Formula E joins Formula One as a major world championship event

3 Dec 2019

Image: Formula E

Formula E, the electric car racing tournament, will now join the elite racing calendar after being granted world championship status by the FIA.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) – the organisation responsible for major racing events including Formula One and the World Rally Championship – has given Formula E the green light for world championship status.

Formula E was first proposed in 2011 as a competition to race electric vehicles (EVs) in a similar fashion to Formula One as a means of promoting the electrification of the motor industry. Since its inaugural season in 2014, its finances have grown with the organisation behind it posting record revenues of €200m in September, up 50pc on the previous season.

Under the new deal signed by FIA president Jean Todt and Formula E founder Alejandro Agag, Formula E will be considered a world championship event from the start of the 2020/2021 season. As a result, its most prestigious tournament will be called the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship from next season.

“It was always our ambition to one day become an FIA world championship. Everything we have done and delivered to this point has been working towards this particular moment in time,” Agag said.

“Achieving the feat and being granted with FIA world championship status adds more credibility to what is already a fully fledged formula of racing and a spectacular sporting product. But it is only the beginning of a new chapter under the banner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.”

Meanwhile, Todt said that Formula E has gone from “strength to strength”.

“Within a short timeframe, the series has proven itself relevant for the automotive industry with two more major car manufacturers having joined the championship at the start of the current season, bringing the total number to 10,” he said.

Last year, Formula E made headlines with the launch of its latest hyper car – the Spark SRT05e – which made significant improvements on the previous race car. With its 250kW battery, the car can reach top speeds of 280kph.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic