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SBD Global/October 15, 2013/Events and Attractions

Sportel: Formula E CEO Says Electric Circuit About To Unveil Four New Teams

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Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag says four more teams are close to signing on.
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said Monday during the electric racing series’ product launch at Sportel Monaco that its main target audience will be 10-14-year-olds. He explained to SBD Global that those are “the children who need to be attracted to electric cars in order to buy them in the future.” In order to make Formula E, which will debut in September, more attractive for this young audience, Agag announced a completely new real-time video-game feature. He said, “The game, which only works during the race, provides users with a shadow car in which they can race against the actual Formula E drivers in real time.” Agag added that the racing series is currently talking to three developers about the video-game feature, with an announcement expected soon. In addition, Formula E fans will be able provide their favorite driver with an extra “push to pass.” The push-to-pass feature, which is known from various other motorsports series such as IndyCar, provides a driver with a boost of horsepower for a short period of time. The only thing fans have to do is to tweet their favorite driver’s name using a hashtag. The driver with the most hashtag mentions during a race will receive the extra push to pass. Besides the interactive features that are targeted toward a young audience watching the race at home, Formula E also wants children to attend its events. Asked about ticket pricing, Agag said, “Tickets will be in the region of $100, maybe less. And there will be special prices for kids because we want a lot of kids at the races.” The lack of engine sound could also be appealing to families with even younger children, Agag added. He said that Formula E’s targeting of such a young audience has been a perk for its sponsors as they have struggled reaching those children.

TEAMS & DRIVERS
: Agag said Formula E will announce four new teams but he did not announce who they were, nor did he name any new drivers. Agag told SBD Global the new teams “will be announced soon.” Those will include teams from England, Japan and France. Formula E will race its inaugural season with a total of 10 teams as the series has about 25 requests for the remaining two slots, Agag said. In terms of drivers, he said that they have received “a lot of interest from experienced drivers.” The prize purse of $5M may also convince well-known drivers to join the series.

LONDON TROUBLES
: Recent reports suggested that Formula E is encountering some troubles in finding a suitable venue for Formula E’s London race. Agag: “We have three options in London. It’s not really trouble; it’s just the normal bureaucratic process. I think out of those three, two are looking really good. However, I think we will wait a little bit until we announce the exact venue of the London race."
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