Formula E Electric-Car Series Announces 2014 Schedule
- The Formula E electric-car racing series has proposed an eight-race 2014 schedule.
- Cities in Europe, Asia and North and South America are included on the provisional calendar.
- The series for electric-powered single-seat racing cars was first proposed in 2012.
LONDON — A proposed eight-race schedule of events in major world cities was announced Friday for the FIA Formula E Championship, a series which will feature electric-powered, single-seat racing cars.
Cities on the calendar include London and Rome in Europe; Los Angeles and Miami in the United States; Beijing, China; Putrajaya, Malaysia; and Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in South America.
Formula E Holdings is commercial rights holder of the series, which like Formula 1 is owned by the Paris-based international auto club, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
"We are thankful to all the cities that have expressed their willingness to host our races," said Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag in a statement. "The fact that cities from all over the world are interested in the FIA Formula E Championship is extremely heartening and shows a global commitment to clean mobility and sustainability."
The calendar, Agag said, is a provisional one.
"We look forward to also racing in Africa and Australasia from 2015 onwards," he added.
The Formula E concept was unveiled in August 2012. Promoters say they have received inquiries from 23 major cities.
London Mayor Boris Johnson expressed his enthusiasm for the series.
"Zero emission world-class motor racing is a scintillating concept and I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E," Johnson said. "It has the potential to highlight the impressive strides being made in the manufacture of electric vehicles and hosting a street race could also be of considerable economic benefit to our city."
Agag said Formula E officials are engaged in the design of street circuits with the eight cities on the provisional calendar, and commented on the urban mission of the new series.
"They [the races] will all be in city centers, easily accessible by public transport, and will feature some of the most beautiful and well-known landmarks as a spectacular backdrop for the races," Agag said. "The fact that we will only race in city centers highlights the main message of our championship: the electric car as a solution for mobility in cities of the future."
Two teams (Drayson of Great Britain and Team China Racing) have been proposed by FEH, which hopes to have a minimum of 10 two-car entries for the inaugural season.
Italian racecar manufacturer Dallara has announced that it will build the machines. Formula E Holdings has placed an order for 42 cars. Spark Racing Technology will supply the McLaren-designed electric powertrains.
But the series will be open to independent constructors and regulations accommodate applications for homologation of such entries.
Race formats are set to feature three-segment races, all on Saturday afternoons. Each driver would compete in the first race in one car, then switch to a replacement vehicle for the second race while the battery in the original car is recharged, then drive the first car in the sprint finale.
The provisional calendar is subject to approval by the FIA at the fall meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris in September.
Edmunds says: Agag emphasizes the unique mission of Formula E and its purposeful appeal to a whole new demographic. Time and evolution will tell how the new form of motorsport coexists with the traditional form and the direction of auto racing in the future.