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Is electric motorsports a real competition for Formula 1?

Although it is hard to admit, it is very possible that electric motorsports will surpass Formula 1 in the future.

Race car

Much has been said about how these electric alternatives are "the future of motorsports." Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: ¿Los deportes de motor eléctrico son una competencia real para la Fórmula 1?

Lately, as a result of changing times and the obvious threat of climate change, two electric alternatives to Formula 1 have become popular, the Extreme E and Formula E.

Much has been said about how these electric alternatives are "the future of motorsports." And as hard as it may be to believe, there is a real possibility that Formula E will at least make real competition to F1 for years to come. Let's see why.

You can also read: Top-5 Formula 1 drivers who earn the most money

Ratings don't lie

Formula 1 has been losing television viewers, practically since 2008. Since that year, Formula 1 has not managed to reach 600 million viewers worldwide. The closest number of viewers in the last 5 years was in 2018, when they reached 490.2 million viewers, according to Stadista.

Although this can be attributed to a myriad of different factors, including the Coronavirus pandemic and the popularization of streaming, the truth is that increased competition affects Formula 1 as well.

Electric cars have their sights set on the future

Although Formula 1 has a long and interesting history, as well as brand power that is frankly impossible to match for any motorsport, they are already at a disadvantage compared to Formula E and Extreme E.

This is because Formula E is reaching younger generations more strongly. During its fifth season, which lasted from 2018 to 2019, Formula E featured figures who said that "72 percent of their followers on social media were under 35". Around the same time, representatives of that league mentioned that Formula E was: "Among the highest performing sports platforms on the planet in terms of the percentage breakdown of young fans"

Nor should it be noted that the spectacle factor offered by some of these competitions is something that Formula 1 cannot match. Extreme E, for example, takes place in 5 beautiful locations around the world ranging from a glacier to a desert.

Added to this, it is important to remember that socially conscious sports initiatives have received massive financial support in recent years. You just have to look at the boom in new investors that women's soccer has received in the United States to see that money is going to new formats, to experiences that support different and new ways of seeing the world.