‘Best driver in the world’ needs more than just a Formula One title, claims rival championship boss

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Formula One has long been the established championship at the pinnacle of motorsport racing, but that is now all changing in the eyes those involved in another series.

Alejandro Agag is chief of the Formula E championship which is now in its ninth season, running a third generation all-electric racecar.

Over the weekend, the famous streetrace of Monaco hosted the ninth race of 2023 - just past the midway point in the campaign - and Agag feels the new vehicle is perfectly suited for such an historic and prestigious track. Moreover, Agag says the championship as a whole has progressed to such an extent over the past couple of years that it can now lay serious claim to being a requirement for the best drivers to conquer.

“It’s a car made for the streets of Monaco. This Gen 3 really takes Formula E to another level,” Agag told TalkSport on the yet-to-air On Track show. “It takes it to a level where strategy is key.

“I think we’ve put it in a place where if you really want to call yourself the best driver in the world, you really need to win Formula 1 and Formula E.”

That is a view which has been echoed by several drivers on the FE grid, who feel the added strategy and control required makes it the real pinnacle of motorsport.

Dan Ticktum, a British driver with NIO, told the Independent in March that F1 drivers could be picked up on factors including nationality and financial backing - whereas FE drivers were simply there on talent.

“All the drivers are here because we’re good. It’s all merit-based,” Ticktum said. “You very rarely get signed because of a nationality. In Formula 1, a lot of people are being signed now who are not actually good enough in my opinion, it’s just where they are born. Formula E doesn’t pay attention to any of that.

“The best drivers rise to the top – merit only. There are very few championships in the world where every driver is paid to do their job; from a fans’ point of view I would like that a lot – it’s the best drivers in the world going head-to-head.”

At present, the only past Formula E champion currently involved in F1 is Nyck de Vries, in his debut season with AlphaTauri. Several of those on the FE grid have previously been in F1, but the claim would suggest Max Verstappen, F1’s current champion and leader in this season’s championship, would need to also make the switch to unify the titles, as such.

::The On Track show - the only dedicated weekly motorsport show on UK national radio - airs from on TalkSport at 1pm on Tuesday and repeats at 9pm.