22 May 2014
Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO - Q&A
Crash.net sits down with FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag to discuss his excitement and challenges of creating the new all-electric series...
Crash.net sits down with FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag to discuss his excitement and challenges of creating the new all-electric series from little more than a spark of an idea…
Alejandro, take us back to the very beginning and the first discussions you had when Formula E was initially pitched. What made you want to join this ambitious project?
We had some discussions very early on with the FIA. This is really the concept of the FIA because they wanted to create a championship that was sustainable, so I immediately jumped on this idea because I think it is a great idea. To put together this championship makes a lot of sense. It might be a bit hard at the beginning, because some look at you weirdly, but in a very short space of time this will become mainstream and it seemed like a great opportunity to jump in early and put it together.
With the concept becoming reality with the opening of the new headquarters and the first cars being delivered, how proud are you to see everything coming together?
It's great to see it become a reality! It was a big challenge with the cars, because there were no cars! There wasn't an existing championship that had any cars we could use, so the biggest challenge has been to make the cars. We have had great partners for that – McLaren, Williams, Dallara, Renault... -, they have done a great job. The facilities [at Donington] are amazing too, so we just need to go racing!
The calendar has some iconic venues on there, such as London, Monte Carlo and Miami… How much of a challenge has it to bring everything together with the venues?
It is a big challenge, but this is what makes it exciting for us. The infrastructure to create street circuits is a challenge, but everything is on schedule. Beijing will be ready and then after that it's another nine cities. They aren't all street circuits – Germany is racing at an airport for instance – but the streets are the most important ones. The race day infrastructure is also challenging because we need to have a charging infrastructure at every race to charge the cars, but everything is being worked on, so it'll be fine.
You have ex-F1 drivers, well-known industry figures and high-profile team backers already signed up – with more to come. Were you expecting such calibre when you began plans for the series?
I am extremely happy. I am not going to say we were expecting it, but we were hoping for it, and we have these great teams on board, which is great news. We have great drivers too. I think that is an important art of the show, because the key is to have a real race and that's what we will provide for the fans
Beyond the all-electric factor, Formula E will be showcasing a number of new concepts designed to attract the fans, such as the one-day race format, interactivity and entertainment. How confident are you it will attract the fans?
The whole concept is different. The racing is different. The race takes place in one day because we didn't want to disrupt the cities for more than one day, but also the race itself – changing cars, electronic music around race -, there will be many different aspects to make it different.
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