London, Formula E’s current venue for its season-finale, is set to be dropped from the 2016-17 calendar for the electric car-racing series, with a host of new events added, including a double-header in New York.
The Autosport website said the move will be made as part of an agreement to resolve the dispute over the future of this season’s event in the English capital. London has hosted the final event of the Formula E season since its inaugural 2014-15 campaign. However, a judicial review has been scheduled into the local Wandsworth Council’s closure of Battersea Park and the planning consent around the July 2-3 event.
Autosport said this review has now been cancelled as a compromise to allow the event to be held this year, but staged in 2016-17. London is said to be a key location for Formula E stakeholders and the city is being mooted for a return in 2017-18 for a potential street race.
Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag told Autosport he thought the Battersea race was “a great event” but admitted the south London park did not fit with the championship's city-centre ethos.
“I think it's possible,” he said, when asked of the chances of organising a race in London itself. “You need to race in a location comparable to Berlin and Paris. We work very well with the English. Each (country) has a different way of looking at things, the English are more meticulous.
“But they love racing and the environment so I think there's a good chance. The dream would be (a track comprising) the Mall, Birdcage Walk and Horse Guards Parade.”
Autosport added that a proposed 12-round, 14-race calendar for 2017-18 could be submitted to the International Automobile Federation (FIA) at the next meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, featuring up to six new venues.
Autosport said a New York event would be a double-header, with additional new races set for Montreal, Marrakech, Brussels and Singapore. Hong Kong was confirmed for a place on the 2017-18 calendar in an announcement made in October last year.
Beijing, Putrajaya and Punta del Este, which hosted races in each of Formula E’s first two seasons, are expected to lose their events.