Satirical look into the crystal ball (1/2): What will happen in electric motorsport in 2024
It's that time again: e-Formula.news takes a look into the crystal ball to predict what is most likely to happen in the new year 2024. In this first part, Formula E is all about the introduction of a new technology, while the World Rallycross Championship is struggling with completely different problems... Please note: This article is explicitly satire - all stories are fictitious.
Season opener in Mexico! 40,000 fanatical fans at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez are looking forward to the usual Formula E spectacle. The series has decided not to introduce the Attack Charge yet so that nothing can go wrong. Especially as the new fast-charging pit stops have not yet been tested after a delay of just one year. The spectators are treated to thrilling duels and drama right up to the finish line, where Antonio Felix da Costa snatches victory from his Porsche team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.
The night races in Diriyah should finally see the introduction of fast-charging technology. However, it is completely unclear to everyone involved what the whole thing could look like in the race. Total chaos could ensue if someone is in the pit lane for more than a minute and falls a lap behind as a result. The evening before the race, CEO Jeff Dodds decides not to take the risk. Setbacks are part and parcel of revolutions.
In the two Saudi races, Edo Mortara and Max Günther crash into the wall with a waving hand to greet their old boss James Rossiter, who doesn't know whether to cry or laugh in front of the TV in Monaco. The scandal will go down in history as Crash-E-Gate. The Porsche works team dominates the double-header.
India: necessity becomes virtue
The Hyderabad E-Prix has long since been cancelled (officially five days before the race weekend), but Formula E would at least like to use the opportunity to test the Attack Charge as the track is already in place and the flights have all been booked. Dodds uses an ingenious ruse for the test: he tells the Hyderabad Times that there will be a race at the end.
This leads to several dozen tuk-tuk drivers gain access to the course. They are told to come to the pits for a quick charge on their way to work. As there is only one charger for all eleven teams, and the Mahindra garage is on fire anyway, the pit stops are only simulated: Each tuk-tuk stops for 40 seconds in front of a box while a team employee pretends to hold an imaginary cable to the vehicle.
How this will work in the race with the lapping - that's something future Jeff should think about.
Misfortune in the WRX
As the test was extremely successful, the time has finally come in Sao Paulo: Formula E announces the introduction of the Attack Charge. However, on the eve of the race, Porsche team principal Florian Modlinger argues that such a fundamental change should not be introduced in the middle of an FIA World Championship. The Porsche board threatens to withdraw from Formula E. Formula E buckles and finally says goodbye to the fast-charging pit stops. Nissan and DS announce their withdrawal from Formula E after the race weekend.
Things are going even less smoothly in the WRX. After the World Rallycross Championship decided to allow combustion engines again, there is a devastating fire in the paddock at the start of the season. One of the fuel tanks was ignited by a cigarette. The FIA is stunned: Petrol can also burn - not just batteries!
The cause of the accident, in which all the vehicles burn out, will be investigated for months - that means who dropped the cigarette. Even if it doesn't matter. As a result, the entire season is contested with bobby cars, as they have no engine at all. Johan Kristoffersson wins every race and is crowned world champion, despite his long legs.
Formula E finally returns to its own DNA
The new jewel in the racing calendar is just around the corner: Tokyo! Everything is set for a world class Formula E event. However, the government representatives in the Japanese capital, who once negotiated the contracts with Alberto Longo, have caught a cold and therefore want to cancel the race. What's more, completely different people are now in charge in the city. Formula E is moaning that there is a contract, but as always, nobody cares.
In order not to lose face in Japan, Longo finally cancels the race himself. The official reason: a real street circuit does not fit in with the DNA of Formula E. There are already talks with Fuji going on for 2025. Longo has a stunning short version of the race track there in mind. For logistical reasons, a date between the E-Prix in Misano and Monaco is being targeted.
TV situation not optimal
During the four-week break between races - at least Formula E has got the problem with the long breaks under control! - TV broadcasters in all major markets are cancelling their contracts with immediate effect. In China, the USA, UK, France, Italy and Germany, chess will be broadcast instead of Formula E in the future. Similarly strategic, but without letting the other win.
Thanks to the new German broadcaster DF1, Formula E finally achieves unmeasurable reach figures of less than 10,000 again, as was once the case with Sky. To distract from the bad news, Formula E issues a press release about how much money the 2015 Miami E-Prix would have brought in for the US city. The second half of the season can only get better...
The second part of our crystal ball article will follow on Saturday, 6 January. Stay tuned to see what else will happen in the second half of the season...