A failure was predictable

News 19 December, 2017
  • Photo archive, Martin Knight

    Louis Butcher

    Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 01:00

    Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 01:00

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    Agree to organize a race in Formula electric is a bet more than bold. It is an adventure that brings you straight to the money pit, as described by the mayor Valérie Plant.

    Had it not been for the stubbornness of Denis Coderre, for whom the expense was not a priority in this case, the FE would never have landed in Montreal.

    And no proponent, including the receipts from the counters and the partnership with sponsors are essential to the survival of the event, would not have agreed to embark on this perilous adventure.

    Evenko is in washing the hands

    “This is not an “if” but a “when” a “, exclaimed the ex-mayor of Montreal after his mission in Miami in march 2015. Coderre insisted, to his race, but he was also given the role of organiser at evenko, even if the company had no expertise in the events of motor racing.

    If evenko has immersed himself in this mess, it was that she was assured of not having to assume the financial losses, which would rather be wiped by the “Montreal, it’s electric” (MCE), a non-profit organization created by Coderre. With the results that we know.

    Big debt

    Today, MCE has a little over four million in the Championship of Formula E, which amount was intended to pay the rights of the race. The contract, valid up to 2019, inclusive, states that these rights are attached to more than six million per year.

    To free themselves of this debt, MCE could declare bankruptcy shortly.

    It is also noted that, despite the presence of more sustained major automobile manufacturers in FE, the championship doesn’t work.

    If BMW, Audi, Nissan, Jaguar, not to mention Mercedes and Porsche next year, have agreed to participate, it is that their engagement does not require astronomical amounts of money and that it represents a test bed for developing new technology.


    But the FE shows a discomfort even deeper. Only two stops on the calendar-the inaugural – the first race was run in September 2014 – are maintained in the calendar of the fourth season, which began on December 2 last.

    We would have been able to say a single (Berlin), since the race in Punta del Este, Uruguay, who did not wish to return, was replaced at short notice a few weeks ago, the test initially scheduled in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on march 17, 2018. There are also question marks over the holding or not of the two tests in New York, scheduled for mid-July next year.

    Finally, despite the presence of a few ex-F1 drivers, none of whom has won a Grand Prix, and the FE lack of stars, of these, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso, who move the crowds.