"Formula E is the beautiful child of the FIA right now"

Javier Maffioli, responsible for the electrical competition within the FIA, spoke with As about the championship: "Jean Todt believed in him from the start".

-Who is Javier Maffioli and what he does in Formula E?

-I ran many years in karting until it was seen that I had no way to go and then I knew I wanted to be linked to motor sport. I studied marketing and communication and soon I started working. First in an agency representing athletes, then in RPM, where I spent twelve years with World Series by Renault (initially Nissan), and then with Jaime Alguersuari's project from karting to F1. I spent three years in the timekeeping company Al Kamel Systems, which is in Formula E, and I received the call of a former head of Renault Sport who offered me the option, already in FIA, to take care of the WTCC, and from there to the Formula E.

-What is your role in Formula E?

-I am responsible for the Formula E project within the FIA. I manage the sporting activity and I am also in coordination with the technical department. And then on the field in the races I'm in charge of the FIA group, normally 22 people, and I'm in 'Race Control' managing the application of the regulations.

-Everything was born with an idea of Alejandro Agag, CEO and president of Formula E, and Jean Todt, president of the FIA. It was a risky bet, but now it's a success.

-At first there were discordant voices. The idea was very revolutionary and the road difficult, but the concept has been a hook for brands and the proof is that there are more and more manufacturers. The project has become a sustainable reality. Technology advances and FE also. Jean Todt believed from the first moment and that personal faith has been transferred to the entire FIA. It has become a strategic product at all levels. You have FAITH as the beautiful child of the house right now. All new ideas have a place at the level of marketing, visibility, sports, innovation ... All you have to do is have it, raise it and share it with the promoter. And normally things come out because the understanding between Agag and President Todt is total.

-The duality FE-F1 creates problems for the FIA?

-The FIA is objective, there is no conflict between F1 and FE. They are two different products, different concepts since one is tradition and the other is innovation. They do not step on or exclude each other.

-Are urban circuits an added complication?

-Evidently it is not the same as a permanent circuit. Going to a city means, for example, that in Hong Kong two days before the race the layout is an open street with traffic. That causes a permanent headache to the promoter because there are problems. We apply the regulation in any case although we do have to be especially careful in a number of factors such as asphalt.

-The presence of Verstappen in Morocco was' very much discussed, 'helping' the stewards. How was that lived from within?

-I had the obligation to do a couple of days of service for the FIA and the first was the ePrix of Marrakech. Maybe he wanted to understand that it was a kind of punishment for what had happened in Brazil, but for him it was a race day, although obviously he was not inside the car. He enjoyed it a lot and he values now much more the work of the curators and the FIA officers than he did before.

-Finally, what does FAE lack to succeed in Spain?

-The first and necessary thing is that there is a Spanish driver in the category. It is a basic factor because although in Spain there are many people who follow the FE is the native audience of the 'motorsport' as always, the 'crazy racing'. As it was seen in F1 at the time the determining factor is a Spanish driver who wins races, that makes the growth is spectacular. Obviously having a career would also help.

Photos from as.com

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