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going electric

Change is constant and the way that motor sport is moving away from a reliance of fossil fuels is as inevitable as was the migration from front to rear engines and the development of aerodynamics in previous decades.

The emergence of Formula E and the big names it has attracted is a pointer to the future and, whether we like it or not, there is going to be a time when all electric cars will be what we race.

A big part of the spectacle of motor sport is the noise and smell. I can still remember walking in from the car park at Thruxton to see my first event in 1968 and not just hearing the F2 cars practicing, but also inhaling that aroma of racing engines as it wafted across on the Hampshire breeze.

A few short years later I can also remember the Lotus turbine F1 car where all you could hear as it approached was the thump of the tyres over the joints in the tarmac; you only got the turbine whistle after it passed you. The mighty turbocharged Porsche 917-10 and -20 gave a similar  impression when I saw them at Silverstone in the 1972 and 1973 Interserie rounds.

The current incarnation of F1 drew criticism over it being too quiet for some, so what will they make of an electric version? Will we see the cars equipped with speakers playing a suitable audio noise track? Who knows, but F1 cars powered by something other that fossil fuels are coming.


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