Formula 1 vs Formula E

The world of motorsport racing is massive and it only seems to be getting bigger. But as time goes on, the way these races are set up has changed. The age of electric cars is slowly taking over aspects of the auto industry, and it seems like its next target is motorsport. With the recent introduction of Formula E, the world of racing has new open doors, and today we are going to compare it to the legendary Formula One racing tour. 


Let’s start with Formula One (from now one being referred to as F1). F1 is legendary, with the best of the best performance teams such as the teams of Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Red Bull, Mclaren, and the likes. It also has created heros in the racing world like Aryton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and Lewis Hamilton. It is watched by millions around the world globally, and brings in billions annually. F1 had its official beginning in 1946, but traces of its existence can be seen as far back as the 1920’s. The first official victory was in 1950 by Alfa Romeo’s team with driver Giuseppe Farina. Since then, massive changes to cars and car technologies have changed the sport. The introduction of mid-engine layouts, new chassis’, aerofoils, new suspension methods, and better tires drastically changed the sport from then to now. The F1 season spans from March to December, and includes races typically every two weeks with the total being 21 races in a year. Famous team names you might recognize are Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Red Bull, Alfa Romeo, Mclaren, and Renault. Former teams include BMW-Sauber, Toyota, Lotus, Maserati, and Jaguar. Since its official debut there have been 69 people named Champion, and the Grand Prixs are watched on 6 of the 7 continents. It has truly become a global phenomenon, and is growing in popularity and profitability. It is the shining star of motorsport. 

Spark Formula E Blue Racecar
Spark SRT05 (flickr)

But there is a newcomer in the industry. Formula E was conceived in 2011 mainly due to the increase in electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions. Fun fact, in the first season drivers had to change cars halfway through the race. But since then, battery technology has improved drastically and with it the performance of the cars. Formula E (we would call it FE, but then it could get confused with iron) had its debut season in 2014, and has named 5 champions of motorsport. Popular teams in Formula might sound familiar to you with teams of BMW, Audi, Nissan, Jaguar, and others. The sport hasn’t made legends like F1 has, but it has been received positively globally. The real interesting part comes in with new rules in Formula E that have yet to be put in motion in F1. The idea of “attack modes” and “fan boosts” have taken off with the “league” as well. 

Formula 1Formula E
Global Views (1pt)490 Million330 Million
Track Attendance (1pt)4.1 Million400,000
Season Length (1pt)9 Months9 months
Time of Existence (1pt)69 Years6 Years
Car Performance (1pt)990 HP, Top Speed 215 MPH335 HP, Top Speed 174 MPH
Race Intensity (1pt)First and Last 5 LapsAttack Mode makes things intense the whole time. 
Big Team Names (.5pt)Ferrari, Mercedes, MclarenBMW, Nissan, Audi
Legends Made (.5pt)Aryton Senna, Lewis HamiltonLucas di Grassi? Nelson Piquet Jr?
*Final Score* (Out of 7)5.251.75

The Verdict

Well… the chart has spoken. Formula 1 still dominates the world of fast car racing, and it truly is dominant. Even with the arrival of electric single-seat racing, it continues to spread its fan base globally. It beats out Formula E in both total Global view and stadium attendance, in fact track attendance at F1 is more than 10x greater than that of Formula E. The crazy cars in Formula 1 also have more power and higher top speeds. F1 also has been around longer: 63 years longer. But that should give some insight to the even more tremendous growth of Formula E racing. In just 6 years it has acquired hoards of fans and millions of dollars in revenue. Maybe it can’t compete with Formula 1 now but if its growth remains constant, the gap could close in no time at all. 

Bottom Line: The classic wins the battle now… but the times are changing.


Published by Notitia

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