You established a new motorsport series with the FIA Formula E Championship. Now Formula E is booming. How did you accomplish this?
It was a great idea and the timing was right. In the beginning many people expected us to fail, and it nearly turned out that way. But more and more companies joined us as time went by—manufacturers, suppliers, additional partners. Now Formula E is a brilliant success and everyone wants to be part of it.
What will change with the entrance of Porsche and other automobile manufacturers over the next two seasons?
The level will rise. We want to offer the manufacturers a platform to market their electric vehicles. Having Porsche join in the 2019/20 season, above all, is a dream come true for me. When this brand, with its unparalleled racing history, announced its involvement in Formula E, it was an overwhelming moment for all of us.
In late 2019 Porsche will also present the Taycan. Are you looking forward to the first purely electrically powered sports car from Zuffenhausen?
I own a few electric vehicles already, but now I’m eagerly awaiting the Porsche Taycan. The first time I saw the concept car, I immediately preordered one in Zuffenhausen.
Aside from the electric drive units in the cars, what distinguishes Formula E from other motorsport series?
We drive on city circuits, which is quite different from traditional motorsport events. At the same time, we want to bring electromobility closer to the public. We achieve that not only through the action on the track but also with our E-Village gathering place next to the track, which informs visitors about electromobility at each race.
How do you see the future of motorsports?
It has to surmount some major challenges, because its target group has fundamentally changed. Here’s an example: as a child I had a dream car card game that I played with my friends. We were absolutely crazy about it. Today kids are crazy about smartphones, tablets, and video games. Motorsports has to respond to that. We just recently unveiled an app, for example, that enables players to compete live against a driver during a Formula E race. Players can virtually take part in the race themselves. In Formula E, we think outside the established patterns. Many of our employees are young and bring a lot of fresh ideas to the table.
The son of an Algerian banker, Alejandro Tarik Agag Longo was born in Madrid in 1970. The business graduate started his career in finance and was a member of the European Parliament with Spain’s Partido Popular. His passion for motorsports ultimately brought him to Formula One. He managed the broadcasting rights for Formula One in Spain and initiated the construction of a new racetrack in Valencia. When the FIA was looking for promoters for a new racing series of electric vehicles in 2011, Agag jumped at the chance—and is both the founder and CEO of Formula E Holdings Ltd.
Text first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 388