Formula E has confirmed a return to China with two races at Shanghai's Formula 1 venue as part of a 2024 calendar that will not include Jakarta, Rome or Cape Town E-Prixs.
As revealed by The Race earlier this month, the Shanghai International Circuit will host an event at the end of May. It will be the first time Formula E has raced in mainland China since the 2015 Beijing E-Prix.
The races there are set to take place around a little-used version of the facility that will likely bypass the long main straight at the back end of the circuit.
F1 hasn't raced at Shanghai since 2019 but is set to finally return in 2024 after four successive cancellations due to the Covid pandemic.
Formula E said Jakarta's exit from the calendar was due to the recent announcement “of a campaigning period in the Indonesian presidential elections during most of June”.
This was deemed too impactful on the logistics of attempting to host a fourth E-Prix on the streets of the Indonesian capital.
The Rome E-Prix, which has been staged on the Circuito Cittadino dell' EUR since 2018, will not host a race next year.
Instead, an alternative Italian venue is being sought after what Formula E claimed had been “a review by experts at Formula E and the FIA into the season nine races in Rome [last July], where the new faster, more powerful Gen3 car reached the limits of the narrow, sharp-turning circuit in Rome’s business district".
This alludes in particular to the accident triggered by Sam Bird crashing his Jaguar at the fast and blind Turn 6 section of track in race one, which in turn caused a multi-car pile-up that wrecked several cars. The accident was caused by Bird hitting a manhole cover on the track, something that several other drivers had done in previous seasons.
The Race understands that Misano and Imola have been scoped out as a potential replacement for the Rome city circuit in order to keep an Italian race in mid-April.
The Hyderabad E-Prix, which had been reported by several media outlets as being cancelled for 2024, appears on the previous to-be-decided slot of February 10. This is believed to have been saved by political intervention to ensure a second race at the Hussain Sagar Lake facility takes place on the same weekend it first appeared earlier this year.
The new Formula E season will kick off on January 14 at the Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City before travelling to Diriyah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the now traditional late-January races.
The next race in Hyderabad will not be followed by a race on the previously labelled to-be-decided slot on February 24. This was being held for another Cape Town E-Prix but a financial shortfall from the local promoter scuppered chances of a second race in the Mother City.
The race at the open-air Anhembi Stadium in Sao Paulo is confirmed for mid-March before Formula E travels to Japan for the first-ever Tokyo E-Prix on March 30.
The ‘to be confirmed’ Italian race and the Monaco E-Prix will be the April races before two double-headers in Berlin and Shanghai in May.
Portland will host its second E-Prix at the end of June before the London E-Prix double-header finale rounds out the season on July 20/21.
Alberto Longo, the co-founder and chief championship officer of Formula E, described the calendar as “the most compelling yet for drivers, teams, fans and viewers around the world”.
“We are taking Formula E to Shanghai for the first time and are honoured to return to India thanks to the support of the Telangana Government and Minister K T Rama Rao,” said Longo.
“The combination of street circuits, which is in Formula E’s DNA, and established race tracks will allow drivers to push the capabilities of the Gen3 car harder and further after a first season that beat all expectations with triple-digit overtakes in most races and the world championship titles decided on the final weekend.”
2024 Formula E calendar
Mexico City January 13
Diriyah January 26/27
Hyderabad February 10
Sao Paulo March 16
Tokyo March 30
TBD (Italy) April 13/14
Monaco April 27
Berlin May 11/12
Shanghai May 25/26
Portland June 29
London July 20/21