De Ferran: Extreme-E will appeal to Alonso and Hamilton

While McLaren toil to turn around a horrendous spell in Formula 1 their sporting director Gil de Ferran popped up as a founder of the new Extreme-E initiative which the Brazilian reckons will suit the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

The series format has been presented, Extreme E will use electric SUVs on challenging stages up to 10 kilometres long. Amazon Rainforests Track and Arctic Ice Race were bandied about as possible venues.

These races will be filmed by a team headed up by Academy Award-winning artistic director Fisher Stevens who has described the venture as ‘Blue Planet meets the Dakar’.

During a recent launch function in London, alongside Formula-E supremo Alejandro Agag, De Ferran was quizzed about what type of race drivers would be attracted to such a series.

He replied, “Fernando would certainly add a lot. He’s very famous, he’s fun, he’s a great driver and it would be great to have someone of his notoriety and character in our event. This appeals to those that love challenges, have a sense of adventure and an environmental conscience.”

“It would be great to have Lewis Hamilton participate, race and be part of this adventure too. Drivers like that would add a lot.”

“Extreme-E offers a unique sport, adventure and entertainment concept that has never been seen or done before. Viewers can expect a completely new way of consuming sport, with each episode telling not just the story of a race, but the need to protect these remote environments,” added De Ferran-  a two time CART (Indycar) Champion and Indy 500 winner.

As yet, no manufacturers appear to be on board officially, however, on paper the made for TV championship appears to tick all the boxes, and aims to capitalise on the electric-car ‘boom’ and boasts on their minimalistic website:

“The growth of electric vehicle sales and rapid success of the Formula E series with global audiences growing to 330 million in just four seasons, versus a general decline in viewing for traditional motorsport competitors, shows the demand for innovative automobile solutions. ”

Big Question: While McLaren burns Zak allows Gil to play in another sandbox… What do McLaren fans think of the bosses of their team wearing so many hats?