Formula 1 is dead …

This statement of course is an inconceivable vision of the future. But the so-called elite of the world of motorsports does need to watch out it doesn’t get overtaken at full speed by ambitious upstarts such as Formula E and Extreme E. These race series focus on critical issues for future living, such as innovative mobility solutions, green energy and sustainable technologies.

With thirteen races and eight different winners in the most recent ABB Formula E season, it’s unquestionably on par with the more conventional race series. On the other hand, many Formula 1 races were “as thrilling as watching a herd of sheep grazing in a field”, according to the Italian national sports newspaper Corriero dello Sport. The most popular of race series looks like it may be having an identity-crises whilst fully electric racing is on everyone’s lips!

Founded by the former Spanish politician Alejandro Agag and started in 2014, Formula E hasn’t always been taken seriously. Fortunately, those days are over and the ‘ugly duckling’ has transformed into a beautiful swan! No wonder, therefore, that in the meantime, renowned automotive manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche and BMW, as well as celebrities like Leonardo di Caprio, are key players in this promising market.

Technological support as part of the team success since the very first season

Würth Elektronik eiSos Group, manufacturer of electronic and electromechanical components and technology partner of the German racing team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler since the very first season, recognized the huge potential of the race series very early on. ‘Our passion for Formula E and our technological support for the team’s success has grown from season to season. Our enthusiasm has reached even greater heights,’ says Alexander Gerfer, CTO.

Aside from unshakable ‘petrol-heads’, motorsport enthusiasts will find everything they are looking for in Formula E: great thrill and excitement with a fair set of rules, a tight race schedule set over one day and finally much closer accessibility and proximity to the audience due to races being held on city circuits in global metropolitan cities. Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s successful racing driver-duo with more than 60 races between them, both agree: “racing in cities means you really feel the support of the many euphoric fans!” Let’s face it, when an Audi e-Tron FE05 accelerates up to 150 mph and breaks just in time to take the corner, who will really miss the smell of gasoline?

Driving developments for mobility concepts of the future

It doesn’t have to be an either-or decision between Formula E and other race series, according to Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport: “What we see is a completely different audience. That's one of the reasons why I don't think Formula E is competing with anything else. We target a different set of customers and race on completely different courses. We have a completely different set of goals”.

Oliver Opitz, Technical Coordinator Formula E at the Würth Elektronik eiSos Group, adds: “We want to provide our partner Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler with all the component solutions they need from a single source. Together, we aim to drive developments in eMobility, consistently building our expertise in this area, and expanding our network to gain valuable experience in order to further develop mobility concepts of the future.”

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