Formula 1 is dead …

…, this is admittedly still a negative future scenario, but the supposed royal class of motorsports has to watch out not to be overtaken at full throttle by ambitious racing series such as Formula E and Extreme E, which focus on crucial factors for future living: innovative mobility solutions, green energy and sustainable technologies.

Thirteen races, eight different winners: the competitive balance in the past season of the ABB Formula E championship speaks for itself. While at the same time many races in Formula 1 were “as thrilling as a herd of sheep grazing on the lawn” (Corriero dello Sport) and the most popular racing series therefore struggles with its identity, the fully-electric equivalent is on everyone’s lips.

Founded in the year 2014 by the former Spanish politician Alejandro Agag, Formula E hasn’t always been taken very seriously. But these days are over now: the ‘ugly duckling’ has moulted to a beautiful swan! Thus it is no wonder that in the meantime renowned automotive manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche and BMW as well as celebrities like Leonardo di Caprio are important parts of this promising market.

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

The 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, has recognized the big potential of the racing series at the earliest possible stage. “Our passion for Formula E and our technological support for the team’s success has grown from season to season. […] This enthusiasm has reached a new peak“, says CTO Alexander Gerfer.

Apart from “incurable petrolheads”, motorsports enthusiasts can find everything they need in Formula E: great tension because of a fair set of rules, a compact race schedule on only one day and - finally yet importantly - a closer proximity to the audience due to city circuits in global metropolises. Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, the successful driver combination of team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in more than 60 joint races by now, both confirm: “Driving in the cities means: you always get a vivid impression of the support by so many euphoric fans!” Let’s face it: when an Audi e-Tron FE05 accelerates up to 150 mph and recuperates in front of the bend, who really misses the smell of gasoline?

Pushing developments regarding mobility concepts of the future

It doesn’t have to be an either-or decision between Formula E and other racing 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 see Formula E is competing with anything else. You consciously address other people, consciously drive on completely different tracks. Other goals are also pursued”.

Regarding these aims, Oliver Opitz, Technical Coordinator Formula E at the Würth Elektronik eiSos Group, explains: “We want to provide to our partner Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler all the component solutions they need from one single source. Together, we want to push developments in eMobility, consistently improve our expertise in this field, and expand our network to gain valuable experience in order to further develop the mobility concepts of the future.”