Photo: Miguel Schincariol Agence France-Presse
Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa
The Formula E would like to increase its popularity — as well as its credibility — and it could get a boost from veteran Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa.
Massa, team-mate of the Quebec Lance Stroll at Williams, will be leaving F1 after the last race of the calendar, in two weeks in Abu Dhabi. It still has nothing confirmed, but the Brazilian seems keen to join the series promoting electric cars.
Historically, the Brazilians have dominated the FE, but the series seems very followed by the inhabitants of this south american country. Nelson Piquet son has won the first title in 2014, and Lucas Di Grassi triumphed last season after a thrilling race in the streets of Montreal.
All that could soon change.
Massa is a driver that was very popular in Brazil. He has won eleven races in F1 with Ferrari and has approached to a single point to obtain the drivers ‘ championship in 2008, losing finally, in front of Lewis Hamilton.
“When I triumphed this season, not one local daily newspaper not called me, said Di Grassi to the Associated Press. Now that Massa is thinking about joining [in the FE], and that a race will be presented in Brazil, the interest increases. More and more pilots brazilians consider the FE as a real option, and the way of the future. “
The Price of Brazil would be presented in march, on a street circuit, about 50 km north of the legendary circuit of Interlagos, which will host the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil this weekend.
The F1 is experiencing trouble in Brazil. The country does not count on any driver in the series next year for the first time since 1969. The future of motor racing in Brazil is more uncertain than ever, especially as the ratings on tv are in free-fall since a few years.
Massa still has not announced its decision to join or not to the FE, but admitted on Thursday that he would like to participate.
Piquet, son explained that the financial support to the pilot brazilians in F1 was gone, especially because of the financial crisis in which is found the country. This means that the FE becomes an attractive option.
“Many drivers [brazilians] are fighting for the available seats, said Piquet, son. The drivers don’t hide it ; they want to reach the FE. When I heard about the FE, I said to myself that it was an interesting concept and that the technology promoted was the way of the future. I knew that I wanted to be involved, and I worked really hard to get there. “
But regardless of the decision to be taken by Massa in the next few months, Di Grassi is confident that the future of motor racing is not F1.
“I am certain that within the next 10 to 20 years, the Formula 1 and Formula E are to be merged, referred to Di Grassi. Motorsport will find itself in the midst of a crisis in a few years. It will not disappear, even after the advent of autonomous cars. But the process has already begun. “