The fully electric Formula E series was officially launched last night in London with guests such as Alain Prost, Emerson Fittipaldi, Damon Hill and Sir Frank Williams all present.
Hosted by David Garrido, over 500 guests attended the event that oozed confidence in the new, pioneering series.
The night took the form of a series of announcements with FIA President Jean Todt, a huge advocate of the series, greeting the guests over video and starting the evening.
While continuing to look to the future, the series showed off its immense progress since the idea formed back in 2011, with the fully customised livery of the cars racing down Westminister Bridge as names such as Karun Chandhok and Sam Bird looked on in a video for the guests.
The iconic backdrop of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben were to play a larger part in the evening, as the UK government made clear their support for the series.
Sir Edward Lister, the Deputy Mayor of London, revealed alongside the Formula E CEO, Alejandro Agag, that Battersea Park would become a venue for the tenth, and final, ePrix of the season.
“London is set to provide an awesome addition to the capital’s sporting calendar,” said the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. “Hosting the championship final of this all electric race is a fantastic feather in our city’s sporting cap. It shows that there is great confidence in London’s ability to stage the biggest and the best global sporting events, which play such an important role in boosting our economy and our international reputation.”
British pride increased, as Sir Lister mentioned Formula E’s choice to base itself in the UK at Donington Park, the site of next week’s testing.
With testing looming and just over half of the first ever Formula E grid announced, the number of drivers increased by three.
First the e.dams team, founded by Jean-Paul Driot and Alain Prost, announced that Renault would become the team’s title sponsor, thus renaming the team as e.dams-Renault. After, the team announced that Nico Prost and Sébastien Buemi would drive for the team.
“Driot and I are delighted to be associated with Renault in this new adventure,” said the four time world champion, Prost.“The choice of Renault as a major partner was a natural step because of the exceptional record it has carved out in motorsport, as well as its unique expertise in the field of electric vehicles.”
Another driver was to be announced as the newest team, Trulli GP, announced that Michela Cerutti would partner owner and driver, Jarno Trulli. Cerutti becomes the second female driver in the series after Amlin Aguri‘s Katherine Legge.
“Michela is a very talented driver with a natural skill,” said Trulli. “I’m convinced that Michela is an up and coming star, the one to watch for this season and the future.”
While motorsport luminaries filled the room, so did an automotive giant as Formula E announced that the series was close to finalising a deal with BMW.
The deal will see the brand become the official vehicle supplier of the series. The partnership also sees BMW’s electric cars become the course, medical and VIP cars for the Championship.
The evening had a feel of complete confidence that this new series will be a success, and while announcing the present, constantly looked to the future.
Whether this confidence is well placed will become apparent soon as the series is less than three months away from the Beijing opener.