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Formula E considers reserve circuits to avoid calendar disruptions

Testing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Formula E is exploring reserve circuits from 2025 to avoid calendar disruptions burned by the late cancellation of the Hyderabad race.

The championship CEO, Jeff Dodds, acknowledged the logistical difficulties in replacing a cancelled race, especially across continents. As a solution, Formula E is considering having reserve circuits in both Europe and Asia to minimize calendar gaps caused by unforeseen circumstances.

The Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia is a strong candidate for the European reserve slot. This track previously hosted a race during the pandemic-affected season and is familiar to the teams. They are already acquainted with Valencia as it’s a popular destination for winter testing each year.

“A long gap in the calendar isn’t ideal for anyone,” said Dodds. “Valencia is definitely on our shortlist. But the challenge is immense when a race cancellation occurs overseas. We might need backups in both Asia and Europe. It’s something we’re seriously considering.”

Balancing Tradition with Practicality

The Hyderabad situation underscored the importance of having a backup plan. While street races in iconic locations are a core part of Formula E’s identity, they also come with inherent risks.

Formula E’s original concept was to race in the heart of iconic cities, showcasing electric racing technology to a global audience. However, the logistical challenges and financial costs of hosting street races have led to a gradual shift away from this model.

In recent years, several city center races have been dropped from the calendar, including Rome, Cape Town, and Jakarta. The 2024 season will see the addition of two new races in Tokyo and Monaco, but both of these will take place on purpose-built circuits rather than city streets.

São Paulo and London are also examples of races that are technically located within city limits but take place in exhibition centers. The Berlin race is held at a disused airport.

“It’s a complex issue,” Dodds admitted. “If we keep racing on city streets, we have to accept some level of calendar volatility. Disruptions are a possibility. We’re exploring various options, and reserve circuits are a major part of the discussion. Ultimately, we might need to look at permanent circuits with fixed dates if the disruptions become too significant.”


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