FIA President Jean Todt has revealed that an e-Karting category will be part of the Youth Olympic Games later this year. Meanwhile the President of the CIK-FIA, Felipe Massa, has stated he wants to rationalise karting classes and minimise the ‘Verstappen Effect’ of drivers moving to cars too quickly.
“Providing as many people as possible with access to motor sport is one of the main priorities for the FIA and its clubs worldwide,” Todt was quoted in a statement from the FIA’s recent Sport Conference in Manila, Philippines.
“One of the key challenges is how to engage with younger generations and inspire them to get involved in our sport, both as fans and competitors.”
He directed the FIA clubs to pay special attention to the development of Karting, and the potential of e-Karting.
Above Video: Bosch and kart manufacturer Mach1 have developed an electric kart in conjunction with the FIA. It features a 20kW power train developing 300Nm of torque from a 48V battery.
“E-Karting represents not only a new opportunity in terms of motor sport development, it also demonstrates that the world is changing, and that we need to be a change-leader!
“E-Karting will be demonstrated at the Youth Olympic Games later this year in Buenos Aires – this marks a significant step for the FIA and its recognition by the International Olympic Committee.”
Meanwhile, Felipe Massa also spoke at the conference.
Massa told motorsport.com he wants all the National Motorsport Associations around the world to simplify the sport, “because now we have so many different categories and so many different engines.”
“In my view it was always a little bit difficult to understand why you have so many different things in karting. I want to give this message to all the ASNs that we need to be together and be very close and make things easier than it is” he said.
Additionally, Massa reckons that Max Verstappen’s rapid rise to F1 (he was just 17) prompted a rush of kids into single seaters, when many would have been better off serving more time in karts.
“I think karting is, in my experience, the best category to compare F1 to. It is the most similar in terms of the feeling of the driver, of sensation, of reaction, of speed, of G-force, of braking to F1.
“(But) we see so many drivers now where the mentality is they need to go as quick as they can to open wheel (cars) – which is wrong.”
Massa believes there are many of 14 and 15-years-old karters thinking of moving to single seaters, but they need to be shown, as are their fathers, that proper preparation is required and they should only move on when they are 100% ready in terms of experience.