Oliver Weingarten

Formula E fans’ forum to be held in London ahead of ePrix

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Racing enthusiasts will get a chance to put their questions to a panel of FIA Formula E drivers in a fans’ forum ahead of the championship’s finale in London at the end of the month.

Following the success of the fans’ forums organized by the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) and the COTA Forum held in Austin, Texas ahead of last year’s United States Grand Prix, a similar event has been confirmed ahead of the London ePrix.

Former FOTA secretary general Oliver Weingarten announced earlier this week that the fans’ forum would be held in London featuring a number of drivers and figures that feature in the series.

Championship contenders Nelson Piquet Jr and Sebastien Buemi will be joined by Jean-Eric Vergne and Karun Chandhok for the fans’ forum, taking place at Planet Hollywood in Haymarket, London on Thursday 25th June.

As per the other forums, entry to the Formula E fans’ forum will be free, with registration available via this link.

Following FOTA’s disbanding in 2014, Weingarten has since set up his own sports advisory and fan engagement agency, organizing fans’ forums for sports such as darts with more planned in the future due to the successful concept.

His hope is that this inaugural fans’ forum will set a precedent for future Formula E events to tie in with the series’ fan-focused approach.

“There is a lot of excitement ahead of the London ePrix and the fans’ forum has now added to that sense of anticipation,” Weingarten told MotorSportsTalk.

“I am a big believer in the fans connecting with the sport, and Formula E has always shown itself from the outset to be a big supporter of fan engagement.

“I would like to thank Formula E for sanctioning the forum, and believe that the demand over the last twenty four hours in respect of registrations shows that the UK public have swiftly adopted Formula E, and are excited about meeting drivers like Jean-Eric Vergne, Sebastien Buemi, Karun Chandhok and Nelson Piquet Jr.

“The hope is that this forum will provide a template for others, and attract sponsors in future.”

The London ePrix takes place on June 27 and 28 at Battersea Park, acting as the final two rounds of the inaugural Formula E season.

Formula E Teams’ Association (FETA) formed

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The ten teams competing in the inaugural FIA Formula E championship have confirmed that they have formed a specific organization to work with the bodies governing the series.

Set up with the aid of the former general secretary of the Formula One Teams’ Association Oliver Weingarten, the Formula E Teams’ Association (FETA) has been formed ahead of this weekend’s ePrix in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It will be chaired by Virgin Racing team principal Alex Tai.

“The association will provide a forum to respond to Formula E Holdings and the FIA on issues impacting the teams,” a statement confirming FETA’s founding reads. “The association’s goals are to ensure the championship remains competitive and compelling entertainment whilst maintaining cost control and the commercial sustainability of the series.

“The association also aims to suggest a development roadmap for the coming seasons which will drive technical innovation and attract the participation of the major car manufacturers, whilst at all times will seek to maintain, engage and increase the championship’s fan base.”

“I am delighted that we have set up the teams’ association as it is creates a vital forum for stakeholder discussions,” Tai said. “It is in everybody’s interest that Formula E is a success, and the teams want to play their part to ensure this.

“We are delighted to have brought Oliver on board; he brings with him a wealth of experience from Formula One and The English Premier League and will be a great asset.

“The teams are under no illusion that there will be issues that need to be addressed, but now we will be able to work through these challenges together, and with one voice, for the benefit of the championship.”

The electric-powered series enjoyed a strong debut race weekend in China two months ago, and appears to be going from strength to strength. The formation of FETA will only strengthen the series’ hand as it looks to grow during its inaugural season, as well as keeping the interests of the teams racing at heart.