Hainan Province, known also as China’s Hawaii, is working on a new entertainment venue that could host Formula E in a few years.
As reported by the South China Morning Post a 5 billion yuan (US $717 million) project is set to be built in Sanya city and should be ready by 2025. 40% of the capital for the initiative will be provided by Hong Kong investors, thanks to the strong relationship between the city and Hainan.
Formula E has raced in China three times – 2014 and 2015 in Beijing and 2019 in Sanya; all three E-Prix were presented by Lianxin. However, the company wants to organize new events with the Motorcycling Federation and highlight China’s ‘Hawaii’. The site will consist of a hotel, a theme park with technological and virtual games, and a sector dedicated to carmakers and vehicle exhibitions. The goal is to give visibility to the electric industry, trying to end the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2030 and produce zero emissions by 2060, in Formula E’s Net Zero campaign. Ji Gang, Roland Berger’s partner, stated:
“Formula E can be an entry point for introducing traffic [to the project and Hainan] and help electric vehicle brands’ marketing”.
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) March 23, 2019
The return of Formula E to China after COVID-19 would be helpful for the Chinese economy and could be the right attraction for Hainan. It is a region that is becoming more and more important on a global level, as Lianxin’s chairman noted:
“Hainan will become an influential place for the Greater China region, even globally, in hosting international competitions and sports events. It has unique strengths such as rich tourism resources and conveniences brought by its free-trade port status, such as the exemption of visas or tariffs”.
Like in Formula 1, the Chinese E-Prix will once again be delayed due to the pandemic. The Season 9 calendar will see NIO 333 miss out on its home race for the fourth straight year. This project, however, brings hope for a return to China, if not in 2024 the following year. How quickly can the work begin? Once finished, the Hainan circuit should present the ideal characteristics for a future E-Prix.