New boss wants quiet Formula E to make more noise off track

Formula E, by contrast, has four drivers in title contention

By Web Desk
July 28, 2023
Envision Racing's Nick Cassidy and Maserati Msg Racing's Maximilian Gunther in action during the race - Reuters 

New Formula E boss Jeff Dodds wants the quietest of motor racing world championships to make a lot more noise, off track at least.

If the Briton sounds punchier than his predecessors, particularly towards Formula One, it is because he feels the electric city-based series has plenty to shout about but is not getting the recognition it deserves.

"We're always going to be quiet because it's an electric vehicle," Dodds, who joined Formula E in June from Virgin Media O2, told Reuters ahead of a title-deciding double-header of races at London's ExCeL Centre this weekend.

"But that doesn't mean we can't shout about what we do and be noisy about what we do and the race series and how competitive it is.

"I want to be the noisiest quietest sport in the world."

Breaking an indoor speed record this week with a modified version of the latest Gen3 Formula E race car was part of that focus on showing off the car's performance and blistering acceleration.

A lifelong Formula One fan, who once worked for Honda, Dodds is not afraid to say what he thinks about the state of that series with Red Bull and Max Verstappen on a record streak of wins after years of Mercedes domination.

"I want a healthy Formula One because it attracts people to motorsport," he said.

"And I want us to be showcasing what we're capable of doing, and leveraging all of our power.

"I love it when a sport, Formula One or MotoGP, has great positive stuff to shout about. But let's be really honest, and I can say this as a fan, the racing (in F1) is pretty shocking at the moment.

"The fact that there's been more headlines written about breaking a vase at the weekend then there was actually about the (Hungarian) grand prix tells you kind of where the quality of the racing is."

Verstappen is 110 points clear of team mate Sergio Perez but the smashing of his porcelain trophy on the podium in Budapest last Sunday also provided a big talking point.


Formula E, by contrast, has four drivers in title contention. There have also been seven different winners from six teams.

Dodds said the series, now ending season nine, was about the racing as much as sustainability and electric vehicles.

"No-one can tell me when I turn up to a race who is going to win it. If I talk to the team and say which driver do you fancy today, they can't even tell me which one of their drivers is more likely to do well. It's so unpredictable," he added.

Formula One draws far bigger audiences and is enjoying a surge thanks to the Netflix docu-series 'Drive to Survive' but Dodds said Formula E had sustainability and electrification behind it.

Formula E also has an exclusive licence to be the governing FIA's sole electric world championship until 2039.

"We've got so much runway ahead of us, so much tailwind behind us," said Dodds.

"If you sat down and said 'Right, we're going to start a race series. I tell you what: you can have Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan, Maserati, McLaren, Andretti, Penske.

"'You can have these brands, these sponsors, these venues and this performance in the car. You're going to have a world that's moving towards electrification. Go and do something with that'.

"If I can't grow that business with the team we've got and all the component parts we've got, then someone needs to put me out to pasture."