LONDON EPRIX TO LOSE 2017 EVENT
London is set to be dropped from Formula E’s 2016/17 calendar, despite the series expecting to get the green light for this season’s title decider as MN closed for press.
Series CEO Alejandro Agag said he was confident it would win its fight to keep its scheduled Battersea Park finale in July, with a crucial judicial review scheduled for yesterday (Tuesday).
Opponents to the July 2/3 race raised £20,000 through crowdfunding to help bring a claim against Wandsworth Council’s closure of the park and the planning consent around the event. Agag said he was “not 100 per cent because there’s a question, but I’m quite optimistic and I have good reasons”.
It is understood the series wished to be granted permission to go ahead with this season’s race, because preparations for the event are under way, on the condition it does not return to Battersea Park in the future.
Agag said “it’s too early to tell” when asked if the series would remain in Battersea.
The series, its partners and its teams view a London race as a key part of the calendar but are willing to omit it for one season with the intention of returning with an event in the heart of the city itself.
Agag said “there was a good chance” of the series being able to pull off something akin to the previous two races in the centre of the French and German capitals. “You need to race in a location comparable to Berlin and Paris,” he said.
“The dream would be [a track comprising] the Mall and Horse Guards Parade.”
FE is set to add marquee double-headers in New York and Montreal – and as many as four other new races – to the calendar for season three but the London dilemma is symbolic of its struggle to lock down regular venues in key territories.
The 2016/17 schedule could have a problematic beginning if a proposed November race in Marrakech does not come off, because it could mean the curtain-raiser takes pace in early October in Hong Kong and the next round is not until December.
London is likely not to host FE in 2017