Lewis Hamilton admits he watches Formula E and is impressed by the look of the cars that compete in the all-electric series, but warns that if Formula 1 goes that route it will lose the essence that makes it the pinnacle of motorsport.
Speaking to Sport Bild, Hamilton said, “I watch the races and find it fascinating to see what is going to be the future of motor racing. Every year the cars get cooler and it looks like fun.”
But at the same time the Mercedes driver questions whether the new technology can thrill fans as in the past, “For example, this new generation have never experienced the smells or the crazy sounds of those 10-cylinder engines.”
“I was at Spa in 1996 and I remember hearing Michael Schumacher’s Benetton and it was so cool. It’s why I became an F1 driver.”
“People need those emotions, the emotions, the smells, the sounds, which of course are not the same anymore. I’m sure that if we keep heading in this direction, the basic essence of motorsport as we know it will be lost.”
Meanwhile, the five-time F1 World Champion has for the first time hinted he might be tempted to sample alternative series’ when he finally decides to quit the top tier, “So far F1 has always been everything to me.”
“When I quit, I’ll have massive withdrawal symptoms like any F1 driver, so there are other series that I could go to. Fernando Alonso is at Indy, Gary Paffett is a bit older than me and is now in Formula E. That will be the future.”
“So who knows. At the moment I will try to stay in F1. As long as I’m focused and fit, I want to be here,” added Hamilton ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.
Big Question: Will electric racing kill motorsport as we know it?