Formula E: Your 2015-16 Verdict

The second season of the electric Formula E championship has come to end with Sebastien Buemi crowned champion! The championship ended in, perhaps, slightly strange circumstances with Buemi winning the title after claiming fastest lap during the season ending London ePrix. Like last season, ITV were on-site for the race from Battersea Park, and again like last year, we do not know if ITV will continue to cover the series.

The F1 Broadcasting Blog is interested to know your opinion on the series. What did you think? Has Formula E’s coverage improved compared to their inaugural season, or has the championship suffered second season syndrome? Has ITV’s own additional studio content been good, or do changes need to be made there? What do readers think about the World Feed commentary, has the tandem of Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti been on-form?

As always, your thoughts are welcome, with the best opinions forming part of a new blog post in around a month from now.

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13 thoughts on “Formula E: Your 2015-16 Verdict

  1. Good coverage by ITV again this year although a shame they failed to show qualifying and the Mexico ePrix live this year which is a shame although there’s reasons for that’s.

    Poor ratings haven’t helped the series grow at all, in fact it’s driven viewers away thanks to the fact that the title battle hasn’t been as good this year and the fact that ITV have done poor promotion for the series.. What a year a difference it can be, last year ITV was cross-promoting with ITV4 for the season finale, now this year I have seen just 1 advert through EURO 2016. 😦

    Defently don’t think ITV will keep the rights next season, BT I think will snatch it and pay significantly more for a multi-year deal. I guess the question is who would presenter the coverage for the coverage if BT got it, the 2 names that spring to mind are Natalie Quirk (Does Speedway GP presenting) and Suzi Perry. (Doing multiple motorsports work for BT)

    Anyway whoever is ITV’s successor, they will need to promote Formula E Better!!!!

  2. I think that there are 3 main aspects to this, and they are interlinked.
    Firstly it’s the Series itself, and the concept of being a stand alone street race Series.
    Street circuits reduce overtaking and far too many laps under the safety car.
    Then there’s the World Feed and the Commentary team of Nichols and Franchitti.
    The camera angles are poor and need to be a lot better to make the cars look actually faster than they are. I don’t like Nicholls and Franchitti, I find them over the top, but they are probably just trying to add some excitement into it because of the problems with street circuits etc.
    With ITV, I think they do a decent job and they give Formula E more than enough air time. The 1 hour build up is a waste though as it just doesn’t have enough depth to it.

    I generally record the races so I can fast forward through the waffle and the safety car periods, the concept of Formula E has the most faults for me. I think it would be more appealing as an F1 support race.

    • I couldn’t disagree more about everything you said. Jack and Dario are by far the best commentary team in racing. They have fun while being very thorough and Dario gives a lot of driver insight. Jack is the most talented lead commentator in racing.

      The street tracks are tight but there is significantly more overtaking and close racing than almost all F1 races, which take place on far wider circuits.

  3. I think the Championship has been ok, but not as good as Season 1. ITV have ruined their chances of building a fanbase due to low-level promotion. The Main Feed needs improvement, Franchitti has decent understanding of the sport but Nicholls gets over-excited (hate him). Nicki Shields brings good insight but is rarely heard from during the races.

    I think that ITV have gave great airtime to Formula e, but it is unnecessary. If the series is to gain viewers the only option is the BBC, but do they want it due to the low ratings. If they could get a 1 year deal for about £5 million, it would be worth a shot.

    BBC Formula e:
    Saturday:
    10.45 – 12.15: Qualifying (BBC1)*
    14.30 – 16.30: ePrix (BBC1)*
    18.45 – 19.00: eReport (BBC News)

    Sunday:
    11.00 – 12.30: ePrix Replay (BBC2)
    * Times based on European Weekend.

    The likelihood is that it will go to Pay-To-View (likely BT). If it went to Sky they could show it on Sky F1 for most weekends, but they are unlikely candidates as some of the races clash.

  4. ITV will probably drop Formula E following their horse racing deal in 2017. Just feel ITV could have done more to promote this series it just doesn’t seem to appeal really.

  5. Where to start on FE season 2…

    Drive train

    Firstly, I believe it was a success, the opening up of the drivetrain worked well and helped move the series away from comparisons to GP2/3 due to it’s one-make nature.

    However I would have liked more explanations on the merits & downsides to each teams solution to the choices available to them.

    Format

    The single day format still works and I think keeps ticket costs down for spectators as there is no need for weekend tickets ala Formula 1 and other categories.

    I have a personal preference that races should be around the 90-120 minute mark (like F1 & Indycar) as this means there is plenty of time for strategies, tyre choices etc to play out.

    I don’t think this is the way FE is going with it’s races and they will stay at the 45-60min mark to keep the young interested in the races.

    Social Media

    This is one area that FE excels. When I am out and missing practice or qualifying, it is great that I can nip on the FE Facebook or Twitter feed for several quick videos of the highlights of the action, the crashes, the pole lap etc.

