Hyderabad E-Prix set to be cancelled for 2024

Hyderabad E-Prix set to be cancelled for 2024

The Hyderabad E-Prix is set to be cancelled after recently held elections cast a doubt over the Formula E event taking place as originally planned in 2024.

The second installment of Hyderabad E-Prix may be canceled and erased off Formula E’s season 10 calendar with barely six weeks remaining before it was supposed to happen as it was originally scheduled to take place in February 2024.

The circuit that played home to the first Formula E race in India last February was to host the third round of the 2023–24 Formula E season.

The São Paulo E-Prix on March 16 will most likely now be the fourth round of the 2024 season, which begins in just over two weeks in Mexico City, according to the shocking news that was reported by The Race on Wednesday.

There will consequently be a very unsettling seven-week gap between the rounds in Diriyah and São Paulo since no alternative venue is lined up to take Hyderabad’s place.

The source claims the Hyderabad round will be canceled as a result of the recent elections. Emergency negotiations between municipal officials and the Formula E chief operating officer and co-founder Alberto Longo as well as major stakeholders in the all-electric series have failed to yield a resolution.

It is widely acknowledged that following initial concerns earlier this year, Formula E was in constant communication with Hyderabad city officials to guarantee the event will take place as planned. It is believed that the all-electric series held talks immediately amid the recent political changes resulting from the Indian city’s local elections.

Telangana province has an entirely new administration in place after Anjani Kumar, who is the incumbent leader of the IPS party was suspended.

The shift in leadership which has seen Congress take charge is believed to be a challenge for Formula E because the new administration is allegedly under pressure to prioritize working on other city-related projects.

The new administration and Formula E are still in talks, but just before Christmas the two parties got into a stalemate. Whether or not there are any prospects for 2025 and beyond is yet unknown.

According to reports, there won’t be a replacement event and as a result, the season will get underway with 16 races—the same number of E-Prix events that took place in 2023.

Formula E has since said that they are seeking urgent clarification from the incoming Telangana administration as a result of the possibility of breaking their contractual commitments.

“Formula E and the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department (now under control of the new Government of Telangana) are in discussions regarding the Host City Agreement signed on 30 October 2023, and the staging of the Hyderabad E-Prix scheduled for Saturday, 10 February 2024,” Formula E stated.

“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. Formula E’s senior executive team met with the new leadership of the Government of Telangana immediately following elections earlier this month. Discussions have been ongoing since then.

“With the event just a few weeks away and in its final stages of preparation, Formula E, partners and suppliers have already made significant commercial investments in the event.

“The inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix in February this year returned almost 84m USD in positive economic impact to the region, many times more than the overhead costs invested by Formula E and the Government of Telangana.

“Hyderabad is set to host the only official FIA World Championship event in India next year, alongside other iconic world cities including Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin and London, as part of a multi-year agreement between Formula E and the Government of Telangana.

“Further updates will follow in due course.”

With about seven weeks’ notice Marrakech took the place of the originally scheduled but eventually postponed Vancouver E-Prix, which was scheduled for June 2022. It is now just over six weeks until the scheduled Hyderabad race.

Formula E also faced logistical challenges given that some of the circuit infrastructure was in Chennai for a Formula 4 event.

This was supposed to be utilized at the city’s street track for the inaugural night race earlier this month, but floods forced the postponement of the event. The equipment contained some track equipment that needed to be delivered from Chennai to Hyderabad in order to be set up at the venue; however, this was not a factor in the date being canceled.

Infrastructure and construction problems plagued the inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix in February of last year, causing a number of facilities to be delayed.

Although Jean-Eric Vergne and DS Penske won the race, there were a number of operational challenges with the event, particularly when local traffic had the privilege to traverse the track in between free practice sessions. The traffic eventually moved off  the track after a handful of clashes between the public and officials.

A remedy to the open chicane at Turns 1-2 was one of a number of major developments planned for the 1.76-mile Hyderabad track for the second event.

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