Formula E or How to make drivers laugh

With the summer break over and the Formula One circus back on track it seems like Hungarian GP was ages ago. Some have enjoyed themselves around Russia going to «the sort of cities that most of us have never heard of», some have had some trubles fitting into their girlfriends’ wetsuits… but certainly most of them did not use the break to check on the lastest news on motorsport.

Formula E?? Electric championship??  You should have seen their faces when they hear me asking about it but… and there is always a ‘but’… someone did know about it… Who that might be? Of course, Pedro de la Rosa. The thing is, the question made them talk, almost to the point that at the end it seems the drivers have forgotten we, journalists, were there.

So here it goes… but first, a link to Autosport news about Formula E –  just in case you enjoy the summer break as much as drivers did.

— BelgianF1 GP 2012 / FIA Press Conference/ Thurday 30 August —

Patricia Sánchez: We’ve been hearing about F1 with electric cars. What would you think about that sort of competition, and how would you like to drive a noiseless car?

Michael Schumacher: Looks like none of us has heard anything about that.  We have partially electric cars already. We have KERS! (laughing)

Q: My question is basically about having a Formula One race with no noise. Would that be the same feeling for you? …If it happens.

Jenson Button: If. I’m sure we could try and make some sort of noise that we like. It would save our hearing because this things are pretty loud. We wouldn’t need earplugs which is quite a good thing. I don’t know.  I don’t know what the possibility is of having a completely electrical car, how many manufacturers would be involved…

Pedro de la Rosa: I must say I’ve heard about it, it’s Formula E, and it’s obviously a new era, and we should be open-minded to the fact that we’re used to racing with noise. But I remember a few years ago, going to indoor karting in Finland and racing with electrical cars for the first time which was an incredible experience because you were racing, you were breaking for turn one, or accelerating on the straight and then you had a kart next to you and you didn’t hear it, which was shocking, because we are basically from the noise era, but we should be open-minded. Let’s wait and see how it develops because it could be extremely interesting…

Jenson Button: Can you hear a Formula One car coming?

Pedro de la Rosa: Absolutely, yeah. You can feel…(with a huge smile on his face) yeah, especially when I’m shown blue flags… I can hear you guys!!

Jenson Button: You get out of the way straightaway. I’ve seen you Pedro!! (laughing out loud)

(All drivers laugh)

Pedro de la Rosa: I mean karting, karting, karting… indoor karting.  I don’t know how it will feel with single-seaters but for sure you can still hear something. Maybe when you get very old you won’t but…

Jenson Button: You tell me, Pedro!

(More laughs)

Pedro de la Rosa: Anyway, my botton line is it’s a new era, it’s an interesting avenue we should be open-minded and lets wait and see how it looks like, because we’ve never seen fully electrical single-seater and I’m really looking forward to that.

Jean-Eric Vergne: I have no idea. Maybe it will come. To be honest, I haven’t heard about it, so I don’t know how it is, I don’t know how it’s going to be. I did a kart race last year in Bercy with electric karts. It was quite a fun race. We could hear other noise as well. The funny thing is that we could hear the whole crowd around the stadium. But I have no idea how it would be in F1 or single-seaters.

Michael Schumacher: That’s actually a good point. It would be the first time that we could hear the crowd and not the crowd us.

Jenson Button: I think you’ve got to ask the fans more than us. It would be a big difference for the fans. I know there are the obvious reasons for doing it which are very important, but for the fans, they would miss something, with the buzz of the sound of an F1 car, because that’s the first thing you notice when you come and watch an F1 car, it’s the sound.

— Ends —

So…lets ask the fans… How would you feel with a noiseless competition? What do you think about Formula E? Is it the future, the next step in racing championships?