Vettel no fan of Formula E

Amlan Chakraborty

By Amlan Chakraborty

GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel gave a planned new electric series a firm thumbs-down on Saturday, saying silent motor racing left him cold.

The FIA-sanctioned Formula E championship is due to start next year with 10 teams racing in 10 city centers around the world.

Formula One teams McLaren and Williams are involved as technology partners in the consortium building the cars for the series while retired four times world champion Alain Prost is linked to one of the teams.

Vettel predicted it would be no match for the high-decibel series he and his Red Bull team have dominated for the last four years.

"I don't like it at all. I think it's not the future," the German said after securing his 43rd career pole at the Indian Grand Prix to put himself in prime position for his fourth successive Formula One title.

"I think the people come here to feel Formula One and there's not much to feel when a car goes by and you don't even hear anything else but the wind.

"Maybe I'm very old fashioned, but I think Formula One needs to scream, needs to be loud, there needs to be the vibration," he said.

Vettel recalled his first Formula One experience in 1992 at Hockenheim and the thrill he got from the noise from the practice session.

"Even though it was wet and the cars didn't go out, but once they did their installation laps it was a great feeling just to be there and hear them coming through the forest and feel it through the ground. That's why I'm not a big fan at all."

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was not so dismissive of the new, more environment-friendly concept.

"Well, it's an interesting thing, for sure, something new and I know there's a lot of interest..." said Rosberg who will share the front row with Vettel in Sunday's race.

"It's planned to be in the cities so it's bringing the race to the people, not the people to the race and of course it's a bit of the future, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. We need to wait and see."

Formula E organizers say their series, due to start in smoggy Beijing next September, will highlight clean energy and sustainable mobility as well as representing a vision for the future of the motor industry.

(Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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