There has been a lot of intrigue surrounding the first all electric single seater race series with some key players like Mclaren, Renault and Williams playing a distant but important part of getting this moving. But there also has been criticism from some of the gimmicks of the racing, such as live music, vote to give your favourite driver a power boost, plus the fact these Formula E machines still cannot go for the full 1 hour, so drivers need 2 machines to race. So how it was all portrayed on television was probably critical to whether anyone will tune in for round 2.
Presentation Could Have Been Better
The initial thoughts were not good, with 2 pretty presenters, whom you never really felt knew anything about motor racing. It has become a basic requirement to use ex F1 drivers, engineers and team owners in F1, so for the main presenters not to be well known gave the impression of there being no trust in the uptake or viewers. Everyone has to start somewhere and I am sure the knowledge will gained as we go through the series, but for the first race I expected more “Rah Rah” and some well know individuals in the studio supporting the new formula.
Keep It At The Track
Actually that is not strictly true, if you ask any keen motorsport follower, they will tell you the best coverage is from the track on in the studio.
Sitting on the sofa, were 2 guys involved in racing, current GP3 leader and an engineer from Audi motor racing, quite frankly I can’t remember their names.
Then to qualifying, I think we got around 30 seconds of coverage of the electric machines. I have no idea if the format is like F1 or a single lap time. No one showed or explained it to my recollection.
When the racing started, it didn’t help that we had a small collision right at the start and the safety car came out, a bit of a shame with everyone excited, but that is racing and could and does happen in all motorsport.
Then we saw some pretty boring racing and that missed the mark on TV. To be fair, it could have been the Chinese street circuit, based around the Olympic village in Bejing, too many 90 degree bends and straight roads. Chances are even F1 would have been boring around here.
But drama did come in the end, that will hopefully give some much needed publicity to the race, when Nico Prost drove in to Nick Heidfeld on the last corner of the race denying both of them a win or podium place. A very professional Heidfeld, kept his feelings to himself where Alain Prost’s son Nico, was very critical of Nick. Ironical most of us lay the blame at Prost’s door and when he sees the playback may have to retract some of his words.
Overall the coverage on ITV4 should have been better for such a big occasion and with plenty of experience of covering motorsport such as the British Touring cars, I expected better. Poor questions, poor interviews, no music (although that is controversial anyway).
But like everything new, lessons will be learned, so I for one will be watching the next round, in Malaysia and you never know, in a few years time, a single machine may be able to finish the race and in 10 years time, we may have performance similar to F1.