Formula 1 has no choice but to become fully electric at some point, believes Alejandro Agag – and wants to develop in a “parallel” and “very coordinated way” with his Formula E series.
Formula E has exclusivity in the championship of fully EV and hydrogen single-seater until 2039, which means that some official cooperation between it and F1 will have to be formalized if F1 relies on electric drives.
Many believe the latter is inevitable as most governments and OEMs introduce special laws to stop the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines over the next decade.
This is a purulent existential issue that surrounds the sport like a starving predator, and is currently being chewed by the FIA, F1 Liberty Media owners and F1 and Formula E manufacturers.
But perhaps the most interesting conversations are taking place between the two most progressive and smartest operators in motorsport – Agaga and F1 boss Stefano Domenicali.
The two get along and meet semi-regularly, sometimes at the F1 Grand Prix, and sometimes socially. It is known that they ‘blue-skied’ the future, but it will not be easy to reach it effectively.
In Agag’s opinion, F1 has no “other option” than to go on electricity, but this opinion is largely his personal. Not everyone is convinced, including many in Liberty and the FIA.
It is believed that in the end the performance of ‘active’ electric cars with full ‘bells’ such as torque vectoring capabilities will far surpass ICE-powered cars, meaning the zenith of motorsport (F1) will have to follow suit quickly.
“Unless someone says‘ no, we’d rather go slower and continue with petrol ’than be fair enough,” Agag said somewhat rudely at an event hosted last month by longtime Formula E partner Julius Baer in Monaco.
“But we are not there yet. How will this happen? I do not know.
“Because in Formula E we have an exclusive license for the championship. We will have an exclusive hydrogen license, it is also in our license.
“So, at the moment, Formula 1 is approaching it to cover the science of biofuels, synthetic fuels, it’s kind of the future, which is another one of these technologies that could come into the mix.
“By developing battery technology in electric cars, one day we will go faster. Today we could go faster; the only thing is that we would not have energy in the battery. But as far as propulsion is concerned, we could put four engines, one on each wheel, and go faster than Formula 1 in 10 minutes.
“But this will come; the amount of energy the battery can store will arrive, the battery will be lighter. The progress we have had in Formula E through Gen1, Gen2, Gen3 – that is astonishing. This is how I see it. “
Agag has hired many industry leaders, executive big players and giant manufacturers to the best policy of future harmonization of a description.
He and several decision-makers were in a special session in Monaco just a day after these latest comments.
That session, about which The Race received some details last week, did not touch on any future structural changes in the F1 / Formula E landscape. In the short and medium term, there is unanimity that Formula E must move forward in a period of growth after a major pandemic standstill.
“The specific way that could happen … I’ll say I don’t know,” admitted F1 and Formula E Agag.
“I am currently working on it without much success, but it is one of my real goals, to find a way for Formula 1 and Formula E to coexist in a very coordinated way. So let’s see if we can accomplish that.
“Formula 1 has a history that is the history of motorsport. Moments of glory, moments — and that is, it is impossible to ‘get’; create a new championship, you can’t just go back seventy or eighty years. History is very important. ”
Part of that history is Nico Rosberg, who also spoke at the Julius Baer ceremony and expressed his view that synthetic e-fuels are a step in the right direction, but perhaps insufficient for society and, most importantly, state legislation.
“It simply came to our notice then [F1] they go with synthetic fuels, which will not be the best solution for mobility as such, ”said 2016 F1 champion Rosberg.
“But synthetic fuels are very relevant to other mobility sectors, whether it’s airplanes or container ships or trucks or anything else.
“So, Formula 1 is going that route and will play a key role in the development of these e-fuels.
“Let’s hope, as a result, that it will benefit all these other sectors of mobility.” But is that enough to make F1 relevant to e-fuels as the only mobility thing that uses e-fuels? Well, that’s a bit of a long-term questionnaire. He may have to go for electricity, says Alejandro. ”
The current coexistence of Formula E and F1 on the one hand seems feasible, but maybe it’s just because the recent boom in F1 through marketing advances through Liberty Media has blurred the cocktail a bit.
Formula E depends heavily on keeping electric cars cool, and it has probably not done well in the last few years.
He had chances, like Leonardo DiCaprio’s entry from the start to a small extent. But why wasn’t it capitalized to the point where he could have become a spokesman for the direct advocate brand?
Rosberg, who is no different from DiCaprio in that it has embraced sustainability and clean mobility in recent years, believes that coexistence with inherent healthy differences can continue.
“Formula E, I see an opportunity for coexistence because there are a lot of big differences – I think Formula E is racing in city centers,” he said.
“It’s just that it’s such a powerful attraction because F1 doesn’t have the privilege of racing in central London, in central Paris, in central Hong Kong, and that’s amazing.
“This is very unique to Formula E. As a result, there is easy access to all the people who are in the city. So I think over time it will continue to grow and have that natural coexistence [with F1]. ”