FIA president Jean Todt met with sporting bosses from Formula 1, Formula E and the World Endurance Championship in Monaco last weekend as part of a push for fewer calendar clashes from 2018.
Recently-appointed F1 sporting managing director Ross Brawn met with MotoGP chief Carmelo Ezpeleta two weeks ago to discuss the two series avoiding races on the same weekend from 2018.
A similar meeting was held including Todt, Brawn, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and WEC promoter Gerard Neveu in Monaco in order to create a “better alignment” of their schedules in the future.
“In close collaboration with its promoters, the FIA has in recent years worked hard to build and consolidate a wide variety of championships that provide great entertainment for motorsport fans,” said Todt.
“As such, it is important that everyone involved in our championships works towards ensuring that fans have every opportunity to enjoy our championships to the full.
“Today, in collaboration with our partners, we have begun the process of harmonizing our sporting calendars and I look forward to continuing this effort as we define our championship schedules for next season and beyond.”
Formula E and WEC previously enjoyed a gentleman’s agreement to not race on the same weekend given the number of drivers competing in both series, only for a clash to be sparked for July 16 between the series’ respective races in New York and the Nürburgring.
F1 is also set to race on the July 16 weekend when the British Grand Prix takes place (including Formula 2 and GP3 support events), plus IndyCar’s visit to Toronto takes place in that period also.
Formula E has announced that Qatar Airways has become the official airline partner for the upcoming New York City race and the series itself, as well as taking title sponsorship for the Paris ePrix.
The upcoming Formula E round in New York on July 15-16 has secured Qatar Airways as a title sponsor, as announced by the series on Wednesday.
Formula E will grace the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn this summer as the penultimate round of the all-electric series’ third season, acting as a landmark motorsport event for New York.
The race will see Qatar Airways act as its official airline partner, a position it will also adopt for the Paris round on May 20, which will officially be known as the Qatar Airways Paris ePrix.
“It’s fantastic news that Qatar Airways is joining the electric street racing series as race title partner of Paris and Official Airline Partner for two of the flagship events on the Formula E calendar in Paris and New York,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said.
“This partnership continues to show the growth of the series on a global scale; we are working closely with distinguished companies in a variety of industries and fields all over the world.
“I’m delighted to add Qatar Airways to the growing list of partners joining Formula E, demonstrating arguably the best partnership portfolio of any sporting platform.”
Rome has given the green light to plans for a Formula E race in 2018 following a vote by city officials, who offered unanimous approval.
Rome was first set to stage a Formula E race during its inaugural season (2014/15), with the event being announced back in 2012 before a change in the city government caused the idea to be shelved.
The election of mayor Virginia Raggi led to a resumption of talks including Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and FIA president Jean Todt, leading to the plans being put to the authorities on Thursday.
A unanimous vote was returned, giving the green light for a Formula E race to be staged in Rome as early as next year.
Formula E officials have completed feasibility studies in Rome, but a track layout has not been confirmed, with the series still yet to make a final call on whether to go ahead with the race. A final decision is set to be made in the coming months as the calendar for season four is compiled.
“The prospect of Rome hosting an ePrix is an exciting one, especially as that’s where the first concept of the original Formula E car ran on the streets past the Colosseum only five years ago,” Agag said.
“We are grateful to the city of Rome to grant the required permits, and now we are one step closer to bringing electric street racing to the capital of Italy – a country with strong culture and deep roots in motorsport.
“We are continuing to assess the possible inclusion of Rome on next year’s calendar in spring 2018, and I’m sure Rome can assert itself as a flagship event along with the likes of Hong Kong, Paris, New York and Montreal.”
FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag believes that recent Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez can become a title contender when he races full-time in the all-electric championship.
After losing his seat with the Haas team at the end of the 2016 season, Gutierrez announced earlier this week that he would be joining Formula E for the race in Mexico City in April.
The 2010 GP3 champion is set to also feature in New York City before securing a full-season seat for the championship’s fourth campaign, due to start in the fall of 2017.
Speaking to the Formula E website, Agag spoke warmly of Gutierrez’s arrival, before adding that he believes the Mexican can become a title contender.
“I think that’s great news for the championship,” Agag said.
“We’ve known Esteban for a long time. I was in GP2 when Esteban was there and obviously he’s a great driver. He’s a young driver and has a long career in front of him and is choosing to follow his career after Formula 1 in Formula E.
“At his age, I see a very bright future for him. I think it’s going to be great for the Mexico race to have a local star for the fans to cheer for.
“This year Esteban is going to be on a learning curve in Formula E. He’s missed two races of the season already, so it’s not a season for him to try to win the championship, but a season to learn.
“He’ll race in Mexico and New York. We have a few clashes with other championships that will free up seats and for him to occupy those seats and to learn.
“And then after that in season four, I think he’ll have a proper race driver and will be one of the guys who is going to fight for the championship.”
Gutierrez is expected to step in for one of the drivers unable to race in Mexico and New York due to the clashes with the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Formula E may have established itself as one of the world’s most exciting and up-and-coming motorsport championships, but at its core remains a key mission statement.
The drive to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean technology is at the heart of the series, with Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag playing a big part in putting this message across.
Following last month’s Marrakesh ePrix in Morroco, Agag made the trip to Monte Carlo to take part in a ‘TEDx’ event to appear as one of the speakers.
In the above video, Agag talks about the importance of reducing the impact of mankind on the earth and cutting emissions so as to extend our time on this planet, offering some interesting insights and thoughts, particularly when discussing the ‘Earth year’.