Drones and a dark start—these are all ideas from Formula E that enhance the spectacle for the audience. Is this the right direction for motorsport?
In the just-passed weekend, Formula E took place in Saudi Arabia with the second and third rounds of Season 10.
Besides the sporting spectacle, the fully electric category brought a show to Diriyah that surprised many motorsport enthusiasts who, session after session, shook off the winter torpor.
In Saudi Arabia, Formula E staged a dark start, already experimented within the previous season.
In detail, all drivers prepare for the “warm-up lap,” requiring only a few meters in Formula E, on a completely dark track. The only reference points for the drivers and the spectators are the traffic lights, position lights, and the LEDs on the halo, introduced with Gen2.
The lights come on, illuminating the circuit before the lights go out with a gradient that starts from the back of the grid. Following the spectacle of the last E-Prix in London, a light show repeated in Diriyah.
As often happens, motorsport enthusiasts on social media have divided opinions: “artificial spectacle to fill the void of the category” on one side and “an example of how motorsport evolves and looks to the future” on the other.
Formula E is undoubtedly the most innovative FIA category that provides a unique experience for ticket buyers.
Even Formula 1, the premier motorsport category, is often forced to catch up to keep up with the new audience. In recent years, Formula E has tested numerous innovations later implemented in race weekends by Formula 1: the electric Fan Village becoming the Fan Zone in F1, Formula E’s Fan Boost implemented as the Driver of the Day.
Just look at the last Las Vegas Grand Prix; Liberty Media’s goal is clearly to increase the spectacle around the race, drawing on everything that amazes in other categories.
Perhaps the start of the formation lap in the dark will be challenging to apply to Formula 1, but it’s not excluded—a growing spectacle that will leave purists increasingly perplexed.
A spectacular way to kick off the #DiriyahEPrix 🌟 pic.twitter.com/mpQnDSfKDN
— Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) January 26, 2024
Jan 28, 2024
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