Richard Branson: Formula E will surpass Formula 1 within five years

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson believes that Formula E can rival the appeal of Formula 1 within five years

Richard Branson: Formula E will surpass Formula 1 within five years

Branson, who backs the team that carries the name of his Virgin Group, said: "There will come a time when Formula E will overtake F1.

"In four or five years time, I think you'll find that Formula E will overtake F1 in terms of number of people.

"Formula E will grow quickly, as green energy is going to grow quickly.

"People who come to see Formula E love it and that means it is will grow naturally."

Citroen's DS brand joins forces with Virgin for Formula E powertrain

But FIA president Jean Todt, who is present for Saturday's race in London's Battersea Park, said it was wrong to draw comparisons between F1 and FE.

"It is a big mistake trying to compare two different things; you can't compare London with a city on the beach.

"Formula E has races with two cars [per driver], races in the city and very different budgets - it is a nonsense to compare it with F1.

"We need F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport, but we also need Formula E, the World Endurance Championship, rallying and touring cars."

Todt added that keeping a tight control on costs in Formula E would be one of the keys to its success.

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Citroen DS brand joins forces with Virgin in Formula E for 2015/16
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