Currently reading: Colin Goodwin's car of the decade: Formula E
We asked leading Autocar writers to pick a favourite car of the last 10 years. Goodwin opts for the unexpected
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2 mins read
28 December 2019

During an interview Bernie Ecclestone was asked if he’d seen a Formula E race, ‘No,’ said Bernie, ‘not many people have.’ Good old Bernard.

I’ve been to one: the round in Paris in 2017. The weather was stunning and my ticket, which wasn’t a special one for press, got me into areas that Formula One won’t even let you look at from afar. And the racing, Col? What did you think about that?

Not a lot. Couldn’t see very much because of the high barriers. Didn’t like the noise much, either. Not so much the lack of ICE but the squeal of tyres and whine of electric motors. I gave this new form of motorsport a shot, but, a few weekends later, I went to Dijon to watch a mate racing a Cologne Capri and other people racing equally dramatic machines. Dijon, if you forgive me, recharged my batteries.

But Formula E is the future, no question. I’m also sure that it will one day replace Formula One. Or to put it another way, F1 will become an all-electric series. Why? Because I can’t see motor manufacturers such as Mercedes, Renault and Honda ploughing huge amounts of money into racing cars that have no relevance to their core products.

Of course these companies will be building I/C engines for a while longer, but will they want to spend a fortune promoting when what they really need to do is push the argument for pure EVs forward? Moto GP went from two-stroke engines to four-stroke because the bike manufacturers were no longer developing two-stroke motors and therefore didn’t want to waste money building them for racing.

Formula E was never going to seduce me, it wasn’t intended to. It’s for future generations who are fascinated by software and who grew up gaming; not someone who looks at a gallon of petrol in a can and sees a world of possibilities. Formula E racing cars might be technically uninteresting for an old school racing fan, but they represent the future.

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artill 28 December 2019

I think it is quite

I think it is quite appropriate to bring up horse racing. Almost no one rides horses any more, but many love to watch them race, and i dont see why F1 should be any different. Even if road cars do all give up ICE power, i dont see why the racers should. And further more i would move F1 back to the non hybrid multi cylinder engines.

eseaton 28 December 2019

100% agree, artill.

100% agree, artill.

The pursuit of 'relevance' is vacuous.

No other sport is afflicted with the same futile and spectator repelling goal.

eseaton 28 December 2019

No way Colin. Very flawed

No way Colin. Very flawed logic.

E will never replace 1 as a magnet for viewers, crowds and passionate followers.

Just because Formula 1 has allowed itself to be destroyed from within doesn't mean anyone will be more inclined to watch or attend Formula E.

And who cares if the manufacturers go because they can't see road car relevance? They are the devils who have ruined it. As an owner of an old AMG, I would be thrilled to see the back of Mercedes, and will never forgive them for what they have done to my sport.

I guarantee that if all the current engines were thrown in the bin and replaced by some DFVs and a couple of Ferrari V12s, the crowds would be back to hear them sing. I certainly would.

david RS 28 December 2019

Formula E or car of decadence

Formula E or car of decadence.

 

FRI2 28 December 2019

It is the future. No doubt

It is the future. No doubt about it. FE:Lighter and faster every year. F1: slower and "boring-er" every year

eseaton 28 December 2019

Not for me.

Not for me.

I'd rather watch a horse race. And I say that as someone who passionately loaths horse racing.

FRI2 28 December 2019

It is the future. No doubt

It is the future. No doubt about it. FE:Lighter and faster every year. F1: slower and "boring-er" every year