- Oct 27, 2014
It’s well known that Formula E purposely started conservative for its inaugural season with all-new cars and technology, and only the late addition of Moscow and a second London race have bumped this year’s count up to 11. Against F1’s current total of 19 (should be 20, but no more Germany!), there’s definitely room for this world championship to grow, and the potential publicity from hosting a race is clearly enticing to major cities, especially in creating a more sustainable image. Thus we’ve heard rumours of interest from Copenhagen, calls for an Indian race and proposals from the Spanish city of Zaragoza.
But with eight manufacturers being announced to each develop parts for teams for the 2015-16 season, Agag told Motorsport.com that the calendar wouldn’t expand too quickly to prevent escalating costs. He added that “We’re looking at starting later, in October, instead of September. And we’ll finish in June. We don’t want to make the calendar too big, too many races. Teams need to get profitable. It’s a good number of races, but we might compress the schedule a little more.” That’s good news for fans who have twice faced two-month breaks between races so far this season, but who fills those gaps aren’t yet confirmed. Three big candidates emerged in the past week, as Formula E oversaw another successful and exciting race in Miami.
He addressed the longstanding rumour that Paris would join for the 2015-16 season, and replace Monaco on the calendar every other year due to clashes with the principality’s Historic Grand Prix. Agag claimed to Motorsport.com last Saturday that it was “neither on or off!” He added: “We have an open conversation with Paris and we hope it will end up on a positive note. I’m very optimistic, but it’s not done.” The French capital only recently unveiled its perhaps fanciful 2050 Smart City project, and if included is expected to open next season. There hasn’t been a French Grand Prix since 2008 (and no change on the horizon), so top-flight international single-seaters are overdue a return to motorsport’s birthplace.
Regarding Montreal, reports are that a deal is very close for a race there, with mayor Dennis Coderre having revealed in September he agreed in principle with FIA President Jean Todt for a race to start in 2016/7. As with Paris, the story was that of work still to be done, but Agag was similarly confident it would happen, stating in a press conference at Miami: “We had a meeting with the mayor of Montreal this morning and we’re extremely positive about the possibilities of hosting a race there.” Perhaps of all the Formula E races now and in the future, this would most directly compete with F1 and its beloved race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in June (even if going by this season’s North American races they’ll be set a few months apart).
But beyond either of these cities, Formula E’s biggest coup has been making a Swiss race possible. Simona de Silvestro recently demonstrated the Spark-Renault Formula E car on the streets of Geneva, and now the Swiss Council of States has agreed to partly relax the country’s overall ban on motor racing, established after the 1955 Le Mans disaster, in order to allow electrified racing. According to Agag, despite clearing this huge legal obstacle and the Geneva demonstration, a Swiss ePrix wouldn’t be likely until the 2016/17 season with no particular city selected yet.
What do you think of these potential new hosts? Which would you most want to see? Would you want to see Formula E in your city one day? Comment below!