Carey untroubled by manufacturer focus on Formula E

Chase Carey
© XPB 

F1 CEO Chase Carey isn't concerned by carmakers' growing involvement in Formula E, saying the all-electric series is a very different proposition.

Manufacturer interest in the burgeoning series ramped up big time this week with the news that both Mercedes and Porsche - two brands with a huge racing heritage - will be entering FE in 2019.

While obviously closely watching developments, Carey remains unfazed by the latest news, and still questions whether Formula E should be perceived as viable motor sport.

"The events of this week didn’t change my view on Formula E one iota," Carey told Reuters' Alan Baldwin at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday.

"For the mainstream auto industry, there’s clearly a direction towards electrical engines. Nothing that happened recently changed it.

"I think Formula E at this point is in many ways a combination of a street party for fans and sponsors and auto companies.

"For sponsors it is pursuing a corporate identification with a cause they like, for automotive companies R+D (research and development) and a technology they think will be a bigger part of their future.

"I’m not sure those things connect yet to make it a sport."

Interestingly, both Formula 1 and Formula E are part of Liberty Media founder John Malone's constellation of companies, but that's pretty much where the common ground begins and ends for Carey.

The American executive underlined Formula 1's heritage and the sport's glamour, with its famous teams and heroes, while also insisting on the sport's relationship with cutting-edge technology.

"We have state-of-the-art technology but we’re first and foremost a great sport, with great heroes doing incredible things that are awe-inspiring and with fans around the world that are passionately loving the sport," said F1's new boss.

"We’re delivering an incredibly exciting product that captures people’s imagination and passion with great stars," said Carey.

"They (Formula E) have a social agenda that is obviously important, the environment, and I respect that.

"There’s an appeal to identifying with the environmental issue but I think they’re very different propositions."

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