So what exactly is the point, and why should you or I give two hoots? Let’s leave the financial carnage aside for one moment - we’ll let the accountants worry about that. Throughout history, technology has been developed by people with very deep pockets and, ironically, no business sense whatsoever. When NASA spent trillions of dollars to put a man on the moon, they weren’t thinking that three decades down the line, tech developed for the Apollo 11 mission would be used in our cordless vacuum cleaners. Or that their tiny microprocessors designed for the lunar landing craft would allow our houses to be filled with nonsense such as wi-fi connected toasters.
The same goes for motorsport, which, over the decades has pioneered the development (usually at colossal expense) of stuff like carbon fibre (an ultra-light, but ultra-strong material used in electric cars such as the BMW i3 and i8), carbon brakes, and advanced lightweight safety structures.
As electric cars continue to develop, Formula E is rapidly becoming one of the hottest arenas for manufacturers and suppliers to develop new kit. Car industry giants such as Jaguar, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes aren’t just in it for the champagne and the airmiles - they’re in it to test new technologies to breaking point. Anything that doesn’t go up in smoke and delivers more power, longer battery life and lighter cars will almost certainly filter down to road cars.