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Motorsport Blog
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Motorsport Blog

Former Ferrari F1 team principal leads Formula E team takeover

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Former Ferrari F1 team principal leads Formula E team takeover
Jul 2, 2016, 9:27 AM

Electric car innovator Faraday Future will enter Formula E through a new partnership with the Dragon Racing team.

Electric car innovator Faraday Future will enter Formula E through a new partnership with the Dragon Racing team.

Faraday Future, which last month revealed former Ferrari F1 chief Marco Mattiacci as its new global chief brand and commercial officer, will be the American FE squad’s technical partner and title sponsor.

The company was founded in 2014, and revealed the dramatic looking FFZERO1 concept car earlier this year.

Marco Mattiacci

Speaking at a press conference at the London ePrix today, Mattiacci, who was dropped as Ferrari boss after only eight months in the role at the end of 2014, explained that Faraday Future had decided to join the all-electric racing series because it feels the two brands are aligned in their view of promoting EV technology and connected mobility.

He said: “We are extremely proud to enter the Formula E family. Faraday Future is here to create one of the best cars in the world with the main intention to disrupt the automotive movement.

“Faraday Future is the intersection of electric, smart, connected, autonomous [technology] with a new form of mobility. These are values that perfectly match with Formula E, that’s why we decided to enter this agreement [and] that’s why we decided to invest in this platform.”

Formula E Faraday Future Dragon Racing

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag welcomed Faraday Future to the series, which is coming to the end of its second season this weekend, and declared that as “the future belonged to electric cars” companies like the American manufacturer would be needed to supply EVs to new customers.

He said: “Today we welcome a brand of the future to a championship of the future. I think a brand like Faraday Future coming into Formula E really symbolises what Formula E is about.

“Four years ago is was not like this, but more and more everyday we see it. A few days ago a country like Norway announced that in 2025 there will be no more sales of combustion cars sold in that country. This year we’ve learned that every 13 minutes an electric car is being sold in the UK.

“The future belongs to electric cars and brands and initiatives like Faraday Future will come to fill this need and fill this demand for cleaner mobility [and] for connected mobility. This is a great partnership for Jay Penske and for Formula E.”

Jay Penske

Penske, who’s father Roger founded the family’s giant motor racing team in the US, explained that the deal with Faraday Future would cover three core areas: technology and performance, a media partnership and a long-term title sponsorship.

For the next four years, the team will be called Faraday Future Dragon Racing and a new white, black and yellow livery was teased to reporters at the Battersea Park track.

Penske said: “The power train, software development, intellectual property – this technology [will] going from the race track to the road and onto the vehicles that Faraday Future will be producing in early 2018.

“This is a long-term partnership. Dragon talked to many manufacturers but the commitment Faraday Future made to Dragon Racing for four years, plus an option for an additional four years, was the type of partnership and long-term investment that we were certainly seeking.”

Formula E Faraday Future Dragon Racing

Nick Sampson, Faraday Future’s senior vice president of R&D and engineering, described how that the EV manufacturer wanted to test its technology to the limit in a racing environment but said he was also attracted by Formula E’s attempts to make electric cars more interesting to the general public.

He said: “There’s a number of factors [behind the deal with Dragon]. There’s the technology side and being able to expand to racing and combine the racing with the road cars.

“We’ve got a lot of interesting technologies that we’re developing for road cars that are going to be applicable to the race field. But also, [it’s] an extreme place to test parts. The pressures of racing will pull our team together.

“But more than that, for me what is great about Formula E is what it’s doing to try and educate the public and bring to the public the news about what EVs are. In the past people thought of EVs as being dull boring vehicles and I think Formula E helps break that tradition.”

Formula E Faraday Future Dragon Racing

Formula E has seven registered power train manufacturers taking part in the 2014/2015 season, which includes Renault, Citroen’s DS brand, and Audi’s involvement with the ABT team, and Jaguar will join the grid for season three.

Dragon Racing is currently fourth in the Formula E teams’ championship with two races of season two still to go. It fields former Marussia and Lotus F1driver Jerome D’Ambrosio, who has taken two ePrix victories for the squad across the two seasons, and 2013 World Endurance champion Loic Duval.

The Formula E drivers’ championship is currently led by former Virgin F1 racer Lucas di Grassi, who is just a single point ahead of former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi, going into the two London races.

What do you make of the news Faraday Future will join Formula E? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1 , Formula E
Tags innovation