    The amount of videos that are uploaded to the FE Youtube account is great. Some of the videos are a bit naff but the ones explaining the logistics of bringing the tracks together and Top 5’s are pretty good and worth watching.

    Tracks

    On the whole the tracks have been excellent, however a few aspects have left a lot to be desired.

    Unfortunately Battersea was never suitable for racing. The camber is off the charts and it was far too narrow for 90% of overtaking opportunities. I hope an alternative can be found but I’m not convinced Buckingham Palace etc will be it.

    The rest of the tracks have been good for racing (Punta unfortunately a little too narrow too). A lot of them have been wide (for street circuits) and created good racing but there has been an abundance of mickey mouse chicanes that have broken up the tracks and hampered overtaking (Mexico turn one I’m looking at you).

    Driving standards

    The driving standards have improved this year compared to the crash fest of Season 1. I feel some of the crashes are down to the nature of street tracks that sometimes a lunge is needed to get an overtake completed.

    Scoring

    The farce that was yesterdays race and Buemi & Di Grassi faffing around on track driving slowly and quickly while the race was in full swing just shows the ridiculous situations that arise from awarding points for Fastest Lap & Pole position.

    Points should just be the usual 25-1 for positions 1-10. I hope FE & the FIA see what how stupid the series, the situation and in all fairness (Buemi & Di Grassi) looked yesterday and remove these bonus points. I have not seen one positive write-up on the race as outlets focus on Buemi & Di Grassi’s antics

    Calendar

    As has been mentioned by better writers than me, the gaps between are far too long. Formula E is trying to attract young new fans but a three month gap between races is an eternity and is a sure fire way to ensure the casual fan who has seen maybe one race to forget about the series (especially if the on-screen promotion of the series continues to be as non-existent as it has been during S2)

  6. to be quite honest i keep forgetting its on as its not advertised at all.

    I did not notice the highlights where on sunday morning but i dont think motor racing is suited to highlights so dont watch them. its either live or nothing

  7. Everything has been great. The racing, the coverage, the technology.

    The only thing to improve will be having all the teams catch up to Renault which will undoubtedly happen next year to a large extent.

    It’s going to be incredible next season.

  8. Well I did watch Battersea with one eye and Wimbledon with the other, the tennis was more exciting!
    The Battersea circuit could have been anywhere. just two walls and no view of the scenery. In this case far more in car camera time was needed, a bit of creativity. Get an art student in with some ideas.
    The car changeover is an anathema, they should be swapping batteries not whole cars, then the tyres would become a proper factor.

    Over the race I have watched this season I think they should swap to Karting and show that instead.

  9. The series – Not as many good races this year(still good). The calendar spread was terrible especialy from round 8 to 9. It is basicly electric indycar(thats good)

    ITV’s pre and post race coverage was not required at all. The itv team all remind me of johnny hebert by saying alot without actualy saying anything. The adverts were a joke pretty much cutting away mid podium totaly ruins the atmosphere.

    The world feed trio of Nichols, franchitti and shields was brilliant (i think the best currently in motorsport). Why didn’t itv use the world feed 30min before the race and until 30min after the race. It would save production costs. I really fear for the series if it goes to bt sport. Hope bbc pick it up as they have a better reach.

  10. Do not watch any of the faff pre show on itv, watched a bit of that at the beginning of the last season and that was enough. Watch online on the official website and use the official app too, which is well laid out and has tons of good stuff.
    The commentary team of Jack, Dario and that lovely Nicki is very good indeed. I normally hate all that f1 interviewing, but Nicki does it so well and makes it so much more interesting and really engages with the drivers and teams.
    Enjoy it more as some fun racing, not as serious as I would for f1 or other more traditional motorsport. The technology is all a bit naff at times, not sure it really matters to me. Glad the DJ got ditched, but that fanboost is just rubbish. They need the battery thing to last the whole race too.
    Could not care where it sits on british tv as long as they keep the app and online stuff going.
    Stupid idea to move it off itv4 on Sunday, heard many who missed it as they were expecting it on the itv sports channel itv4 and just saw some tour france road bike stuff.

  11. Also, they need to stop using those second rate circuits and that battersea one looked like a homemade carting track, did not see many people watching it their live, unless they were hanging on the trees.

  12. I’ve really enjoyed the formula e season once again. There is close and exciting racing, which brings the fans very close. I was in London on Saturday and was able to get so close to all the drivers in the autograph session which you could only ever dream of doing in f1. All that for a tiny £30 (I’ve just paid £275 to go to spa general admission for example)

    I think the 1 day format is great, however I think the planning of the calender should be looked at, 2 months between a race is no good for retaining an audience I guess.

    In my opinion ITV have done a good job with coverage, however having it on ITV 4 probably hadn’t helped viewing figures. I just hope that if itv do indeed give it up that it stays on free TV, but alas just like the F1 in a few years I guess I will be disappointed. Fingers crossed though as I am definitely in favour of fe!

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