With the sun beginning to set on the official pre-season test in Valencia, Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag explains his raison d'être for choosing the Circuit Ricardo Tormo over Donnington Park, why season four may just be the most exciting yet and how Formula E is becoming a destination for some of the best drivers in the world.
Why is pre-season testing taking place at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia rather than Donington Park, as in previous years?
We’re in Valencia because we had to test in October and we thought the weather wouldn’t be so good in Donington, so we decided to come here to the south and, considering it’s 28 degrees and sunny at the moment, it looks like we made the right decision!
Just how important is pre-season testing?
Formula E is a technology championship and every season has new technology coming through. Naturally, everyone wants to win and to do that, they need to test the cars. [The team’s] have been testing on their own but this is the first time they can all get together and assess at each other.
After seeing the teams complete two test sessions, have you noticed any changes?
We’re seeing something interesting, the top teams are peaking in terms of technology, while the midfield teams are catching up, so we’re going to see a season that’s really, really close. It could be the best season we’ve had.
What do you think of the new drivers and team changes ahead of Season Four?
It’s great to see some new faces. Formula E is attracting fantastic drivers like Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani - both Le Mans' winners – Luca Filippi, who I know from then GP2 and many others.
It’s great to see some movement between teams, too. Nelson Piquet Jr, the inaugural FIA Formula E champion has moved over to Panasonic Jaguar Racing, who really want to push things this season It’s really exciting to see all these movements and see how Formula E is becoming a destination for some of the best drivers in the world.
Nelson is a great driver – he had a fantastic first season but sometimes things work out with teams and sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, it’s not a bad idea to change. Jaguar really want to push this season and want an experienced driver who’s a proven winner. And the best way to get a proven winner is to get a winner! It could be a great partnership and it will be really exciting to see Jaguar win a race this year
As well as new drivers, what do you think of the addition of Zurich to the race calendar?
The big, big news was the addition of Zurich to the race calendar. Switzerland has not had circuit racing for decades – this kind of racing was previously forbidden – but now we can say it is coming back to the country thanks to being electric - thanks to Formula E! It’s another sign that electric is the right race for cities like Zurich.
Julius Baer has been instrumental in getting the race to happen in Zurich. They have been working from every angle with us and without them, there would not be a race in Zurich.
For Sebastien Buemi and Neel Jani – our two Swiss drivers – it will be a great experience racing in their home country. Also for the Swiss fans, to have two local stars racing in Switzerland, will be fantastic.