Following F1 technical boss Ross Brawn’s claim that the sport could go all-electric within the next decade, Formula E supremo Alejandro Agag has dismissed the suggestion, saying that it cannot happen any time soon and not as Formula One.
“Ross said that Formula 1 could go electric in 10 years, and basically, they can’t,” Agag told Motorsport.com, which like Liberty Media’s sister company Liberty Global, is a stakeholder in Formula E.
“Formula E has an exclusive licence with the FIA for 25 seasons,” he revealed, “and we’ve only done four. So the earliest F1 could go electric is 2039, if we don’t renew our agreement with the FIA then, but I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t renew for longer.
“We have exclusivity until at least 2039, so no electric F1 until then at least. If they want to talk to me then of course that’s a different question, I’m always open to talk to people. But without talking to me there is no way they can do anything fully electric.”
Asked if he perceives Brawn’s comments as indicating that F1 sees Formula E as a serious rival, Agag said: “I don’t know if they do, they may do, but that’s probably mistaken. I think we are very different and we are totally compatible.
“There is no competition whatsoever, they are completely compatible series,” he continued. “I have great admiration for Ross Brawn, but in this case he just got the maths wrong.”
Referring to Brawn’s claim that Formula E is “very junior” to F1, Agag said: “We are very big admirers of Formula 1. We are big fans and we never change that line. But it’s interesting that these comments come now because Formula E has been growing so fast.
“I think that makes quite a lot of sense – after seeing how Formula E is growing I can understand that some people in Formula 1 are thinking to go full electric. Even Bernie himself said a few months ago that Formula 1 should go full electric.
“What I understand from those comments is that basically there may be the possibility of Formula 1 going full electric, but clearly that’s not possible without talking to us because we have exclusivity with the FIA.
“They could do it outside of the FIA, but then they couldn’t call it Formula 1, because Formula 1 is a name that belongs to the FIA, so the whole thing is pretty sealed.”