Formula E and its sanctioning body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), have today (Thursday) released the calendar for its fifth season, with China set to receive a second event.
The 2018-19 calendar was published following the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in Manila and features 13 races in 12 cities across four continents – starting in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia with the debut of Formula E in the Middle East on December 15 and coming to a close for a second consecutive campaign in New York with a double-header on July 13-14, 2019.
The Formula E Championship returns to a number of existing venues and locations including Marrakesh, Mexico City and Hong Kong, which moves to a later date on March 10. Together with events in Africa, Asia and North America – next season also sees the introduction of the newly-titled voestalpine European races, which brings the continent’s events together.
Formula E’s European leg comprises races in Rome, Paris, Berlin and Zurich, in addition to visiting the streets of Monaco for a third time on May 11. The principality appears on the calendar on a bi-annual basis, but its circuit has been listed as subject to circuit homologation.
Ad Diriyah, which is located on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh, has been listed with the same designation. Saudi Arabia last month landed its latest major sporting event under the Vision 2030 plan by agreeing a 10-year deal with Formula E to stage the series’ first race in the Middle East.
Formula E signed the contract with the General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabian Motor Federation as part of Vision 2030, which is seeking to diversify Saudi Arabia’s interests away from the oil sector. It has been handed a race date of December 15.
The inaugural Zurich E-Prix, a landmark event for motorsport in Switzerland, will take place on Sunday. Motor racing was outlawed in Switzerland in 1955 following the disaster at that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race in France that claimed the lives of dozens of spectators.
Formula One’s 1954 Swiss Grand Prix was the last motor racing event to be held in the country, but a law change in 2015 lifted restrictions on fully-electric racing and paved the way for Formula E to agree a nine-year licence with Zurich. The race for 2018-19 is still subject to approval however.
The third race on the 2018-19 calendar, which this year was the maiden event in Santiago, Chile – is still be confirmed, but has a date of January 26. The Motorsport.com website said Formula E has discussed returning to Santiago, but any future race would have to take place in a new location after the series encountered logistical problems during the first race, as well as opposition to the event from local residents.
Hong Kong has been listed as a Chinese event, along with another event which is yet to be determined for March 23. Beijing, which has previously hosted Formula E, and Hainan have also been linked to race deals.