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Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 7:56:00 PM
Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 7:58:02 PM
by ashreena pillai
Formula E Holdings chief executive officer Alejandro Agag explaining the Formula E car to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Dec 18, 2013. – Bernama Photo
PUTRAJAYA: Electric is the future in Malaysia when Putrajaya hosts one of the 10 races in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship next year.
The Formula E is FIA’s brand new championship that will feature 10 teams with two drivers racing exclusively electric single-seater cars in street races around 10 of the world’s most iconic cities.
The inaugural season will begin in Beijing in September, with Putrajaya hosting the second leg on Oct 18.
The other cities on the calendar include Rio de Janiero, Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, Miami and Berlin before culminating in the penultimate race in London in June.
“What we want to convey is that electric cars are the solution for the future of mobility in cities and we want to show the fans a good time with a race that is a fun, quick and reliable,” said Formula E Holdings chief executive officer Alejandro Agag during the official launch at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Wednesday.
“Putrajaya is unlike any other city because it’s a new city ... one that has been built for the future. So, it has a lot of the values that we are looking for in terms of innovation, technology and green-sustainability.
“And it’s in Malaysia, which has a wonderful relationship with motosports. So, we really wanted to have a race here.”
Agag said that details of the team list and drivers have yet to be finalised but he confirmed that the line-up would include drivers from Formula One, IndyCar, LeMans and endurance racing teams.
So far, Mario Andretti’s Andretti Autosport (IndyCar) and Alain Prost’s e.dams, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Racing and actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio’s Venturi GP have signed on for the championship.
“We are still working out whether it will be a day or night race ... but we would like to have at least one, if not two, Malaysian drivers in the race. I think it will be important for the fans here to have a local hero to cheer for and it would be fantastic to have a Malaysian driver win the Putrajaya leg,” said Agag.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who witnessed the signing of the City Agreement between Putrajaya Mayor Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat and Formula E founding partner and investor Datuk Seri Johann Young, said that the event could not have come at a better time as 2014 is Visit Malaysia Year.
“It is well documented that carbon emission is affecting climate change and we cannot continue in the same trajectory. We need a game changer and that is the Formula E. And if we can race electric cars in Formula E, there is no reason why electric cars cannot be the way of life in the future,” said Najib.
“I’m delighted that Putrajaya has been picked as one of the host cities and coincides well with Visit Malaysia 2014 ... it all fits in.
“And what a way to showcase to the world that Malaysia is also a country that fully supports green living.”
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motorsport, Formula E, Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak
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