The Formula 1 championship was founded in 1947 by the International Automotive Federation (FIA). Although the idea was first mooted well before the Second World War, the first Grand Prix did not actually take place until 13 May 1950, at the legendary Silverstone circuit. At that time, all of the participants were big name car manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Kurtis Kraft, Ferrari, Kuzma, Maserati, Mercedes, Watson, Epperly, Vanwall, Cooper, BRM… amongst others. Over the years, F1 has grown in popularity to reach a global TV audience of 400 million. And investment in the sport has skyrocketed, from $300K per year per team (The Cooper team’s budget in 1959 ) to $ 4,687.7 M (Red Bull’s expenditure in 2015).
During this time, we have witnessed the rise of heroes such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Tony Brooks, Stirling Moss, Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton… to name but a few. And, lots of symbols have been created too. What would have happened to brands like Ferrari and Mercedes without F1? We will never know, but we are pretty sure that they wouldn’t have achieved the iconic status they enjoy today if they hadn’t participated in F1 from the start.
Not only that. Thanks to the eye-watering investments made by the teams in their quest for pole position, a multitude of technological innovations have been made, which we all benefit from today. Examples include tyred technology, steel disc brake discs, active suspension, sequential gearboxes, all a multitude of aerodynamic improvements… the list is endless. So even if you are not a fan of F1,; you have a lot to be grateful for. We have to give credit where it’s due.
Despite its popularity, we have not seen any rival sports vying for the attention of F1 fans, at least in Europe, until now that is. And this new wave is generating a lot of interest.
It all began with Formula E, which was launched in 2014. The FE championship is also managed by the FIA. And in its second year (2015 ) it achieved 5.2 trillion Social Network interactions and a TV audience of 190.3 m tv viewers . Moreover, in terms of brands and sponsors, the sport is managing to generate a strong ROI. According to a study conducted by Money Sports Media in 2015, each F1 race generates € 149.,9m in terms of brand exposure, whilst each. FE race generates €123.,8m. Not bad for such a young business. For this reason, amongst others, both new and traditional players in the automotive system and traditional players have welcomed the FE challenge. Thus, the grid is composed of:
Besides As well as the novelty of being the first competition for electric cars, the FE teams, clearly know what they’ are doing and who they’re targeting in terms of their audience. A great example of their approach is Fanboost. A section on the Formula E website where fans can vote for their favourite drivers and so play a part in their victories. Voting opens two weeks before each race and closed three hours before the start started. The three winning drivers receive a ‘SpeedBoost “, which gives them a temporary boost in power in each race.
In Parallel to the FE competition, we are eagerly awaiting the launch of the Electric GT World Series. This competition is promoted by Tesla and will kick off in 2017 with 10 teams participating. , Its aim is to become the first 100% emission free competition in the world and it is unlike anything we have seen before because only one model will compete in this race: the Tesla Model S P85 +. As such, we expect this competition to focus on improvements to elements such as suspension and, aerodynamics and the; optimisation of hardware and software. In the words of the organizers: “The races are going to become a festival of technology.” Although the model S P85 + has been chosen to compete in the first year, the race managers have announced that everyone is welcome.
And if we look a little further afield, we find Roborace. This is also an FIA initiative a is expected to hit our screens during the 2016-2017 FE season. The plan is for Roborace to support the FE races, with Roboracesthe race beings held immediately before the FE races. The cars that compete will also be electric, but with a difference: they will be driverless! It will be the first competition of its kind and prototypes are already looking very pretty cool.
The last championship we bring you is the 80edays rally. This race aims to become the hardest electric car endurance test of all. The idea is that all competitors have to compete with a 100% not modified the standard electric car. The race starts in Barcelona, in front of the “Arco del Triunfo”, and it will finish 80days after in the same point. All the teams will look to beat Rafael de Mestre’ s record, who in 2012 rallied alone around the globe in a standard all-electric Tesla Roadster in 127 days, becoming the first man in history to do so in less than 200 days.
All this innovation brings with it a host of new questions: will we see new heroes? Who or what will they look like? Will the traditional drivers and teams continue to dominate? Will the new players in these competitions fare as well as Ferrari or and Mercedes did with F1 back in the day? Will the championships be complementary or will they end up competing against each other? What new services and technological advances will be developed for these competitions? And will we mere mortals be able to then enjoy them too? Is it time to create professional and college leagues, like we have in U.S. basketball (NBA & NCAA)?
For answers to these questions and more, watch this space!