Race pace on par with Formula 3, 1,722-pound cars (with driver) and 15-minute races? That's the basic idea behind the new FIA Formula E Championship, as revealed in the official "call for expressions of interest" document.

The question is: will the format equate to a motivated, interested viewership? Or will the novelty of electric formula cars (Formulec EF01 pictured) have to carry the series' weight?

Racing looks to be set to start in 2012, as the candidacy process for competing in the series will end in December, 2011. To help meet the unique realities of electric racing cars while drumming up more viewers than might otherwise find their way to the track, the Formula E series will take to city streets. The unique requirements for the circuits will also make some cities that wouldn't otherwise be candidates for an FIA-sanctioned race likely choices.

Instead of long, high-speed straights, monstrous sweeping turns, and the typical showcase turn, the ideal Formula E city circuit is a tight, winding layout, without any long straights. The short 15-minute races are also being touted as a possible advantage, with a quicker-paced day/weekend centered around many short events rather than long build-up to a few lengthy sessions.

The cars themselves are also angling to draw in the viewers, though more through relevance to road technology than anything else: the FIA is very sensitive to avoiding the appearance of "green washing" the series, insisting the technologies employed should be legitimate, technologically innovative, and all-electric. The safety technology, too, will have some road-going similarities.

For the full preliminary brief on what the Formula E Championship will look like, and what it will take to compete, read the official document at the link below.

[FIA (PDF link)]