Can Formula E Become the Leading Sport in Motor Racing?
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular as the effects of climate change are being brought to global attention. Fossil-fuel vehicles are beginning to be phased out by car manufacturers in favour of electric motors as sales have surpassed those of diesel and hybrids.
In the United Kingdom, there are now more places to charge your car up than petrol stations. Petrol cars remain the leader in vehicles sold across the globe, but there are projections that even they will be surpassed by their electric counterparts within 20 years. It seems a long time, but it will be on us all sooner than we think.
It will spread to all forms of life, including the sporting world. Formula One is the leading sport in motor racing in the world and has been for the past 70 years. It will remain so for the near future as long as the modern-day greats keep it entertaining and at the forefront.
However, as “woke” culture is on the rise, it remains to be seen whether a sport that glorifies the use of petrol and speed can be considered the peak of motor racing. As long as Lewis Hamilton is the leading contender in the F1 betting odds, the sport still has a star that commands viewing figures and attention. However, as the world trends towards electric cars, followers of motor racing may follow suit with the alternative already present in Formula E.
Formula E began in 2014 and has been growing on the world scene. There are a number of leading car manufacturers that have teams in the sport, and that number grew for the latest campaign when Mercedes-Benz entered the fray. There are no major names in the sport, and the majority of the drivers that are competing are ones that were considered not enough for Formula One. However, as it continues to become more prominent and money flows towards drivers, it may only take one leading star to move to cause a seismic shift in the balance of power.
The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has now recognised the sport by granting it world championship status. It provides an extra layer of gravitas to the standard of the competition. Social media is helping the sport’s audience grow, but it will need a major television audience or streaming service deliver it to a broad spectrum and not just for people under the age of 35.
One particular area that could be significant is the Chinese market. Teams from China have won three of the five championships, and that may attract a major audience if they are able to capture the imagination of the public. Formula E has made a serious effort to try to lure the Asian market as a whole by signing K-Pop group BTS as ambassadors of the sport. South Korea will host its first Formula E Grand Prix in 2020, and BTS will no doubt play a huge role in providing entertainment and more importantly advertising the event. It’s a promising step, and Formula One may just have to look over its shoulder to ensure that it is not surpassed.