So, did you see the race? No, not Canada – although well done Lewis – the other one.
You know, the tense double-header in Berlin? Statistically, you probably didn’t – despite Formula E being one of few motorsport events shown live on free-to-air television in the UK – but it’s fair to say that the electric racing series is working hard on achieving its breakthrough.
Progress has been dramatic. I went to the inaugural London ePrix two years ago and was distinctly underwhelmed. The race was held on a narrow, bumpy course in Battersea Park, between tall concrete barriers that made it seem like it was taking place in a maximum security prison. Spectators could barely see what was going on beyond occasional glimpses of the gawky-looking cars and the atmosphere was as flat as a decade-old battery.
But things have changed. This year, I’ve been to two races of the 12-round championship – Monaco and Berlin – and progress has been dramatic. The on-track action remains similar, the racing is close but the cars still look visibly slow, the modest thrills coming from the proximity of the barriers and occasional optimistic passing moves rather than any sense velocity or risk. And it’s still possible to conduct a conversation next to the track without raising your voice over the sound of whining motors.