Wolff sees Formula E as ‘a serious motorsport player’

Toto Wolff believes Formula E enjoys many qualities wish have the potential to propel the growing series towards a very bright future.

The all-electric racing format has received multiple seals of approval lately, with both Mercedes and Porsche announcing a move to Formula E where the two German manufacturers will join Renault, Audi, Jaguar and BMW.

As the automotive industry undergoes a massive shift towards hybrid and electric power trains, Formula E has been identified by manufacturers as a favorable terrain for development of their technology.

“Electrification is happening as we speak, the technology [in Formula E] is very immature and the racing series is very immature,” says Wolff.

“But they have a very charismatic energised entrepreneur who runs the series, who has against all odds been able to attract all major German premium car manufacturers into the series.

“I would not be surprised if in three, four, five years Formula E is something totally different, and all of us might be sitting in a room like this and talking about the Formula E race.

“I think it’s important to have that mindset that things are changing and probably we can’t anticipate in which way things are changing.

“I also like the ten-cylinder [petrol] engine, but I’m not sure that in five years anybody else is going to like it apart from us.”

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Wolff pointed to the success of Elon Musk’s Tesla company as an example of growth and success.

“Five years ago a Tesla was a Lotus Elise with a big battery in the boot,” he adds.

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“Today it is a serious automotive player. So Formula E for us is an exciting start-up.

“It has event character, it’s urban. It attracts totally different audiences to what traditional motorsports do.

“And in our strategy, we cover the global platform that is Formula One and we cover the start-up that Formula E is today, in order to learn about it, how it develops and maybe that Lotus Elise is going to become a serious motorsport player in five years.”

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