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Future Drivers’ Association Possible

Some Formula E drivers are pushing for a future drivers’ association…

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Some Formula E drivers would like to see a collective association in which they would have a voice on a range of important topics regarding the all-electric championship.

Formula E had an informal collective in its first two seasons when first Karun Chandhok and then Lucas di Grassi headed up an advisory group.

Now, with the series growing in stature and a variety of sporting, safety and operational topics concerning drivers, a new association could be formed in time for the 2019-20 season.

“I can certainly see it being a useful way to get together and collaborate on forming opinions, to then work with the FIA, Formula E and the manufacturers’ association,” BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alexander Sims told e-racing365.

“It would give the drivers a collective voice but I would never see it as something that would get into a fight with anyone, I think it would just be to collaboratively work together.”

Another driver who would be keen on seeing a body to represent the drivers is Season Three champion Lucas di Grassi.

The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver has been publicly vocal on a variety of topics regarding the sporting and political matters in Formula E throughout the first season of Gen 2 competition.

“I would say it has been always the case to have [a drivers association], as long as we have executive power,” Lucas di Grassi told e-racing365.

“Because otherwise we spend a lot of time and effort for nothing. Maybe we could have like the teams’ association where they have signing power, maybe not all the power, but you can actually define some things.”

E-racing365 believes that several key sporting decisions have been discussed among drivers in recent months ranging from the perceived lack of consistency in stewarding to the structure of races in relation to energy usage.

Other examples include the location of pole position on the grid, which some feel has been placed on the wrong side of the track in certain races this season.

Additionally, updates on track designs are also on some drivers’ radars with the Mexico City layout particularly causing concern for some on the grid.

“For me the first chicane [at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez] through corner three, corner four should not exist at all, we should go directly to the next corner,” said di Grassi.

“It would create an overtaking point, is much better. If the drivers agree, we could say, ‘Look no chicane for Mexico please, it will improve the racing'”.

Bird: Drivers’ Opinions Often Ignored

One of the overriding feelings that drivers have in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is that their opinions and ideas are not taken seriously.

An ever-present in Formula E since its inception in 2014, Sam Bird believes that the evolution and growing popularity of the championship necessitates a possible reemerging of a drivers’ association.

“I think it would be interesting, but we went down that route in Season One, but we didn’t feel like we were listened to and that still applies in a lot of cases,” Bird told e-racing365.

“Maybe now the championship is so much bigger, it might be different and perhaps the drivers want and need a voice.

“At the end of the day, the drivers are the ones who make the show and we’ve got ideas to make it better sometimes, some of which are good, others not so good, but there are ideas out there that should at least be considered.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Chris Llana

    April 3, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I’m surprised there is not a drivers’ association now. It would improve the series and the racing significantly. The drivers have a unique perspective — where the rubber hits the road.

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