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Formula E

What to expect from Formula E’s first race in South Korea

by Sam Smith
4 min read

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A 60,000 capacity crowd in the stadium that hosted the 1988 Olympic Games will be able to watch the two Seoul E-Prix that will take place on Formula E’s 2022 season-ending weekend in August.

The races will be held on a track that incorporates perimeter roads outside the Jamsil stadium that now predominantly hosts international and national football matches.

For the first time, event promoter Jaesik Moon has spoken to The Race to outline details of the event, which will finally take place two and a half years on from the initial announcement of plans to bring Formula E to South Korea.

Both the 2020 and 2021 dates were compromised by issues around the pandemic, but a long-term deal between Formula E Holdings and the promotion company set up for the deal, known as Formula E Korea Ltd, has been in place.

South Korea is a significant market for many of the manufacturers involved in Formula E. It is the fifth-largest territory for Porsche and one of the most popular places for sports and supercars to be sold in the world.

Moon has been to several races over the last three seasons to study how the events are put on, telling The Race that he “realised that the Formula E events are very much a family-friendly environment”.

“So, I wanted to make sure that was incorporated into our event and that’s why I not only focused on the successful race but coupled that with other entertaining elements that would be appealing to the younger demographic and the family,” he said.

“During the evening there will be a series of concerts, festivals as well as many parades.

“They will be interesting for a lot of the kids and families to watch. So, there will be activities at night, although the race will take place before the evening.”

Moon also confirmed some aspects of the racetrack, which is yet to be seen publicly.

“The entire Olympic sports complex, it has the space of about 450,000 square feet,” he said.

“It’s got various outdoor stadiums and indoor areas. With the exception of the baseball stadium, all of the space will be used for Formula E.

“The main stadium will be the soccer stadium. Basically, it’s a multipurpose stadium mainly for soccer that will have a significant number of the spectator seats.

“Then there will be grandstands outside the surrounding areas as well. So, there will be plenty of space for fans. The soccer stadium alone will have 60,000 seats in there for fans to sit and watch.”

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“There will be various venues that will be used for this event throughout the period of the race, but also there will be some other ancillary events such as concerts and EV investable and other activities as well.”

The Seoul E-Prix will be part of an inaugural festival that is planned to be an annual event and for what Moon described as “integrating the entertainment element into the sport”.

The event has gained recent government backing and is a project that has reached the national agenda for the country’s new presidential party.

The conservative, Yoon Suk-yeol, was voted in as the country’s new president in March following a tightly contested election.

“The fact that it [the Seoul E-Prix] has become one of the national agendas is significant,” added Moon.

“Normally a sporting event never gets selected as the one of things, but again because of the focus on the environmental, social, and corporate governance [ESG] and net zero carbon and all those philosophies, the government has decided that this is very important for the country.

“Because of that, I believe that all of these will really help me deliver a successful event, this year and moving forwards.

“Now this event is beyond the Seoul city’s project, this is more of a national project taking place in the middle of Seoul.

“We’re now able to officially add various ministries of the government to be formally involved in the event, so in all the event collaterals there will be a recognition of, for example, ministry of culture, sport and tourism formally included into those collaterals.

“That fact alone will make this event more credible to the fans but also to the sponsors we bring the opportunities to get involved. On both fronts this is a big win, not only for me and motorsport in Korea but also for Formula E.”

The Seoul E-Prix will begin with an opening ceremony on the Wednesday of the racing week, in the main football stadium during the evening, before the double-header takes place over the weekend of August 13-14.

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