Some CEO’s and senior figures can be hard to engage with. Alejandro Agag isn’t one of those people. Walking up and down the pitlane during the second week of testing, Agag was making time to talk to team representatives, drivers and members of the media. Never one to miss an opportunity to talk to someone in the series, I managed to get some time with him after he had just finished a round of interviews…
Q: The final race on the Formula E calendar hasn’t been confirmed yet. How close are we to finding out the finalised calendar?..
A: Well the final race has been confirmed, we just can’t disclose it yet. We have a new race in Paris that has been confirmed and the race in March is confirmed from our side but the announcement is going to be made in mid-November because the city want to do it on a particular day. You just have to wait!
Q: Do you think we might see a new team in Formula E any time soon? Would you like to see an expanded grid?
A: Well we can’t have more than 10 because we have an agreement with the teams that says that there can’t be more whilst we have the two cars per team rule. Unless someone buys one of these teams we won’t see a new team. There are some conversations going on behind the scenes so maybe we’ll see a new team but it would only be through one of the existing teams on the grid.
Q: Is there a worry about Team Trulli? They aren’t at testing this week..
A: Of course there’s a concern – I would be much happier if they were at the track! I know they’ve got some issues that they need to sort out. I hope they can, but it’s not easy to design one of these power trains. There is concern but I am hopeful.
Q: There was some conversation around the race energy limit going up to 170 kW from 150 kW. Can we expect that?
A: It’s very likely. We are just working out the final details but I expect it to happen.
Q: If it goes up to 170 kW and Fanboost remains at 180 kW, will we see Fanboost become less effective? Is that a concern?
A: That’s true but not always the case. It depends on how efficient your powertrain is. At 170 kW you might have to coast more and so some teams may not always be running at the higher limit. We want to keep Fanboost as decisive as possible so we’ll see what we can do.
Q: And are we on track to see Fanboost voting during the races?
A: Yes, we are trying to do that. We want to do a live Fanboost and we are pushing to do that.
Q: We’ve had a year on Formula E. Reflecting on the first year, how do you feel the series is going?
A: Well to be here is fantastic. It was really good to make the first season and I think it was a big success and now everything is consolidating. Now we just need to repeat what we did last year. Last year everything was new and there were too many uncertainties…now we have the opportunity to building something.
Q: And you’ve got many cities in the world knocking at your door? Japan is one of the biggest Formula E markets, no?
A: Absolutely! I am actually travelling to Japan tonight to meet with some cities. It’s non-stop. We are travelling everywhere. We have a road show at Tokyo coming up…Japan is very important for us.
Q: Formula E is now attracting names like Jacque Villeneuve…that’s great news for Formula E, isn’t it?
A: I’m very happy to have Jacques here. He is a brilliant additional to the championship. The names we have in Senna, Piquet, Villeneuve, Prost, they are drivers that fans across the world know and love. I’m very happy with that.
Q: Formula E is now recognised on the F1 Super license scheme however points are only awarded to the winner of the Formula E championship and no one else. Do you think that’s unfair? Does it need to be tweaked?
A: I would be happy even if we didn’t get the super license. I don’t think Formula E should be a ladder for Formula 1; Formula E needs to stand by itself. I think the super license points are completely irrelevant.
To me, Agag is someone with a clear vision of what Formula E can become. He certainly has the know-how and confidence to make Formula E one of the largest motor-racing series in the world, but he also possesses the personality and likeability to inspire those around him. As long as he’s championing Formula E, I have no doubt the series will continue to head in the right direction.
Written by: Anil Parmar