Hamilton reveals $100m all-electric F1 team plans

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. By Michael Voss BBC Sport at Silverstone Lewis Hamilton has announced he will enter his own all-electric racing team with a $100m (£65m) budget for…

Hamilton reveals $100m all-electric F1 team plans

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. By Michael Voss

BBC Sport at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton has announced he will enter his own all-electric racing team with a $100m (£65m) budget for Formula 1, but will not be involved in qualifying sessions. The Red Bull driver will play a leading role in the first season of Formula E, with former Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn its president. It will be held in various cities from 2018, with the season winner winning a $5m (£3.1m) bonus. “This is a moment of dream fulfilment,” said Hamilton. “I want to be in the biggest, best, and most electrifying cars possible. “Every day I’m planning, drawing up technical plans and making investments to make sure that comes to fruition.” Fifty teams will contest the inaugural season of Formula E, with Hamilton’s outfit being based in Zurich. They will compete against other newcomers such as Formula E’s biggest financial backer, Virgin Racing, plus series regulars Williams and the Russian-backed LMP1 car team called Polestar Motorsports. At Silverstone, Silverstone Race Services owner Mohamed Al-Gergawi said he was impressed by the draft details of the team and would help with marketing. “We have been working with [Hamilton] for some time and we are convinced that, with Lewis at the helm, Formula E will be an even bigger success,” he said. “For us, it is about the future of the sport and the world of technology, not just about motorsport.” What we need now is a credible distribution network for our cars, for our content and technology

Lewis Hamilton “We are committed to helping the start-up of this exciting new series, offering vehicles, marketing and promotional support.” Whitmarsh agreed that the series could be exciting “if we have a platform which will enable us to reach as many people as possible”, but made it clear that he believed Formula 1 would remain at the heart of the future development of Formula E. “When you look at all the technologies, it’s really exciting, there’s a huge amount to get out of it,” said the McLaren boss. “It’s one of those things which is going to be coming down the track, certainly in the auto industry, which is going to place a lot of pressure on Formula 1. “So you’re going to have more people doing all kinds of things in the Formula 1 sector in the future. “In my mind, Formula E is the future of the auto industry and sport in general – it’s not for me to speculate. But I can guarantee that it will come down to Formula 1.” Whitmarsh agreed that the “must-have” features which make Formula 1 such a success would be applied to Formula E. “What we need now is a credible distribution network for our cars, for our content and technology, to be competitive with other similar series that already exist. We have a fantastic fan base

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh “The big question is, do we really need another car and another series? We have a fantastic fan base and track record in terms of raising revenue. What the data tells us is we have a great fan base. “The one test we really haven’t had is the amount of budgets that people can provide, and at the moment it’s very difficult to satisfy everybody’s desire. “Ferrari and Mercedes are all-electric. McLaren are a racing team that hasn’t found the right technology yet. “On the other hand, we’re a sports team that is a century old. We’ve got to adapt and find a different path, rather than go blindly down the roads that are already established.” It is understood that the Hamilton name is not widely recognised outside Britain and Ireland, and Hamilton is unlikely to generate the same levels of interest and profile in the series as Ferrari and Mercedes. The series is unlikely to be good for anyone who would otherwise be in Formula 1 – in fact, much of the advanced technology developed will be hosted or used by those teams which take part in the new series. Motor Racing News and The Grand Prix Club put the independent budget of Formula E at about $100m, which places it within the F1 budget guideline of about $500m (approx £350m).

Bookmark with: Delicious

Digg

reddit

Facebook

StumbleUpon What are these? E-mail this to a friend Printable version

Leave a Comment