Paris is an FE springboard
There needs to be greater excitement over, and respect for, what happened in Paris last weekend. Like, loathe or display indifference to Formula E, but it delivered what must be motorsport’s greatest achievement.
At the very least you can make a strong case in its favour. Just think for a moment: on Saturday there was a race on the streets of the French capital…with the Eiffel Tower in the background!
Loic Duval, the Audi LMP1 driver who competes for Dragon Racing in Formula E, hit the nail on the head on Friday when he said traditional motorsport has become progressively “more secretive”. He said this as we stood outside his team’s awning, with a stream of French traffic passing by just feet away – the road that would make up the pitlane on Saturday was still in regular use until Friday afternoon.
That was what Paris was all about – it was proper heart-of-thecapital, taking-it-to-the-people motorsport. And it would not have been possible for anything other than the all-electric championship.
Conversations began with the previous mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, but his term ended in April 2014. The office of his successor, Anne Hidalgo, pushed for the race in the city centre – Formula E’s original pitch had been to have it on the outskirts.
Without such significant political support (FE also needed approval from the district authority and the military body that looks after Les Invalides) this event would not have been possible.
The series is right to view this as a springboard. Hopefully the gravity of the achievement, and the images the event generated, give sceptics of the series and the place EVS have in motorsport something to think about as well.