loud noise!).

      I wouldn’t make any large wagers either way.

  2. speculawyer says:

    Not yet.

    Who knows what it will be like 30+ years from now.

  3. speculawyer says:

    Ugh. Please fix the issue that keeps causing the page to scroll up to the top because some video ad is trying to play. It makes it so I can’t even scroll down to read an article because it keeps going back up to the top.

    I’m using Chrome.

    1. speculawyer says:

      It seems to be only certain ads that cause it to happen, not all of them.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Thanks for pointing gout the issue, there should not be such an ad at all (sometimes a bad one sneaks in)…it is a geo-targeted ad, so it only nicks the odd-person (unfortunately yourself in this case), and it is hard for us to detect unless someone says “hey, I got an annoying one here”…thanks again!

    2. JeffD says:

      I have had the same issue before and not just on this site. I think it was an Xfinity ad.

  4. Gazz says:

    FE needs to ditch fan boost and car swapping if it is ever to catch on. Yes car swapping will end in season five but there is still a huge golf in performance to go.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I entirely agree.

      I’d love to see Formula E switch to unlimited battery swapping, just as Formula 1 allows unlimited refills of gas. That would allow EV race cars to unleash the full potential for acceleration, speed, torque and power from their electric motors!

      I’d be far more interested in seeing pit crews compete on the shortest time for a battery swap than watching another “Fan Boost” cheat, which threatens to turn Formula E from a true race into a mere popularity contest! Also, development of fast battery swapping might be a benefit to the EV revolution.

      1. Robert says:

        No on the battery swap but how about a DC charger in the pits while the crew is working on the car & changing tires.

      2. Boltdriver says:

        Pretty sure F1 no longer refuels during green flag racing. They only pit for tire swaps. That is why stops are so fast 3-4 seconds.
        Personally I found FE so boring I watched it for a few min then turned it off. No one could gain any advantage as batteries were only large enough to make a stop on one lap. No stop early and go faster with a fresh battery or stay out longer then have a fresher and faster pack at the end. No real strategy, so why not make the races shorter so there is no car swap.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I watched one longer than you did, but my reaction was pretty much the same. The races are held in narrow city streets with lots of sharp turns, so not much chance of getting any real speed up, even if they weren’t so limited by how fast the battery packs run out.

          I’ll be glad when Formula E grows up and starts racing on actual racetracks and/or road courses.

          And ditch the ridiculous “Fan Boost”, too. Races should be about pitting machine against machine and driver against driver… not about which driver wins a popularity contest!

    2. Nada says:

      Fan boost is a joke…
      The motor performance specs increase for both season 4 and season 5 so they are getting faster but not F1 speeds yet…
      I dont think they have laid out the plans beyond season 5 yet but I am sure Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes will be calling for more speed…
      The others dont have as deep pockets but more performace is cheap with electrics if your battery has enough capacity which is the real speed hold up as of now…

  5. Roy_H says:

    It needs more open rules with racers choosing their own motors, battery type, using battery swap or fast DC charge as they wish etc.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yes, exactly. The cars should not all have to use a standard battery pack. This isn’t NASCAR!

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