| Leonardo DiCaprio |
Formula E, the new environmentally-friendly racing alternative to Formula One based in the UK, has received another boost with £41 million of funding. The all-electric series, which will reveal its 40 new cars at Donnington Park, begins around the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Park in Beijing in September.
While organisers have claimed they are not treading on F1’s toes, they are at pains to emphasise the relevance of the technology, while F1 continues to bicker about whether to continue its “green” venture.
Californian technology company Qualcomm and Amura Capital, an Andorran private equity firm, are the main new backers.
The formula will race around 10 street circuits across the world for the 2014-15 season, with one in London.
One team is backed by the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, while Richard Branson has his own team after an unsuccessful foray into Formula One.
Alejandro Agag, the sport’s CEO, said: “What started out as an idea, is now becoming a reality. With the first cars delivered to the teams in just over a week, and works beginning around the Olympic Park in Beijing, Formula E is moving closer to its goal to show fans around the world the true potential of electric cars.”
Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld and other F1 old hands are among the crop of drivers.
Until the first test in July — which clashes with the British Grand Prix — and the opening event in Beijing, the cars themselves are something of an unknown quantity.
However, some in F1 are privately frustrated that Formula E has been allowed to occupy a space in the motorsport market, appealing to younger, more environmentally-conscious fans, as Formula One’s green revolution has been consistently shouted down.
Mercedes even renamed their car the W05 Hybrid last week to emphasise the shift in technology.
The Daily Telegraph