Why is Hyderabad not on the 2024 Formula E calendar? We bring you the full story
Season 10 of the Formula E championship will start in Mexico and end in late July, completing 17 races in 13 cities. The race calendar also includes Tokyo for the first time. And although the provisional calendar does not mention India in it, co-founder of Formula E Alberto Longo informed us that the calendar will be updated in October as there are other locations too that are yet to be confirmed, one of which we hope is Hyderabad.
Possible reasons for the delay
The planning and logistics that goes into conducting a race weekend are mind-boggling. Take into account that we are talking about a world championship street race in a crowded Indian city, and the obstacles become tenfold. Whenever we talk about a street circuit, we will need to account for the convenience of the residents nearby, traffic diversions, and amenities required, as there is no set place for the event like a conventional race track. In addition to these, bureaucratic processes are long and tedious. While all these do not mean it is impossible, there are a lot of stakeholders involved – Formula E, the sponsors, the promoter, the government, and the locals – and everyone needs to be on the same page. By the looks of it, not everyone seems to have put pen to paper just yet.
Will the Hyderabad E-Prix return?
As Formula E expands its reach worldwide, many new cities are eager to host an E-Prix. This year, three rounds of the 17-race calendar remain TBD (to be determined). One of these TBD destinations is round four on February 10th. Last year, the race in Hyderabad took place on February 11th. So while the Hyderabad race is not confirmed yet, it is very likely to happen that weekend. And this is not speculation. You can hear it from the horse’s mouth.
During a talk with Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer of Formula E at the Jakarta E-Prix, when asked if the championship will return to India, he said, “At the moment, it's not (on the calendar). Formula E is absolutely passionate about going back, but there are still some things that need to be finalised. So, in the June release, I’m not very hopeful, but by October we will find a way for this and the upcoming years.” Additionally, he showed enthusiasm to return to India, saying, “It was a massive success. It was the first time that we were racing in India, and we had our challenges along the way, but it always happens the first time when we visit a new location. But, the level of attendance, the level of media interaction, social media attention, and the TV coverage that we got for that race, you name whatever angle that you can think of, we had it. Having the support of the government was fantastic as well. So everything worked amazingly. If I need to give up a kind of a score, I would say for a first year, it was probably a nine out of ten.”
We’ve got to wait a few more months before any confirmation of the Hyderabad e-Prix can happen, but in that time, we certainly do hope it works out. Hosting a round of any world championship is a privilege. Last year’s event put India back on the world motorsport map, after a decade of not hosting any world championship. With MotoGP around the corner and Formula E hopefully on the cards, things look bright for the fate of global motorsport in India.