Sir Richard Branson makes first FIA Formula visit

March 14, 2015

Sir Richard Branson makes first FIA Formula visit

March 14, 2015

FE_miami_qual 3
He founded one of the most well known business empires in the world, has broken world records for sailing and hot air ballooning across the world’s major oceans, now Sir Richard Branson is a driving force behind one of the leading teams in the FIA Formula E Championship.

Virgin Racing has already scored a race win with Sam Bird in Malaysia and both Bird and Jaime Alguersuari are in the top ten in points. The Virgin founder is here in Miami to support his team this weekend – his first visit to the FIA Formula E Championship.

formulaE_argentina_racegal 2While series boss Alejandro Agag got the chance to drive the Formula E car this week in testing at Homestead, Branson was keen but concerned when asked today whether he would like to climb aboard one of his team’s cars.

“As long as people stay well clear I’d be delighted to have a go. I have been banned by my family from driving because I’ve turned over three cars with them in it – my mind is always thinking about other things – that’s why we have pilots for our planes and good motor racing drivers for our cars,” Branson said.

Branson is a keen supporter of FIA Formula E and confident the championship will be a driving force in developing new technologies for the road.

“We spend a lot of time on not-for-profit organizations. We have the Carbon War Room, the B Team and we’re trying to work towards a world that is carbon neutral by 2050,” Branson said.

“Unless you have sports like this you’ll never get to carbon neutral by 2050. It is a tremendously exciting world, an exciting aim to target.

formulaE_round2_race“FIA Formula E will pioneer new technology which can then be used in ordinary cars and I hope that 10 or 20 years from now the smell of exhaust will be as much a thing of the past as the smell of cigarettes in a restaurant. That’s what we have to get to.”

Virgin Racing will be one of the eight manufacturers approved to develop new drivetrain technology for the FIA Formula E championship next year. While there is no limit to the amount of investment manufacturers can spend on these developments, there is a cost cap for what the technology is available for other teams. Anything developed by one of the eight manufacturers must be made available to all competitors in the series.

“That’s the exciting thing about new technology coming up from next year with unique ways of making their car better than the others,” Branson said.

“By having all that manpower, finance and energy, there will be breakthroughs that will make a big difference to the ordinary battery-driven cars driven by the public.

“What exactly those breakthroughs are going to be – who is to know – but watch this space.”

Latest Photos

Latest Video

61-Car Field Drives a Combined 140,000 miles at 2023 Rolex 24

Friday March 3, 2023