WATCH | Is the future of Formula 1 at risk with the emergence of e-mobility?

<i>Image: Motorpress</i>
<i>Image: Motorpress</i>

Mention the names Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and Lewis Hamilton and people know exactly what sport is being spoken about.

Formula 1 has been around for what seems like forever, with the very first race taking place back in 1946.

Times are changing

Since then, plenty of changes have taken place in terms of safety and the technology used in the cars. The one thing immediately noticeable is the decrease in engine size, going from V12 and V8s to the current use of turbocharged V6 units.

READ | Formula E could be headed to Cape Town sooner than we think - 5 reasons why SA needs an electric race

Many automakers are going down the eco-mobility route, with the core focus now on building sustainable electric cars for the future. That same ideology has already been applied to F1.

The Formula E championship is relatively new since its inception in 2014 and, besides the actual racing and futuristic looking cars, there is one big difference - the cars make no sound in comparison to the screaming F1 engines from yesteryear.

Would you continue to watch Formula 1 if the cars used electric engines? Email us, we'd like to know what you think.

Electric power units emit nothing louder than a soft whir and begs the question - could someone watching Formula E really enjoy a race car having no sound?

The idea of fitting artificial engine sound systems to those cars have been toyed with but it ultimately won't be the same. For now at least, millions around the world prefer F1 but what if it too becomes electrified?

The likes of Audi and Jaguar have channeled their resources towards an electrified motorsport avenue while other big-hitters like Porsche, Mercedes, Nissan and BMW are relative newcomers to Formula E.

A silent race

Besides the number of manufacturers already on board, plenty of experienced drivers like Stoffel Vandoorne, Sébastien Buemi, and Lucas di Grassi have made a name for themselves in the championship.

According to Audi's Chairman of the Board of Management Markus Duesmann, Formula E is the way forward in the future.

"Formula E offers a very attractive platform for this. To complement it, we’re investigating other progressive motorsport formats for the future," he said in a statement.

While F1 doesn't look like it will cease to exist anytime soon, changes in the financial climate or a perceived lack of sponsorships could see things change.

Compiled by: Robin Classen

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