"Sooner or later we will be very close to Formula 1"

Alberto Longo, deputy general manager of the championship, is enthusiastic about his "resounding success" and what lies ahead.


Alberto Longo is co-founder and deputy general manager of Formula E, the right hand of Agag, we sit down with Diriyah to talk about the start of the sixth season in Saudi Arabia, the news they have prepared for this year, what he expects in the future and why it is taking so long to gain a foothold in our country.

-After a season as close as the previous one, how is the sixth presented?

-Since we created Formula E, I believe that there has been brutal equality and practically all seasons have been decided in the last race, and in some cases in the last corner. It is the great objective that we set ourselves from the beginning, that there was a lot of competition. The Valencia tests and the races of Saudi Arabia showed that everything is very tight, so we will have the show absolutely guaranteed.

-What would you say are the most important news?

-There are several. The first are three proper names: the two new students of the class with Porsche and Mercedes, and then, for me the milestone of this season, is that the pilot who wins the F2 for the first time decides to come here, as De Vries. Those three are the protagonists at this start of the season. Then, we like to complicate the engineers and what we always do is try to think about how we can make the competition continue at the highest level and the championship is more of pilots and less of engineers. And, for this purpose, we have several things like power reduction during periods of Safety Car or yellow flag. The pilots were always waiting for a safety and pushed more of the bill at the beginning counting on it, and that was going to save them energy. Now, in this way we return to the origin of Formula E having a very efficient energy management, which is the goal we set ourselves. We also have a new point for the fastest of the qualifying groups.

-You have already mentioned Mercedes and Porsche, what does it mean to have that concentration of such important brands?

-Confirmation of the great success we are having in such a short period of time. Having eight great brands, which has not had any other championship in history, is another of the great milestones, and especially when I see the four great Germans, who have never met elsewhere. Our resounding success is based on the participants and these are world class.

-Do you miss any brand?

-I am of the opinion that not many brands are needed (laughs). The industry has turned to electric much faster than previously thought and that has made the big brands look at us as the best platform to teach their news. Frankly, I don't miss any. Any Spanish? We have twelve franchises, they are already given and today we are not going to expand them. If you call us any brand we put you in touch with the teams that are not linked to any other brand, which are three. We as promoters cannot give more licenses.

-Between equality and the brands they have, can you say that you are the envy of F1 and other championships?

- (laughs). We don't like to compare ourselves with F1 because we are big fans of the engine and F1 is at the top of the pyramid. We are trying to create the pyramid of the electric. I think that sooner or later, in parallel, we will be very close to them. But comparing is not good.

-Following the news, what can you tell me about the calendar with Seoul, Jakarta ...?

- And the return to London! It is another of the great milestones because our base is there and for us it was very important to return. Seoul and Jakarta are two wonderful cities, which are perfect within our profile, with large population and pollution problems. We like to go to these megacities to show that the electric vehicle is the solution.

-There were two or three appointments that clashed with the WEC, and they had to change their calendar to not match. Is it another example of the strength of FAITH?

-We the problem we have is that we run in the center of the cities. When we set a date we do not do it on a whim, but because there is no other weekend to run. It is an important logistic issue because we turn the heart of the city into a circuit, with more than 250 km of cables, with more than 5 km of walls and fences ... It is not really known what is behind the FAITH. We make the production of events in about 21 days from when we arrive until we leave, there are many. When deciding on a date, multiple factors are taken into account and changing a date is practically impossible, it would mean, at 99%, to cancel. We have a cordial relationship with the people of the WEC, there is collaboration and we hope not to crash anymore. The reality is that we are important championships and there will be some date that neither they nor we can change, because they sure also have their difficulties.

-Following changes, is the arrival of Jaime Reigle, the new CEO, how does this affect the management part of the FE?

-Alejandro (Agag) is president and the division of powers is exactly the same. Alejandro is dedicated to the commercial and sales part, I am in relation to the cities, the FIA, the equipment and the production of the events, and Jamie is in the communication, marketing and HR part. The division is very marked and nothing will change. The relationship with Jamie? Wonderful. It has cost us a lot to find the new CEO, but it has been a complete success.

-Is Gen2 going to continue developing?

-Yes, in fact, for the next season we have an update, not in the technical part but in the visual part, in the chassis, so that people see a completely new car, the Gen2.5. The Gen3 will arrive in the ninth season. The investment made by the equipment in the chassis, in order to keep these costs low, what we have decided is that it can be amortized over four years.

-And what is happening with Spain, because it is costing the FA to take off here.

-The main thing is that we do not run here and that there are no drivers, it is very simple. Today we see more than 200 countries live, more than 44 million people, with all the publications we have ... It is a success. When Jaime (Alguersuari) left, for us it was a stick, but we are not here for five or six years, we have a long time to go and I hope one day to run in Spain and be a prophet in my land.

-It is a thorn stuck ...

-Without a doubt, personally of course. And we are talking with cities and others, but it is very difficult to organize a FAITH career. Short term? I do not visualize it. For season seven I'm sure not, for the eighth ... let's see

-He said they are not here for five or six years, what future awaits the FAITH? What are your ambitions?

-The ambition is clear, continue to grow one hundred percent every year in revenue, assistance and viewers, and continue to have these great brands behind us, not only at the sports level, but also our sponsors. In short, I will not fall in the comparison again, but we will be very close to the rest of the championships, we will even overcome them eventually because our technology is in the industry, even on a small scale, but the big brands have already turned completely to her. And in the coming years the balance between hybrids and electric and combustion engines will be very favorable to the former. Yes, we will be very high.-And they will also have the objective of continuing to be pioneers, because they do not stop inventing things ...

-Yes, not only on the calendar, but also on the sports field to try to make things difficult for engineers. The attack mode, the FanBoost ... The head never stops thinking and we want to continue implementing this type of news that makes our production much more attractive for young people, which in the end is our goal. So hopefully there is still a lot of show.

Photos from as.com
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