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Formula E

Formula E CEO eager to avoid constant F1 comparisons

Several F1 drivers faced questions on the recent inaugural Tokyo E-Prix during last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds is eager for the comparisons to F1 to be reduced, although on the other hand, he recognises that it does "benefit" the all-electric championship.

With the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix having taken place a week before last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, it came as no shock to Dodds that some of the biggest stars in F1 – including Max Verstappen – were asked about the electric championship.

RB's Yuki Tsunoda was actually in attendance for Formula E's race in Tokyo and was surprised by the performance of the Gen3 machinery.

When the likes of Verstappen were asked about Formula E, all the comments made were positive of the series, not to the surprise of Dodds.

"I think there was a logical reason for asking the question because literally, you'd gone from Tokyo city centre to Suzuka," Dodds told select media including RacingNews365.

"So I think it was obvious that questions were asked. And it was great to see Yuki there, and he was properly excited about it and just really excited to race in the centre of Tokyo. And I did see Max's questions as well.

"In between drivers, if we're honest, if you were to ask our drivers here, what they think about F1, they all love F1. If you were to ask F1 drivers, they love motor racing, they all enjoy watching it and they will each other, so there's a healthy respect between them."

Pros and cons

As good as positive comments are for Formula E from the world of F1, Dodds does want to see fewer comparisons, with the championships being "completely different in every way.

Being compared to the pinnacle of motorsport is a tricky one for Formula E, as it highlights both negatives and positives of the category, which is turning more to permanent circuits.

This is naturally leading to further comparisons, which will undoubtedly be made next month when Formula E heads to the Shanghai International Circuit, the home of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Dodds sees both sides of how comparisons are good and bad for Formula E, given the history of F1.

"I think it's a good thing for us because they're twice our size," added Dodds. And therefore it's great to be constantly compared to somebody who's twice your size, because that's good for Formula E.

"On the other hand, I don't constantly want be compared to them, because we are completely different. The technology is different, the racing experience is different, the racing strategy is different, the sporting format is different, the driver setup is different.

"So I think, I was gonna say I don't mean lazy in a negative term, but I think it's an easy read across to just continually compare the two.

"On the other hand, that probably benefits us more at the moment than them, because we are being compared to something that's 75 years old and twice our size."

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