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A Chat on all things Formula E with Nick Golding

Written by Vyas Ponnuri, Edited by Tarun Suresh

Image Credits - Nick Golding

Working in motorsport is a dream profession for anyone introduced to it at a young age and someone who’s fallen in love with the sport. You would almost certainly find people working in this sector out of pure passion, something they dreamt of at a very young age. 

While getting behind the wheel of a car and piloting it around a racetrack consistently is the ultimate dream, it is simply out of reach for most motorsport fans, requiring plenty of commitment and funding from a relatively young age. The next alternative would be working on the sidelines, either as the support staff on a team or in the media, a more viable option for a large section of motorsport aficionados.

To make it far in motorsport, you need to be passionate, dedicated, and stand out in a crowded sector. One has to rise up the hierarchy, sometimes working for free to get exposure, to working for a fee later, having become an established name in the field. Nick Golding is a journalist ascending the metaphorical ladder as well; displaying passion through a series of articles across publications.

Divebomb had the opportunity to sit down and discuss with Nick about his career, becoming a Formula E journalist, and certain interesting topics surrounding the premier electric racing series. 

Nick’s dad worked in F1 back in 1998; Image Credits - Steve Etherington/Motorsport Images

Getting into Motorsport

When asked about getting introduced to motorsport, Nick takes us on a story down memory lane, explaining that he was actually ‘born into motorsport’, in his words. Nick’s dad had a unique job within Formula One, back in 1998, driving around racetracks and installing cameras on kerbs across the racetracks. 

I was kind of, instantly surrounded by motorsport, because of him” Nick recalls, as he narrates the tale of his dad driving Ford Transit vans around famous racetracks, installing the kerb cameras back then. 

Alongside his days of installing kerb cameras, Nick’s dad used to race karts, and in fact, had his own team too. Nick himself recollects the days of family trips to racetracks with his mom and brother, to watch his dad race. He justifies by saying it wasn’t a single moment that got him into motorsport, as he was born into a family involved in the sport itself. 

Nick recalls how his dad worked for six months in Formula One, during a tightly-contested 1998 season, on the sidelines, before stepping aside and getting back into go-karts soon after. 

Covering Motorsport Series for the First time

Much like the vast majority of motorsport fans, Nick had the ultimate dream — becoming a racing driver, following in his dad’s footsteps, as he looked to make a career as a racer. However, this dream only lasted a short while, as he realised it wouldn’t be a possibility in the future. 

His thoughts then turned to the next best way of getting into motorsport, working in the media team. Nick’s dream is to become a motorsport presenter one day, and he started working towards this goal, securing a seat to pursue a Bachelor’s in Sports Business and Broadcasting, as he looked to forge a career in motorsport. 

As was the natural course of progress for an aspiring motorsport journalist, Nick began looking for websites and publications to ply his trade, when the news of a widespread pandemic gripped the world and confined everyone to the peripheries of their homes. 

The pandemic had affected a large section of the population, and Nick was no exception. “All my work experience I had planned for university, was all gone”, he commented, highlighting the effects of the pandemic on his career path. 

With the pandemic raging across the world, Nick was restricted in what he could do within motorsport, and gradually, another door opened in the form of journalism, and writing. While he did have very little writing experience to boot, back then, Nick took his opportunities, joining the team at The Checkered Flag, a publication covering motorsport series, and looking for writers to expand their ever-growing team. 

As he worked on their Formula One team, Nick says he discovered how he was actually good at writing and was fortunate to get feedback from fellow writers on the team. 

Going through the ranks at The Checkered Flag, another door would open up for this up-and-coming journalist from Aylesford.

Nick first covered FE back in 2021; Image Credit - Sam Bloxham

The prospect of covering Formula E

As Nick continued his journey for this publication back in 2021, another door opened up for him, this time as a Formula E editor. The team were looking for someone to handle Formula E news, and entrusted Nick with this role, seeing him as the right fit for the job. 

This would be familiar territory too, as Nick followed the electric racing series closely, having watched every season to date. It was a niche to write for any series other than Formula One, and as Nick says, covering Formula E would give him more options going into the future, making him more versatile as a journalist. 

“Ever since then, I’ve ended up dropping F1, and it’s been FE, pretty much” says Nick, as he traces the journey of his career ever since. He still shares a mutual love for Formula One, saying it would be right up there, but with a greater focus on Formula E, where his heart is at. 

A short discussion too follows, discussing how people have gotten into following Formula E, and keeping up with the action.  

Much like Nick’s career so far, the conversation takes a turn, shifting focus onto Formula E, and some trending topics around the decade-old series. 

Nick has even reported live from Formula E races, including the London E Prix; Image Credit - Nick Golding

The Conversation shifts towards Formula E

Nick has been a staunch follower of Formula E, having been drawn to it naturally during the inaugural Formula E season in 2014, and this would come to his aid in the future. 

Checkered Flag didn’t have a Formula E writer initially” recollects Nick, and when he was offered the role of a Formula E writer, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. 

Initially, the role was just for a race during season seven, to see the benefits of covering Formula E. However, as Nick narrated, he did such a good job, and he was given free rein to cover the series and go about it. Today, he is responsible for most of the Formula E content on the page, a good feeling indeed. 

