Formula E needs different approach to F1 – Prost

2014 F1 season

Jarno Trulli, Formula E, 2014Four-times world champion Alain Prost says the FIA’s new Formula E series for electric cars needs to differentiate itself from Formula One to attract an audience.

Prost believes the decision to host its ten races in cities, rather than at racing tracks, will allow it to attract more spectators.

“We need to do something different,” Prost told the Formula E website.

“F1 and the other disciplines race on the normal race tracks, you cannot attract the same kind of people and I think that was the best way to be in the centre of the cities where the electrical cars normally are.”

Prost, who ran his own F1 team between 1997 and 2001, is joint team principal of the Formula E squad E.dams, which is run by GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 outfit DAMS.

More manufacturers will eventually join in the series, he added: “The constructors are waiting for the final regulations, but if everything is correct it’s going to become a good platform for constructors.”

Prost had his first sight of a Formula E car running at the Circuit Issoire in France.

Among the ex-F1 drivers to have expressed an interest in racing in Formula E are Jarno Trulli (pictured), Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Bourdais, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Takuma Sato, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Sebastien Buemi, Karun Chandhok, Lucas di Grassi, Christijan Albers, Narain Karthikeyan, Franck Montagny and Bruno Senna.

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29 comments on Formula E needs different approach to F1 – Prost

  1. Alex McFarlane said on 23rd April 2014, 13:36

    I’d quite enjoy it if they went for a World Superbike style format, a pair of relatively short sprint races. Not sure about the idea of having to swap cars, surely it would be more economical to build cars that have easily changed batteries than to have 4 cars per team? Would probably do more for battery technology as well.

    • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:07

      My feelings exactly. I was excited about this series until gimmick after gimmick showed up in the regulations.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 23rd April 2014, 17:27

      +1. I completely agree. Two short sprint races works great for other series so why do the cat swap gimmick which sounds silly and increases costs?
      Every year, they could extend the length of the races by 10% as a technical challenge to advance the sport and keep relevance to real world needs

    • Airrider said on 29th April 2014, 3:17

      Not just that, but imagine two sprint races as allowing you to give twice the potential driver base a drive. Which means more talent gets showcased, more skilled drivers get more publicity and that can only be more conducive to cars, teams and manufacturers springing up.

      And besides, the sprints would make for more aggressive and exciting racing, right?

  2. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:20

    IF they get that right , just as F1 is FE could take their place…

  3. kpcart said on 23rd April 2014, 14:25

    this series looks interesting to me. the motion and sound of them remind me of the 1980s scalatrix racing toys that ran on rails. heck, from trackside camer they sound about as loud as the current f1 cars, but more unique! if they can muster up some interesting high level drivers it will be worth watching. this is more the future of racing then boring old v6 turbos, and probably more relevant to road cars in the long term then what f1 is doing.

    • DaveFLO said on 23rd April 2014, 17:45

      from trackside camer they sound about as loud as the current f1 cars

      I was at the F1 race at Sepang a few weeks ago & saw the Formula E cars at Las Vegas in January.

      The current F1 cars are way louder than the Formula E cars.
      The new V6 turbo power units been used in F1 are significantly louder than people are making out they are.

      The Formula E cars are not silent, But there not really that loud either & standing around watching them the noise they do make is really irritating. Not something I want to go listen to again.

  4. chris said on 23rd April 2014, 15:10

    Did they get rid of that ridiculous “vote to win” mechanic yet?

    Seriously this isn’t motorsports, this is just some stupid social media experiment.

  5. gDog said on 23rd April 2014, 15:15

    E.dams. Really? How long did they think about that?

  6. Darren B (@downwithdrs) said on 23rd April 2014, 15:18

    I am delighted that TV coverage is via ITV 4, rather than Sky! That will set it apart from F1 immediately ….

  7. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:19

    If they go forward with the idea of voting to give a driver a boost, I will have no interest in the sport at all. I want a good series with great racing and sporting integrity. If this ends up as X Factor on wheels, I’m out.

  8. PeterG said on 23rd April 2014, 17:38

    Im just not all that excited about this series, Not because of the fact the cars are electric or because of the sound.

    I just don’t like the car swaps, The Fan Boost idea, Some of the other more gimmicky rules or the fact there as far as Im aware only racing on street circuits.

    There are so many other spec series around which race on proper circuits, Don’t require car swapping or pit stops every 20mins, Which don’t load themselfs up with gimmicks & which provide the sort of racing I enjoy watching (Pure, hard fought racing) & I’d just rather watch those.

  9. maxthecat said on 23rd April 2014, 22:50

    Electric isn’t the future unless it’s self reliant. I would guess a 30min race would be about the maximum anyway. I’d watch it and see but i’m guessing i wouldn’t be getting up to watch.

  10. chris jonez said on 24th April 2014, 9:52

    Imagine how well Maldonado would do with fanboost lol

  11. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 24th April 2014, 12:49

    The more worrying in that story is the driver line-up … Hope this will not become the fallback for poor drivers.

  12. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 24th April 2014, 14:46

    PLEEEEAAASEEEEE, don’t change the rim size for F1 cars ! These photos with the FE car are proof enough I don’t want to see F1 cars with that kind of wheels.

  13. Rally Man (@rally-man) said on 24th April 2014, 23:58

    Ok, before I didn’t understand what fanboost was talking about. I thought an actual mechanical FAN would be give some sort of help.

    But what it saying is the spectators will be able to vote on what driver will get some extra energy to help them out?

    WHAT A RIDICULOUS & GIMMICKY IDEA!

    The person who thought about the idea should be fired and never to be heard from in the world of motorsports.

    I was willing to give this series a shot, but not any more.

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