JULY 1, 2015
Formula E too slow to be F1 rival
Two motor racing figures have dismissed a controversial claim that Formula E is set to take F1's place as the pinnacle of the sport.
Virgin's Sir Richard Branson, once with a F1 team but now in the all-electric single seater series, claimed at the London finale last weekend that Formula E would "take over from F1" within five years.
But Christian Horner, although a critic of F1's current Zeitgeist, said after watching the London race that Formula E is too "slow" to be considered in the same league as F1.
"It looks more of a competitor to GP3 than formula one," said the Red Bull chief.
Horner added: "You can see it's full of all the people that didn't quite make it in F1."
Even Adrian Campos, manager of the team that propelled Nelson Piquet jr to the inaugural Formula E title, agrees: "Perhaps it (the series) will never be an alternative to formula one in the short or medium term.
"It will have its own personality and idiosyncrasies," he told Spain's El Confidencial. "It also has drivers and teams of the highest quality."
But when asked about Branson's controversial claim, Campos responded: "Man, that seems a bit daring.
"Five years is still a long time (in the future). It is true that the evolution will be considerable, but it depends on what the FIA decides can be spent.
"For example, in the first season we complained that the cars are a bit too slow, so they would have been much faster if they had spent three or four times more.
"But as we want the electric car to be sustainable, the category needs to be as well," Campos added.
Finally, Campos defended the first Formula E champion Piquet, even though the Brazilian is best remembered by F1 as the 'crashgate' protagonist.
"I must say that the picture of Nelsinho I had before I talked to him for the first time was very different," he said.
"I met a guy with a great level and experience whose career was broken. I decided I had to fight for him so that the team had the best driver possible."