HomeFORMULA 1

What is so special about the Extreme-e to seduce so much?

The interest of big names in Formula 1 for a championship is surprising. It is at its antipodes. Is it a political move for the gallery


The interest of big names in Formula 1 for a championship is surprising. It is at its antipodes. Is it a political move for the gallery or is there a genuine sporting interest behind it? The announcement of the arrival of McLaren from 2022 to a championship where Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and the Sainz confirm their media potential. Two of the largest American sports organizations, Andretti Racing and Chip Ganassi have also signed up from the first minute. Why?

Like it or not, Xtreme-e, it is undeniable that the new format proposed by Alexander Agag has once again hit the key necessary to attract illustrious names to its competition. Here, due to the particular characteristics of the competition, the participation of the big car manufacturers is not possible at the moment, but do not doubt that one way or another they will arrive. Unlike the Formula-e, that in its short history has been able to boast of having more participating brands than its own Formula 1, the extreme-e It has a specific competition vehicle that, from the outset, is not susceptible to being adopted by a brand. But, as we said, time to time.

How is it possible that without builders and without an audience, traditionally the two powerful engines of financing, the championship can achieve sporting and business success? The challenge is undoubtedly great, but addressing the issues of gender equality and environmental sustainability in such a novel way it touches on two powerful keys to the global political agenda. Let no one doubt that the Xtreme-e is going to be a very present championship in those boards of directors that are thinking of promoting their companies through motorsports.

Perhaps part of the secret is that, unlike its predecessor, the Formula e, this is not an ‘electrified version’ of well-known competition formats. The Extreme-E has some rallycross, Camel Trophy, some Dakar, mixed doubles of tennis, etc. but it is a singular format without equivalent in the present or past of motorsport history. Many lifelong fans will not like so much ‘transgression’, considering this event a show and not a sport will be the order of the day, but in the radically new world that we face, or motor racing adapts to the new times or doomed to a slow death.

Renewed or die

The longing for naturally aspirated V10 engines and their intoxicating sound is a recurring debate in Formula 1. But if they had kept these engines as is without first incorporating the KERS, then the hybrid propulsion and the final goal of zero emissions, it would have ended up dying. If you are not relevant to the industry or to the technological challenges, the money stops flowing and ends up as entertainment for the nostalgic whose niche is getting smaller every day.

And yes, there are certain elements in this ‘new world’ that are difficult to accept, not as a racing fan but from strict sports justice. See the case of the ‘bonuses’ of benefits in the cars based on the votes of the fans. It is quite pathetic to see big stars of the competition begging for votes on social networks to obtain those small advantages at the competitive level. It is like Roger Federer I could have faster balls than Rafael Nadal when it was his turn to serve. A sports nonsense typical of ‘marketing creatives’ that will probably die when the following on those same social networks does not require those shortcuts to fatten the number of followers.

This brings us to another of the great novelties of this championship: being the ‘digital’ pioneer in the history of motorsports. The format of the competition and its realization is designed to adapt to the needs of YouTube, tiktok or Instagram instead of television, radio or paper magazines. The reason is very simple: Advertisers are turning unstoppably towards digital and here Alexander Agag he is very clear that whoever hits first hits twice.

After the initial excitement when it began its journey seven years ago, Formula -e has clearly run out of steam. Once the novelty had passed, neither its technological contribution has been relevant nor has the competition offered a show that can rival even remotely with that of the Formula 1. But the Extreme-e has the advantage of not being able to compare with anything, not even to enter the debate ‘batteries versus gasoline’ present in the public opinion. Even being electrically powered, the technology incorporates hydrogen as a great novelty and therefore, the possible contributions to sustainability will be more consistent.

The competition in its first year has attracted the interest of important companies such as Acciona and big names such as Carlos Sainz or Laia Sanz

Spain finally protagonist

We have as pilots Carlos Sainz, Cristina Gutiérrez, Laia Sanz and Christine Giampaoli. Powerful companies in our country such as Acciona or Banco Santander. We have teams, mechanics, engineers and even a Spanish promoter leading the championship. In a sport in which our country has always played a secondary role, we should be proud that we finally have a relevant role. Are there things to improve? Undoubtedly. Is the future after your first year promising? Absolutely. The car and the competition format itself have improved significantly during the year. He still has a lot of room for improvement, and with the victory of Cristina Gutierrez in the last round of the championship there are already Spanish triumphs. No matter how reserved this competition is as a ‘purist’ racing fan, it has offered unprecedented elements in the competition. In addition to a framework of environmental and equality values ​​that are an inherent part of the format, as well as the competition.

As the saying goes, ‘something will have the water to bless it’ and capturing the attention of big names in Formula 1 has great merit. Yes Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg or McLaren have opted for this championship and they have been able to attract top-level pilots and sponsors, it is a clear sign that they detect that here there is a very powerful communication tool for their objectives.