Formula E to come to Los Angeles in 2014 (VIDEO)

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One of the more intriguing press events to happen during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend came after the event itself.

Lucas di Grassi, current Audi LMP driver and a former Formula 1 driver for Virgin Racing (now Marussia) and Pirelli test driver, was on hand to premiere the Formula E race car. Formula E is a new, all-electric vehicle championship that will bring racing to the streets beginning in 2014.

Los Angeles was selected as one of 10 worldwide cities for the new championship, and di Grassi, the official test driver, sampled the car around the Staples Center. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa welcomed the effort. Other cities chosen thus far include Miami, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, London, Rome, Beijing and Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Los Angeles has upgraded or installed 121 public electric vehicle charging stations, streamlined the permitting process necessary to upgrade electrical panels in homes and businesses, and issued rebates for in-home electric charger equipment and installation fees as part of their ‘Charge Up LA’ program.

Formula E Holdings’ CEO is Alejandro Agag, a Spanish businessman who has expanded into Formula 1 and GP2 in recent years with the purchase of the Barwa Addax Team from Adrian Campos.

More information about the championship can be found at www.formula-e-news.com.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”