Formula E

Formula E open to return to India, "but only with a stable place on the calendar"

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

The cancellation of the Hyderabad E-Prix in January has not only caused frustration among fans, drivers and teams, but also among Formula E itself. CEO Jeff Dodds explains the reasons for this and talks to about the chances of a return - and the conditions for it.

"It's really disappointing to spend a year racing in a place that's sort of a learning year and then not have the opportunity to make improvements in the second year," Dodds explains. "It is a really important market for us and I think it takes time (to build something there)."

"The stability of the calendar is incredibly important for the series and building a fan base," explains the Briton, who is trying to learn the lessons from the race cancellation. "I don't want the calendar to ever be in jeopardy and for it to be uncertain until the last minute whether a race will take place or not."

The short notice of the cancellation in particular has generated a lot of negative headlines in connection with Formula E. "I hope it hasn't hurt the brand," said Dodds, "but I think most people (...) understand the complexity of this race and why it was cancelled. And that there wasn't much we could do about it." The background to the cancellation by city's officials was a political change.

Important market for everyone involved

"On the other hand, I think it was very damaging for the teams, the manufacturers and the partners, who have all invested in the region," said the Formula E boss. "Mahindra is a racing team and we have TCS Jaguar - Tata Consultancy Services is a big partner there."

"We also have an Indian driver now (Jehan Daruvala), so there are a lot of companies with close links to India. I was really disappointed that (...) they won't be able to enjoy the benefits or the advantages of racing in this important market," said Dodds.

Although the frustration level still seems high at the moment, Dodds is not giving up hope: "I would love to return to India, but only with a stable place on the calendar in the future that allows us to build some momentum."

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