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Iconiq Motors Eyes Formula E Entry

Chinese EV brand Iconiq is looking at entering Formula E in the near future…

Photo: Iconiq Motors

Chinese carmaker Iconiq Motors is looking at entering Formula E in the near future, according to one of its key figures.

Ralph Debbas, CEO of W Motors, says that he is considering entering a team through Iconiq Motors, W Motors’ electric car division.

“At Iconiq, we’re considering to have our own team in the next year or two. We’re very close to the Formula E founders and organisation,” Debbas told Arabian Business last week.

“Formula E is becoming more exciting. There’s much more interaction with the viewers.”

Debbas stated that Formula E is a more attractive option than Formula 1 for Iconiq making its international debut in motorsport.

“I haven’t watched a single Formula 1 race in the past few years,” he said. “It just doesn’t excite me anymore. I watch Formula E races more than Formula 1, to be honest.”

One of the driving forces behind the potential move in to Formula E for the Iconiq brand is believed to be in order to market a new electric supercar later this year and into 2020.

Iconiq Motors is also believed to have recently started production of a seven-seat SUV, named the Iconiq 7, in Tianjin.

Space on Current Grid at Premium

It remains unclear how Debbas would get a slot in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship because the field is limited to 12 entrant teams.

Under the current constitution of Formula E, Iconiq’s only hope of a slot on the grid would be through a takeover of a current team.

Formula E has a binding agreement with the founding teams of the all-electric series that a maximum of 24 cars can race.

This constitutional deal, in addition to logistical and transportation reasons, means that only 12 teams can be granted entries.

It is believed that GEOX Dragon is the most likely team to consider being acquired but team principal Jay Penske is known to be reluctant to do so at the present time.

Ford and Honda Performance Development are believed to have had recent discussions with Penske regarding possible deals for a buy-out of Dragon to secure a slot alongside fellow manufacturers in the championship.

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Kris G.

    April 18, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Jay Penske can be ‘reluctant at the present time’ but with so many manufacturers bidding for his team (Ford, Honda and W Motors/Iconiq) soon than later we’ll see a new OEM in the grid as I doubt that Dragon can keep racing without producing any results for longer principally now that the game stepped-up with the likes of BMW and the soon to join the championship Mercedes and Porsche.

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