The popularity of the all-electric racing series Formula E will overtake that of Formula 1 within “four to five” years according to Sir Richard Branson.
Branson has been involved in both racing series. In 2009 he sponsored the Brawn GP team before setting up Virgin Racing in 2010. It later morphed into Marussia when he sold his interest.
Now the billionaire entrepreneur owns his own FE team which currently sits sixth in the championship.
Despite the series having a relatively small following due to this being its first season, it has already attracted some large backers, and Branson believes it will soon surpass F1 in terms of popularity.
“I think four or five years from now you’ll find Formula E overtaking Formula 1 in terms of number of people [viewing] and more and more, as time goes on, clean energy businesses are going to power ahead of other businesses.
“There’s still going to be room for Formula 1 for a few more years but I would say there will come a time when Formula E will overtake it.
“With Formula E, you can still hear the roar of the cars from the tarmac as they come through a corner, but at least you can have a conversation and a drink when you’re watching which you can’t do with Formula 1.”