German car giants announced they were quitting DTM series and entering the up-and-coming Formula E
IF you were not checking the Internet at 7:30pm on Monday evening, you might have missed some big news for Formula One.
Mercedes announced that they were quitting the German Touring Car series, DTM, and will race in Formula E instead.
“What has that got to do with Formula One?” I hear you ask. Well, the curious timing of the announcement aside, it could lead the way to substantially improving the sport.
Formula One has always been seen as the most technologically advanced motorsport and the trickle down of that technology has improved our road cars, from the complicated hybrid engines to the basic seatbelt.
It had always balanced that development with the entertainment factor, and let’s be honest, the danger too.
But in recent years, F1 has if anything, become too complicated. It’s been designed and run by engineers and in doing so, it has alienated the fans.
It was a move mainly driven mainly by the big-spending manufacturers. It hid behind the notion that F1 cars were the most innovative in the world — however, they aren’t any more.
The slow withdrawal of petrol and diesel cars has started and the shift towards electric cars has now been going on for some time.
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Which brings me to the point, whether people like it or not, Formula E is the future; especially when it comes to technology that will be used in road cars.
Battery life is key and why the likes of Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Renault and DS are already there. So too are companies such as Panasonic, so they can improve their battery performance.
This is good news for the road cars, but it is also good for F1 because with more manufactures going into Formula E, it could allow F1 to re-position itself as an entertaining sport again.
It means we can ditch the eco-friendly 1.6litre hybrids and bolt in the ear-splitting V10s…why not got the whole hog and switch to V12s?
The engineers can fettle away with their battery packs and energy recovery systems and come up with as many buzz words as they like.
And in exchange, we can turn F1 back into the spectacle we all love. The simple-to-understand and brilliant to watch notion of a man driving his racing car as fast as he can.