Despite the fact that Bernie Ecclestone is no longer at the helm of Formula One, the man still makes headlines with his often-sensational takes about racing. This time, he’s back with one hell of a claim: F1 is the motorsport series of past. Formula E is the future.
Yes. Bernie Ecclestone, the man who was “horrified” by F1's quiet engines, has sided with the near-silent power units of the Formula E cars. FE, he argues in a Reuters interview, is going to be the way forward in the future:
It’s a different form of entertainment but Formula E will begin to get much, much bigger and better, which is slowly what they are doing anyway.
And Formula One will suffer because of that.
There’s more chance there of big, big expansion [in Formula E] and more chances commercially than there is of changing things in Formula One.
It’s an interesting take for the man to have, given his storied history in Formula 1 that starts all the way back at the very first F1 race in 1950. He ran the series for decades, only stepping back in 2017 after Liberty Media bought F1. For him to admit that there isn’t much growth potential in the sport anymore is pretty damn important—Ecclestone is likely one of the most qualified person to consider potential growth of a racing series.
At the same time, it can be good to take Ecclestone’s words with a grain of salt. His entire personality is, shall we say, very sensational. This is the same guy who said Ayrton Senna’s death was good for F1 and who compared women to kitchen appliances. But even an asshole clock is right twice a day.
Still, I have to agree with Ecclestone on this specific argument. From an objective standpoint, there’s a ton that Formula E, as a younger series, can do when considered in comparison to F1. Electric car technology is growing more advanced by the day when compared to ICE tech, which creates more opportunities for FE to flourish. And, without the kind of history and tradition that weighs F1 down, Formula E actually has a chance to think outside the box when it comes to creating an entertaining product.
Agreeing with Bernie Ecclestone about the positives of electric racing. 2019 is one hell of a year.