In a world bursting with sports events vying to attract global audiences and lucrative sponsorship deals, the innovative Formula E car racing series is only halfway through its second season and is already making its mark.
Founded by the Spanish fund manager Alejandro Agag, the all-electric racing championship is the perfect sporting answer to growing public concern for the environment and the harmful effects of cars propelled by internal combustion engines.
The electric series is contested by nine teams from Europe, the United States and Asia, with two drivers each. The 10 races, called ePrix, are staged on street circuits running through the hearts of cities on four continents, in keeping with the philosophy of bringing car racing closer to the public. And in an attempt to further engage fans, Formula E has introduced the “FanBoost,” in which fans vote for their favorite drivers to receive a speed boost during the race.
The races have been run in cities including Beijing, Buenos Aires, London and Mexico City, and this weekend, for the seventh race of its 2015-16 season, the series comes for the first time to Paris. After the inaugural Paris ePrix on Saturday, the series will travel to Moscow, Berlin and then to London for the season finale in July.
Paris not only has a glamorous setting, it is also one of the most important bases of the international racing series. The French car manufacturer Renault has a Formula E team, e.dams, and provides technology to the series. Another French company, Spark Racing Technology, builds the chassis for all the cars in the series. There are several French drivers in the championship. And the series is overseen by the International Automobile Federation, or F.I.A., the governing body of world motor sports, which is based in Paris and is led by a Frenchman, Jean Todt.
Todt has long sought to promote and develop environmental-friendly technology on the world’s highways. Formula E is a step in that direction, he...