Paris, France|16 May, 2018

Idris Elba: 'I want to be a driver!'

Superstar DJ, actor, boxer and - as of the 2018 Qatar Airways Paris E-Prix - ABB FIA Formula E Championship racing driver. Well, sort of.

When we heard that Idris Elba was coming to watch all the Formula E action in Paris, we invited him to have a go in the Formula E championship car as well as passenger alongside the series' Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag as he piloted the BMW i8 Qualcomm Satey Car around the Circuit Des Invalides. Catching up with him as he completed his laps in the all-electric single seater, we found out why he's always dreamed of getting into motorsport, how his first job sparked his obsession with cars and why he likes the sound of being a Formula E team owner.

So, how did you find the lap in the car?
"It's just powww! It's was wicked, man - a really good ride, not much suspension, so, err, It's lucky I've got some padding on the old buttocks but other than that, it was good!

I can't even remember what JEV [Jean-Eric Vergne] was saying! He was like do this, do that but actually, he was saying don't go flat out in the corners, so I didn't do that, you don't want to do that in this car but in the straights, man, I maxed it!

The cameras were going and I was like. 'can they see me doing 130mph?' but I was probably doing 70mph but it felt really fast!

What's it like to be driving here in the centre of Pairs?
Driving around the streets of Paris in an electric car...is a dream come true, it's beautiful. It's a great track - it's short, swift and there's a lovely couple of straights that really bang out, it's good, yeah.

I've followed Formula E for a little bit now, it's a really exciting time. New brands are coming in, new car makers with teams, it's good. It's a good time, man - I'm excited for it. I'm just thankful that I got a chance to ride in the car, it's great.

When did you first get into cars?
Probably when I was 14, when I stole one...I'm JOKIN'! No, I didn't steal a car!

No, I've had cars since I was 14 and I had a Mini. I was a tyre fitter as my first job, like a Saturday job. I remember the guy said to me, 'can you drive cars?' so I said, ummm, yep. So he said, 'great, change those tyres and move it down that alleyway.' So that's when I started, you know, that's when I first started to drive. My Dad working with Fords for most of his life, so, you know cars were a big part of our family.

What have you got in your garage - anything electric?
I have an electric bike, actually - a motorbike - which is amazing and very fast. I'm kind of used to the mechanism, the torque. Anyone that's used to driving an electric car will know it's very different from driving a normal car, the way you go from 0-60mph is very different but exciting!

Could we see you taking up a role in Formula E anytime soon?
I want to be a driver, obviously! It's a really good sport. I love motorsport and I think Formula E has got so much to do in the future - being associated is great! I'm a bit too old and fat to be a driver but you know, Team Owner, I like the way that sounds - it's got a good ring to it!

I'm really proud of what Formula E has done and they're travelling to so many different cities now. It's just getting bigger and bigger, it's great.

It was always a dream to own a classic rally car team but, I could be convinced, of course, to do Formula E, for sure!