Formula E

Formula 1 drivers agree: Formula E at a similar driving level to the "premier class" F1

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

The generally great talent of the drivers in Formula E is undisputed. But the fact that even Formula 1 drivers recognise this is new. Both Carlos Sainz Jr. and the two Red Bull drivers Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen appreciate the electric series - even if the reigning F1 world champion does not want to drive in Formula E.

During the Suzuka Grand Prix, which took place a few weeks ago alongside the Tokyo E-Prix, several Formula 1 drivers were asked about the electric series during a press conference. The ridicule that Formula E often received in its early years in response to such questions now seems to be history.

"I'm delighted that it exists," says Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr. and explains: "There are drivers who didn't make it into Formula 1, but who have the talent to drive at a similar level to the 20 drivers in Formula 1. This series gives them an opportunity to live out their passion and compete against each other on the track."

"I also have good friends there who I've raced against in different series and it's great that they have this opportunity. And the racing is also good," says Sainz. Whether Formula E is a future option for the Spaniard remains open. Sainz has to leave Ferrari after the current season. However, he is generally regarded as a a key player on the transfer market and is likely to find another cockpit in Formula 1 in 2025.

Sergio Perez: "I think they are doing a very good job"

"It's great to have a series that offers an option to drivers who can't be in Formula 1," says Sergio Perez, who has been repeatedly linked to Formula E in recent years. He argues in a similar way to Sainz.

"It's simply a different racing series where they can earn money and pursue their passion." He says that you simply have to respect what Formula E stands for, apparently focussing on the sustainability aspect. "And I think they are doing a very good job with that," said the Mexican.

Max Verstappen agrees, but doesn't want to drive Formula E

Perez's team-mate Max Verstappen is of the same opinion: "What I like about Formula E is that there are a lot of good drivers," says the Dutchman. "The level of competition is pretty high. And of course, a few friends of mine drive there too, so I always keep an eye on it."

"I always enjoy it because there is a lot of talent in the series. That also makes it exciting to watch," says the three-time Formula 1 world champion, explaining the benefits of Formula E.

Verstappen clarifies, however: "It's not a championship that I would like to drive in myself in the future." He leaves open why the electric series is not an option for him.

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