Ferrari has ‘open invitation’ from Formula E

Date published: May 9 2019

Ferrari have been offered an "open invitation" to join Formula E.

Formula E boss Alejandro Agag has said he would “love Ferrari to come” to the all-electric racing series.

The series has already attracted major manufacturers such as Jaguar, Audi, Nissan and BMW, with Mercedes and Porsche set to join from the 2019-20 season.

The Italian luxury car brand is set to launch its first range of hybrid supercars later in 2019, meaning a spot in Formula E could prove attractive as they look to develop and showcase their electronic technology.

Ferrari are a key feature of the Formula 1 grid, even receiving extra payments to compete, and Agag is desperate to make them a part of the Formula E family too.

“I would love Ferrari to come, especially with Porsche and all the others here, it would be a great fight. You know let’s see. It’s an open invitation,” he told CNBC.

“You will always have the niche of ultra-high powerful cars that will be able to run fast and I think Ferrari definitely is that. Ferrari would never limit the top speed of their cars, but they will have to adapt in the future to whatever the landscape is and of course I think the landscape is electric.”

Former Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has branded Formula E as a strong bet for the future of motorsport, but while the series is more unpredictable and far cheaper than Formula 1, cars are around 25% slower than their petrol-powered rivals.

Nonetheless, Agag says he is “flattered” by Ecclestone’s comments.

“Bernie obviously is a genius. He created Formula One as it is today and he has a great vision of the whole map of motor sport and for him to say something like that I think is a great testimony for Formula E,” he explained to CNBC.

“Obviously I would welcome Bernie as an investor anytime, but we’re not there yet.

“I think in general there can be very rapid growth in front of Formula E, but also simply because we are a lot smaller. So we have a lot more room to grow, because Formula One is bigger.”

Despite the lower costs and record revenues, Formula E posted a $29m loss during its fiscal year ending July 31, 2018. Agag remains happy though with Formula E’s position as he prepares to move from his current role of CEO to chairman.

He has defended Formula E’s often wacky gimmicks, such as “attack mode” where drivers collect an extra 25kW of power for a few extra laps by driving off-line through the activation zone – saying the sport can do these things since they are not weighed down by “heritage”.

“We can adopt crazy ideas that other sports can’t, because they have all this past heritage. We can risk fumbles,” explained Agag.

“That [attack mode] has had a fantastic impact on the championship, on the viewership and on the fans. I think innovation for Formula E, like racing in cities, is part of our DNA.”

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