The Uruguayan city of Punta del Este has been added to Formula E’s 2017-18 calendar, replacing a postponed event in São Paulo, Brazil.
Punta del Este formed part of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons of the electric car-racing series and will return as a host city on March 17 next year – the date São Paulo had been due to host its maiden event. The Punta del Este circuit is situated on the Playa Brava Beach and features 20 turns running the length of the seafront.
Punta del Este was confirmed as the replacement during the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Motor Sport Council meeting in the French capital of Paris yesterday (Wednesday).
The inaugural Brazil ePrix was last month postponed for a year due to issues surrounding the ownership of the planned race venue, Anhembi Park.
Sao Paulo was one of four new destinations included on the calendar for the 2017-18 Formula E season, along with Zurich in Switzerland, Santiago in Chile and the Italian capital of Rome.
The city of Sao Paulo began the process of selling Anhembi Park to a private buyer upon being awarded the event earlier this year. The process is still ongoing and, as a result, Formula E opted to delay the race for a year.
Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag told the Autosport website: “The situation in Sao Paolo was already, for me, for a little bit uncertain. Politics in Brazil is complicated, it's moving and the mayor wanted to privatise the area where we were going to race. So I said, 'Let's just have a back-up just in case'.
“It's very important to keep to keep the races and keep the championship frequency, especially from a broadcasting point of view. That's why we had it (Punta del Este) ready.”
The 2017-18 Formula E season got underway at the weekend with a double-header in Hong Kong.