Formula E is all set India By storm as Hyderabad will host India’s first ever E Prix in February next year. In the past few years, Formula 1 has already established a loyal fan base in India, which is not as prevalent as cricket or football in the country but has started to target a certain group of audience who love speeding cars.
With many calling it the sport for an elite audience, F1 still has some groundwork to do to connect with more people in India. Amidst all this, Formula E is set to capitalize on the hype as the Hyderabad E-Prix will be the third round of the FIA sanctioned championship. Globalism Tournament with fully electric single seater cars along Hussain Sagar Lake at the top.
It will be India’s first major international racing event since the F1 Indian GP in 2013 which was hosted at the Buddh International Circuit.
The excitement among the fans is so great because watching the racing championships on TV or tablets is nothing compared to watching the high-octane clash live from the stands, and the Hyderabad E Prix has all the potential to open more doors for future racing events in the country.
In an exclusive chat with News18, Formula E co-founder Alberto Luongo talks about the upcoming mega racing event in India and his plans to expand the racing market further in India.
Longo claims that Formula E has an “Indian DNA” that greats like Mahindra and Jaguar have been associated with for a long time.
“We have a huge fan base in India as we speak today. Without having a race, obviously having a race would help tremendously in achieving that. I always like to say we have a little bit of Indian DNA. We have Mahindra as a partner from the start, from day one. We have Now Jaguar, which is owned by Tata and TCS is obviously involved as they are Jaguar’s main partner at the moment. I’ve been talking to both of them and they’re both very excited. They want to buy all available tickets for the track,” Alberto Luongo told News18.
He also shared what to expect from the Hyderabad E Prix and revealed that apart from the racing, there are many things in store for the fans.
“So what I expect, is help us grow the brand formula in India, obviously, but most importantly we have 40,000 to 50,000 people at the event. We’re going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to see a lot of overruns. We’re a family event. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter your gender, just go out there and you’ll have fun, with our activation area for the fans. Obviously the race itself, the music, I mean we’re a full day of action and not just a formula race.”
Mahindra also revealed its car for the mega event in New Delhi a few days ago, where Lungo talked about future cars that will disrupt the racing world in the coming years.
“This is the Gen-2 (on a Mahendra) car. And it’s the old version of what we’re introducing in Mexico on January 14th, called Gen 3. This car is the most advanced piece of the technology today. That no car is built that way, you know? Yes, from a sustainable 320 kilometers per hour point of view, from zero to 100 inches, in less than two seconds. A car without a rear brake, and most importantly, a car capable of producing 40% of the energy that it consumes during the race. While racing, imagine you need the day’s battery in your daytime car that’s actually recharged – automatically 40% of the total energy, which is unique.”
He added, “We hope that this technology can be taken to the market, so each of you, when you buy an electric car, will enjoy it.”
“In fact, our surprise in the last two or three years has been that we’re attracting a younger audience than any other form of motorsport. More importantly, people who aren’t motorsports fans – 60% of our audience has never seen a race, and that’s how impactful it is. Formula E. Coming to India, I think we will help the motorsports world because there will be a lot of people who are not used to watching motorsports, but now we are going to watch those races. And that ultimately will help the whole ecosystem, not just Formula E.”
Lungo further admitted that it took him some time in Formula E to come to India as he shared how a 20-minute talk with KT Rama Rao – Telangana’s IT Minister solved many problems for him.
“Well, it took a while because we didn’t find the right partner locally and the moment we found KT Rama Rao. He made it happen and it was a 20 minute meeting between me and him and the whole situation was resolved. He’s a visionary and he has a vision towards electric mobility, towards green. He sees the formula as part of his whole vision, it was very easy, it was love at first sight as they say, so hopefully we can be here for many years,” concluded Longo.
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