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Formula E

Hyderabad E-Prix set to drop off 2024 Formula E calendar

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The second Hyderabad E-Prix will not take place as planned in February 2024 after recent elections threw the Formula E event into disarray just six weeks before it was scheduled to take place.

The third round of the 2023-24 Formula E season was set to race on the same circuit that hosted the inaugural Formula E race in India last February.

The Race understands that emergency talks had taken place between city officials and Formula E chief operating officer and co-founder Alberto Longo and other key staff from the all-electric series earlier this month but no resolution has been found.

A Formula E statement has confirmed its senior executive team "met with the new leadership of the Government of Telangana immediately following elections earlier this month" and that it has been in discussions since.

The same statement added: "Following a recent official communication received from the new Government of Telangana, Formula E is seeking urgent clarification of their contractual commitments under the agreement and how it could impact the Hyderabad race.

"Based on the content of the letter received, Formula E is concerned the race will not be able to go ahead as planned."

The previous incumbent IPS party leader Anjani Kumar was suspended and a new administration has taken up power in the Telangana province.

The change in governance, which has seen Congress establish command, is believed to be difficult for Formula E as the new administration is reportedly under pressure to focus on other initiatives in the city.

Negotiations are still ongoing between Formula E and the new administration but an impasse was reached just prior to Christmas. It remains to be seen if there are any future possibilities for 2025 and beyond.

The Race understands that a replacement event will not be implemented and the season will therefore revert to a 16-race schedule, the same number of E-Prixs that ran in 2023.

The planned but ultimately cancelled Vancouver E-Prix that was slated for June 2022 was replaced by an event in Marrakech with around seven weeks’ notice. The Hyderabad race is now just over six weeks away from its allocated date.

Formula E also had a logistical challenge to overcome as some of the track infrastructure was in Chennai for a Formula 4 event.

This was to be used in the first-ever night race to be held at the city’s street track earlier this month but the event was canned due to flooding. The equipment included some track material which had to be shipped between Chennai and Hyderabad for laying at the venue, although this was not a contributory cause for the date falling off the calendar.

The first Hyderabad E-Prix last February was beset by infrastructure and build issues which made some of the facilities late. Although the race, won by DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne was deemed a success, several operational issues occurred during the event, notably when local traffic was allowed onto the track between free practice sessions.

Several altercations between members of the public and officials happened before the vehicles dispersed.

The Hyderabad track, which was 1.76 miles long, was set to be modified for the second event with a solution to the open chicane at Turns 1-2 among several alterations in the pipelines.

In an economic study conducted by Nielsen Sports Analysis last summer, it was calculated that the Hyderabad economy had enjoyed ‘an $83.7 million uplift’ after last February’s race.

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