Page 7 - Dallara Magazine

under the patronage of the Asian
giant's Ministry of Sport. The
drivers include Qinghua Ma,
CongFu Cheng, HopIn Tung, and
competes in numerous organised
race events in Beijing, Shanghai,
Chengdu, Zuhai and Ordos.
Evidently satisfied, Alejandro
Agag, the CEO of Formula E
Holdings, who are organising the
event, declared: «
We fully expect
to feature a number of Chinese
drivers in Formula E
The 10
races that FIA expects to organise
in the first season will all be held
on street circuits; currently races
are already planned for Roma
and Barcelona, but obviously,
with the advent of China Racing
it’s highly likely that the
championship will also take in
Beijing or Shanghai.
Zero emissions, but big
Speeds will be limited to around
km/h (but with acceleration
from 0 to 100 in three seconds),
zero emissions and “roar”, and
maximum stints of 25 minutes
between recharging. In fact,
battery life is the Achilles' Heel of
the new technology and this
means that, in order to complete
a full one hour race, it will be
necessary to switch cars.
However, with respect to its
predecessors, Formula E has a
very significant advantage: street
circuits. The low-pollution
engines, and “soft” environmental
impact, could convince large
cities that have decided to invest
in green technologies to host an
event. In fact, important
metropolises such as Mexico City,
Sydney, Cape Town, Moscow, Rio
de Janeiro, Miami, Los Angeles
and Berlin have already expressed
an interest. FIA has awarded the
licence to organise the
championship to Formula E
Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong
consortium whose main investor
is Enrique Banuelos a Spanish
businessman, and whose chief
executive, Alejandro Agag, is a
nephew of the ex-Spanish Prime
Minister Aznar and has already
been involved with Gp2, Gp3 and
F.1 in the past. Another important
figure involved in the project is
Paul Drayson, ex-Minister for
Science and Technology under
Tony Blair, and a keen gentleman
Competitions like this, organised
in big city centres, will definitely
attract large crowds
Jean Todt –
and will offer the
chance to share the values
promoted by FIA, such as clean
energy and sustainability, with an
audience of young fans
Will we soon be seeing Formula E
events taking place on the same
weekends as its big sister, and
maybe even taking her place in
the not-too-distant future; who
knows? It’s difficult to say,
although the future certainly
seems to be moving in that
direction. Cities such a Seoul are
already experimenting with new
concepts based on the concept of
small car lanes featuring an
electrical coil installed under the
road surface, capable of
supplying the vehicles with
electrical energy. And there’s one
more electrifying element that
the Formula E package offers its
prospective customers - the prize
money: 2 million dollars for the
winning team, and 4 million for
the drivers. Gentlemen, connect
your batteries.
Is it possible to envisage a complete
competitive organisation for
electrically powered cars, from the
feeder competitions right through to
an elite championship?
Why not? Battery technology is the
key to success for electric cars. The
world’s leading motor manufacturers
and many of the brightest engineers
are working hard on it, and we will
be seeing some major breakthroughs
over the next few years that will
open up the way for new and
exciting challenges».
Do you think that races fans will be
able to adapt to races that are so......
quiet? After all Le Mans and the
latest Ferrari and McLaren supercars
have already adopted the new hybrid
The debate about noise and Formula
E is still open.
Some feel that noise is an essential
element for the race-going public,
whereas others, and this is the
majority view, believe that we are
beginning to attract fans whose tastes
are different. We could play rock
music during the races, for example,
and the fans would be just as happy.
Some purists even point out that we
will be able to enjoy the screech of
the tyres on the bends; at the moment
traditional, noisy cars drown out the
noise of the gearbox, so the public has
no idea what it sounds like. But this
high pitched sound will soon be very
familiar to every fan. We’ll have a
better idea after the first race».
Could Formula E be the first step
towards a zero-emission production
car for Dallara as well?
Engineer Dallara has been
dreaming of building a production
car for a number of years, and now
his dream is coming true.
Nevertheless, given the current state
of battery technology, it's highly
unlikely that our production model
will be electric or hybrid.
However, as I said, sometimes
engineers perform miracles…».
Stefano Semeraro