F1 fan: Why Formula E is getting me excited
Formula E is just around the corner, and I only know this because I'm a bit of a racing nut. But have you heard of it?
You might think it's happening sometime in the near future, you perhaps might be thinking that in the next three years electric racing will be a reality, right?
And yes, you've heard it's going to be on the telly! You could probably tell me they'll be racing on the streets of London (then second guess yourself because there's no way they'd let that happen, right?) but could you tell me even one of the other locations?
This got me thinking about why, what is undeniably a ground-breaking sport, is already struggling to break through the halo of Formula 1.You could argue that motorsport just doesn't get the coverage it used to - Formula E will be broadcasted on ITV4, which puts it on a par with British Superbikes and Touring Cars.
You may also think that's all well and good, but they are relatively cheap sports raced at your local track, right? Wrong: Formula E is street racing at 10 of the most renowned cities in the world – and isn't even making the big channels.
As patriotic as you're feeling, be honest, Brands Hatch and Thruxton will never come close to Monaco and Miami. So go on, admit it, you're thinking Formula E will fail because it's electric cars, aren't you?
Don't drift off just because I said the 'e' word. I am not a Leaf driver. And despite my slight at Formula 1 earlier I do actually love it. I have a passion for big engines, the smell of petrol and two-stroke. I get hot under the collar just hearing a V8 engine roar (back with me now boys?) and I drive the LEAST economical 1.3-litre car, possibly, ever – a very broken, classic Mini.
However, electric racing gets me really excited. French and Saunders, Two-Old-Men Sketch excited.
If someone offers you a go in a Tesla, don't turn your nose up because it's electric, get in it and put your foot down. Let me introduce you to something called torque. Say you're driving a petrol car, you put your foot to the floor and eventually you're going to want to change gear to go faster. Electric cars are different. The first time I drove a Tesla Roadster the owner told me to put my foot to the floor and in absolute silence I was rocketed down the road with my eyeballs firmly lodged in the back of my head.
Back to Formula E, and the cars they will be racing have this effect but a zillion times faster. There are three other main elements that excite me about electric racing. Firstly, Formula 1 has lost a lot of its glamour and that sexy lifestyle we all dream of.Formula E is bringing that back. It's taking us street racing in exotic places, on circuits no one has ever raced before.
There are some interesting rules too. If you haven't taken a look into the specifics of Formula E, it's worth a gander. My favourite is that drivers won't have pit stops, but instead will have a compulsory CAR change.
So imagine this: Your teammate has accidentally hit the side of your car (can't imagine when THAT would ever happen) and it's badly damaged. In Formula 1 this means your race is over, or at least you're going to struggle to recover. In Formula E, you can come into the pits and swap into a brand new car!
Lastly, the grid is made up of ex-Formula 1 drivers. All those who didn't quite make it against the big names? Well, they're back, so yes, you are probably a fan without even realising! Formula E is so cool even two women wanted to drive in it.
What's my point? If I haven't used the words enough already, electric cars just got sexy. And in a market that's struggling to adopt the new technology I for think that can't happen soon enough.
The season starts on September 13th on the streets of Beijing.
Author: Rebecca Chaplin