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SBD Global/February 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag Says Electric Series 'Coming Along Nicely'

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag says racing series is on track for '14 debut.
The new FIA sanctioned all-electric racing series, Formula E, is still a work in progress, but Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said he is "extremely satisfied with progress until now." Agag, a 42-year-old Spanish businessman, said a lot of work has to be done before the first race, "but everything [is] coming along nicely." Formula E is scheduled to debut in ’14, however, the racing series has only two confirmed host cities and one confirmed team so far. Asked whether he is concerned about this seemingly limited interest in the series, Agag said: "We are at the moment finalizing the preliminary calendar of cities that will host races in 2014. [We] will focus on teams after we have presented the preliminary calendar of selected cities." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone recently called Formula E a politically driven series and described it as "a bit of a joke," in an exclusive interview with SBD Global. Agag responded to these comments by saying, "We respect everyone's opinion, and particularly Mr. Ecclestone's. He is the creator of modern F1. Thanks to him F1 is one of the biggest sports and shows in the world. We believe in time, when our Championship is out, we will be able to convince our critics that Formula E is a fantastic concept. We believe it's the future of motor racing." One of the lingering questions that will ultimately determine whether Formula E will be successful or not, is the question of how to attract fans? Ecclestone believes it is going to be difficult to attract motorsports fans to watch "a little car, which doesn’t make any noise." Agag said that Formula E "is not a Championship focused only on the average motorsports fan." Agag said, "Probably people like me, lifelong petrol heads, will find strange in the beginning things like the lack of sound (there is actually a sound) or other. I am a Formula 1 and GP2 lover, and I will continue to be." He added that Formula E is targeting a different kind of fan. Agag said: "This Championship is targeting a different and younger kind of public, [which] is not at the moment into motorsport, but is keen on issues like environment, social media, free streaming, and video games." Agag believes there is a "niche for this in global motorsports scene," and considers Formula E as "complementary to F1, NASCAR or others."
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