Formula E’s driver market has always been volatile, with drivers regularly moving house every year or so. The same could be said for this off-season too, with a plethora of driver moves meaning only two teams, ERT Formula E Team (formerly NIO 333), and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team retained their existing driver pairing from season nine. 

This is usually a fun time for everyone, as a game of prediction begins, as fans predict the driver moves ahead of the upcoming season. Nick resonates with this, saying he too enjoys it all. 

The Formula E driver market grid witnesses several changes every year; Image Credits - Sam Bloxham

Nick also talks about the time being a round of investigation for journalists, as they chat about this too. He also goes on to say how it’s important to have connections with the Formula One paddock, with drivers from F1 or its junior formulae taking to the electric racing series, and sometimes, news even passes from the F1 paddock before reaching Formula E. 

Trusting the right sources is also one way to be successful in this field, as conveying incorrect information could even land journalists in trouble. 

Much like the majority of the Formula E fanbase, Nick was a massive fan of the Gen2 Formula E cars, as they certainly provided for great racing, while looking the part too. When he got a glimpse of the Gen3 Formula E car at the 2022 London E Prix weekend, Nick was confused and didn’t know what to say. 

However, as he narrates, when he went to Jaguar’s launch of their Gen3 Formula E car, his perceptions of the latest Formula E machine changed, and it looked pretty good. 

Nick appreciated the Gen3 Formula E car after seeing the Jaguar Gen3 car at the launch event; Image Credit - Sam Bloxham

The biggest takeaway was that when racing is good, people tend to appreciate the car, and heap praises upon it. And if the racing is not good, people tend to point out the minute details and slam the changes for not being effective. 

Nick also wondered what the Gen4 car would be — considering how the Gen3 car has shattered records of all types with aplomb. 

Fast charging is yet another of Formula E’s expected technological advancements, and proposals have been floated to trial this massive project in the near future too. Nick agreed on the importance of this and said he hoped for the best, and how it would push Formula E forward. This technology could trickle down to road cars, and one could imagine the effects of that move. 

Formula E recently broke into the top five of the largest fanbases in the world, reaching a cumulative audience of 225 million tuning into the races in 2023 — the largest in the history of the series. And Nick pitches in with an important pointer: Formula E has penetrated into three massive audiences: China, the USA, and India. 

Nick also spoke of the Formula E package as a whole — and how the racing is one of the best, if not the best in motorsport. With overtaking action almost every lap, and the sport being friendlier on the wallets, a lot more people have taken to the sport, he remarks. 

Nick also says drivers have been considering Formula E as a more viable option, with drivers from Formula 2 making a move to the electric racing series, recognising the importance of establishing links with Formula E teams. Prominent examples include Jehan Daruvala for 2024, and the likes of ERT pairing Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara, both having graduated from F2 to Formula E. 

Portland was frantic, but was it racing? questions Nick; Image Credits - Simon Galloway

The conversation then shifts to the Portland E Prix — and whether Formula E should race more often on permanent road courses in the future. Nick actually speaks of the race as something that wasn’t as entertaining. “Qualifying was exceptional,” he remarks, as he spoke of drivers pushing to the extremities of the circuit, and getting the most of their machinery. 

Coming to the race, he questions, “Was it really racing?” and says the outlook of the race was based on audience perceptions. Nick backs up the statement by giving the instance of drivers conserving energy for most of the race, before pushing flat out towards the end. 

Nick also wonders if new fans would understand the essence of Formula E if they saw cars going five or six abreast into turn one. He also narrates when he was writing a report on the race. “At one point, I just stopped,” he remarks, wondering how to report overtakes every single lap. 

He also speaks of a format change for Formula E when they race on conventional circuits, where races are double headers, with reduced distance, to allow drivers to push harder, than conserve energy for most of the race. 

Nick believes Max Gunther will become a championship contender in 2024; Image Credits - LAT Images

One Hot Take for 2024, and a Bonus Question

The interview then rounds out with a question posed to Nick, regarding one hot take for the 2024 Formula E season. Nick goes with Max Gunther becoming a championship contender in season ten. 

And it is hard not to assume the German wouldn’t be in the mix for a championship, given he picked up his pace as the season progressed. Podiuming at his home race with a last-gasp pass on Sebastian Buemi was a highlight, and kick-started his comeback. However, the weekend at Jakarta was his best of the season, and even his career, the Maserati racer topping every session bar one, which was race one of the weekend. 

Nick believes Gunther could be a real problem for the likes of Jaguar and Porsche if he resumes season ten in the same vein of form as he ended season nine — and Gunther could really solidify himself as a contender for the championship. 

The bonus question was about guessing the best race in 2024, and Nick goes with the Hyderabad E Prix. The Indian city played host to a thriller in season nine, and Nick believes it will deliver once again in 2024. 

Do keep an eye on our social media channels for a special stopwatch challenge, as Nick was given a challenge to name all the drivers on the 2024 Formula E grid within one minute. 

Nick is currently a Formula E editor at Motorsport Week, and continues to provide high-quality coverage of Formula E for the publication. Do check out his profile on the Motorsport Week website to view his work. 

Divebomb would like to thank Nick for taking his time for this fruitful interview, and wishes him all the best for his future endeavours in motorsport. 


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