Alejandro Agag: "Best driver in the world must win both Formula 1 & Formula E"
For Formula E founder Alejandro Agag, the electric series has become a serious test for racing drivers. If you want to be the best in the world, he says, you not only have to win Formula 1, but also Formula E. With this in mind, Agag has also been talking to four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in an effort to lure him into electric motorsports.
Do racers like Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton have the right to call themselves the ultimate in motorsports? In the eyes of most fans, the answer is probably a resounding yes. Alejandro Agag, founder and current chairman of Formula E, now sees it a bit differently.
"I think we've put it in a place where if you really want to call yourself the best driver in the world, you really need to win Formula 1 and Formula E," the Spaniard told 'talkSPORT' on their 'On Track' podcast.
That the driving level in Formula E is very high is well known. In the past, for example, even many former F1 drivers failed in the demanding all-electric racing, which brings its own unique challenges. Still, Agag's statement comes across as somewhat cocky.
Nonetheless, Agag's political calculation in making such statements is almost legendary. In 2018, for example, he placed his intention to buy Formula E for 600 million euros in the media - ostensibly just to give it a tangible price tag for potentially interested parties. Nothing came of his bid. His latest statement, which could further enhance Formula E's public image, may have had a similar intention.
"Were not in the right place at the right time" for Sebastian Vettel
That Agag likes to dredge up former Formula 1 drivers is well known. At the start of the Gen2 era, for example, he won the Ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa for his series. Sebastian Vettel is also high on the Spaniard's wish list after ending his career in Formula 1 a few months ago.
"I've tried to convince Sebastian to come to Formula E. We have also had discussions about Extreme E," Agag reveals. "He's very committed to many of the values we share."
However, the conversation did not come to a positive conclusion: "We were not in the right place at the right time. He's busy, I think he's got a future job lined up, I've heard. He has other important goals," says Agag.
No driver with both championship titles yet
In the past, quite a few former Formula 1 drivers have tried their hand in Formula E. And indeed, five of the seven Formula E champions to date are former F1 drivers: Nelson Piquet Jr, Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi, Jean-Eric Vergne (two titles) and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Only the champions of Formula E seasons 6 and 7 - Antonio Felix da Costa and Nyck de Vries - had no F1 experience at the time of their respective title wins. De Vries, however, subsequently moved up to Formula 1 and is currently contesting his first season for AlphaTauri. Whether he will one day become world champion and thus live up to Agag's claims for the "best driver in the world" remains to be seen.
By the way: The aforementioned Formula E champions with F1 backgrounds were all moderately successful in the "top class" of motorsport and none of them won the world championship title. So far, there is no driver who has won both championship titles. So the "best in the world" is still being sought...