Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld doesn’t see Formula E as a “genuine” alternative to Formula One, but thinks FE could one day be a stepping stone into the championship. Heidfeld originally thought FE would attract drivers like himself: older drivers who have had a less than successful Formula One career. And many ex-F1 drivers, such as Lucas Di Grassi and Nelson Piquet Jnr, have taken to the all electric series. But more and more younger drivers are being attracted to the series now. “Given, the arrival of talented youngsters, for example, my teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, I think that if it’s not quite a genuine alternative, it is definitely an important outlet for those who, possibly for financial reasons, don’t have a genuine chance of making it in F1,” Heidfeld said. “Furthermore, to establish yourself in Formula E, not only do you need to have speed, pure and simple, you also need to be quick-thinking, so as to manage the available energy as well as possible. Of course, these skills also make the difference in F1, which indicates that our championship can begin to be also considered as a stepping stone in the development of a career.” Heidfeld believes the challenge of driving on street circuits could be one of the attractions to drivers. Formula E is almost exclusively a street circuit series which has caused problems in the past both for organisers and for fans who have difficulties finding a good viewing point at some series. For now, though, street circuits are to stay in the championship, which Heidfeld sees as one of the draws of the series. “If you ask a Formula 1 driver which are his favourite tracks, the overwhelming majority will go for the street circuits, apart from the two “sacred monsters” of Spa and Suzuka,” he said. “Well, in Formula E, we race almost exclusively on temporary tracks in the heart of a cirty, where there are virtually no escape roads, and the walls are always just centimetres away. They are really fun tracks and on top of that, there’s the difficulty of learning them in a very short space of time given the programme on a race day.” Formula E will return after a long winter break in Buenos Aires later this month. For more Formula E news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula E sub forum and join in with your fellow community members. Do you see FE as a possible stepping stone? Is it for drivers getting into F1 or those leaving it? Let us know in the comments below!