Bernie Ecclestone: Formula E “level” with Formula 1

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Bernie Ecclestone: Formula E “level” with Formula 1

Former Chief Executive of the Formula 1 Group, Bernie Ecclestone, paid his first visit to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship paddock in São Paulo last weekend.

Bernie Ecclestone visits Formula E 2

“It’s the first race I've been to and it looks super, super, super,” Ecclestone stated on the starting grid for the second edition of the Brazilian race. “It’s good for São Paulo, it’s good for the whole region. It gets a lot of people interested in different things, because they come to see this and it follows them.”

Formula E is currently in its 10th season, and has achieved many huge milestones within that time. As well as becoming an official FIA World Championship in 2020, it has welcomed the biggest names in manufacturing and motorsport, as well as being consistently competitive and breaking records whilst doing so.

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Catching up with drivers such as race-winner Sam Bird (NEOM McLaren) and DS PENSKE’s Jean-Eric Vergne, Ecclestone spoke about his first experience of the all-electric World Championship.

Bernie Ecclestone visits Formula E 3

“I thought it wouldn’t last. I thought the first race would be the last,” Ecclestone confessed when talking about the championship’s debut event, the 2014 Beijing E-Prix which was won by Lucas di Grassi (ABT CUPRA). “So I am very pleased to see that technically it has become very good. Technically, it’s Formula 1 level.”

REPORT: Sam Bird seals NEOM McLaren's first win with last-gasp stunner in São Paulo

Four different drivers from four different teams have won the first four races of Season 10. The impressive stats don’t stop there either, as nine drivers from the 22-car grid have also stood on the podium in the first four rounds of the year. 

“I think the problem with Formula 1 at the moment is we have got one person that is winning all the races,” Ecclestone added. “It’s not good. I hope it doesn’t happen with Formula E, but they can see different countries being represented, and winning races.”

Joining Ecclestone, who lives in close proximity to São Paulo was Formula E founder and Chairman Alejandro Agag. 

Bernie Ecclestone visits Formula E 1

“We were actually remembering when exactly we met,” Agag said to the Former Chief Executive of the Formula 1 Group, Ecclestone. “I think it goes back to 25 years ago, when we met for the first time in Italy and I was still in my political times. Since then, Bernie and I have been friends. 

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“Bernie has always opened the door for me in motorsport. He brought me into motorsports. Then when I went electric, he looked at me and said, ‘be careful with that’, but always supported me. He promised one day he would go to a race, now he is here in Formula E.”