Legendary F1 champion Niki Lauda thinks Formula E is ‘not motor sport’

Niki Lauda

It’s hard to argue against Formula E’s historical significance and consumer market influence, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

Since its inception this year, the one-make, single-seater, all electric race series has drawn both acclaim and ire from the automotive community. For every person applauding the event for its boundary-pushing, eco-friendly image, you’ll find another critiquing it for modestly performing vehicles and a distinct lack of 12-cylinder howl.

To put it bluntly, fans are split.

When asked what he thought about Formula E, the always candid Niki Lauda did not mince words.

“For me it was the worst thing I have seen for a long time,” the legendary F1 champion and Mercedes team executive told Auto Motor und Sport. “The cars look like toys; they creep around the track one after the other. For me, this is not motor sport.”


Lauda’s qualms may be exaggerated, but they do speak to some of the inherent flaws of Formula E. For one, even with several hundred pounds of top-rated batteries inside, the cars are limited to about 45 minutes of run time at best. They also have to stop and recharge for two hours halfway through the race.

Related: Formula E’s all-electric racecars are shaping the future of tomorrow’s EVs

Still, the cars can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds, and will undoubtedly help to advance future hybrid and EV technologies, the production of lightweight materials, and the sculpting advanced aerodynamics.

Just last month, we reported that a tech company called Qualcomm had begun testing a wireless EV charging system at Formula E. Currently, the technology is being used to charge Formula E’s safety cars, but it’s just a matter of time until similar systems start to pop up in the homes of consumers.

(Photo via Biografie Online)