TRAILER: How the FIA's electric dream became a World Championship reality

In celebration of ABB FIA Formula E’s new World Championship status in 2020/21, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has collaborated with Formula E to produce a 26-minute film looking back over the first six seasons of the ground-breaking electric single-seater series – while providing a glimpse of its future.

The breakthrough concept of Formula E was famously based upon a conversation between FIA President, Jean Todt, and series Founder and Chairman, Alejandro Agag in a Parisian restaurant on 3 March, 2011, which resulted in a number of ideas being jotted down on the back of a napkin.

“I say many times that I’m the founder of Formula E,” recalls Agag, “but the real founder of Formula E is Jean Todt. He had the idea of introducing an electric car championship, and I said, ‘I would love to be the promoter of that’.”

OUR STORY: From ideas on a napkin to an FIA World Championship

Indeed, the FIA and Formula E were pioneers in the promotion of sustainable mobility, as President Todt explains: “The world is changing very quickly; when looking at the evolution of motoring, we recognised it was important to define a motor sport category which would be green and encourage people in cities to use electric cars. We clearly identified the need to do something – and Formula E was the answer.”

Formula E: How the FIA's electric dream became a World Championship reality

Jean Todt added: “This championship is young and we remain vigilant in order to ensure its sustainability. One of the reasons of its success is the link with the electric technology, which is a turning point of the urban mobility and which must be preserved in the future.”

Barely three-and-a-half years later, that forward-thinking vision became a reality as the very first Formula E race took place in Beijing, China, featuring drivers of the calibre of Sebastien Buemi, Lucas Di Grassi, Nick Heidfeld, Stephane Sarrazin and Jarno Trulli – and since then, the momentum has continued to grow.

Major manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mahindra, Mercedes, Nissan, NIO, Porsche, DS and Renault have all nailed their colours to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s mast, while outstanding advances have been made in the realms of performance and range.

The debut of the current Gen2 single-seater ahead of the 2018/19 campaign was a game-changer, incorporating significant technological upgrades that boosted power while simultaneously allowing drivers to complete the race distance without needing to change car. And the Gen 3 car – due to be introduced in season nine (2022/23) – is set to raise the bar even higher still.

To highlight this progress – all achieved under the direction of the FIA Technical Department – the sport’s governing body commissioned Whisper Films to produce together with Formula E, the forthcoming 26-minute film, entitled ‘Formula E, How the FIA’s Electric Dream Became a World Championship Reality’.

“Most of the time, the FIA is the regulator and acts as the referee, going to races and saying if things are right or wrong. Formula E is the only project in which the FIA is so heavily involved,” acknowledges Frederic Bertrand, the FIA’s Director of Formula E.

The film will be released before the Rome E-Prix weekend on April 10 & 11 and will be aired widely, on FIA platforms and Motorsport.tv as well as by a number of official Formula E broadcasters. Eurosport, Mediaset (Italy), Prosieben (Germany, on Ran.de), MySports (Switzerland), Ziggo (Netherlands), Sky Sport (New Zealand), SuperSport (Pan-Africa), Fox Sports Asia (Pan-Asia) are all already confirmed, with discussions ongoing with several others.

The 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is underway. Don't miss a minute.