10 Days to Beijing: Taking Formula E On the Road
The inaugural Formula-E race will take place in Beijing, China on September 13, 2014. This event kicks off a 10-race series at urban tracks around the world. But unlike Formula-1, where teams often return home in-between races; Formula-E teams will finally return to their base in Donington, UK sometime in late Summer 2015.
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It’s one thing to take a band on the road. Formula-E is taking 40 cars, 10 teams, hundreds if not a few thousand people, hundreds of tires, charging stations, clothes, tools, diagnostic equipment and these very large things called lithium-ion batteries for an around the world trip. I’m not sure which may like traveling less, the batteries or the people.
That’s just part of it. Formula-E Holdings, parent company of Formula-E, is going to bring people and material to set up a complete fan experience. Not to mention the hospitality suite experience as well.
The challenge isn’t with DHL, a sponsor and long-time logistics provider for the Formula International Association (FIA), parent of all Formula series racing. They’ve been shipping things globally since 1969, DHL can get the equipment from Point A to Point B with no problem, and right on time.
The challenge may not be with the drivers. Gather a group of young, confident men and women, then tell them they’ll have a chance to travel the world, hear the roar of fans, and go really fast. If you were offered that opportunity in your 20’s and early 30’s you’d jump at the chance. Acclimating them to road life should be no problem.
I think the challenge will be with the rest of the teams. Pit crew, engineers, FIA staff, and the rest of those needed to stage a Formula-E race. How to keep them motivated and in good spirits. Overcoming homesickness and being away from family for up to 10 months. I do feel for them. Even though I’d give at least one pinkie toe to be them.
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