Formula E: These new venues have a good chance of a place on the 2024 race calendar
Formula E could once again add several new cities to its race calendar in the upcoming 2024 World Championship season. As reported by colleagues at 'The Race', promising candidates include Los Angeles, Toronto and - famously - Tokyo. A race in Australia also remains high on Formula E's wish list, with a retired Gen2 car already making it to Adelaide after all....
A first Tokyo E-Prix could enter the calendar in mid-April 2024. Still to be decided this week at a board meeting at the London headquarters of Formula E about it. The Japanese metropolis is not new to the electric series' haze: as early as the beginning of October 2022 Formula E and the Tokyo city government signed an agreement to hold a race in the city in 2024.
Also, Championship Officer Alberto Longo is currently in talks about potential e-prices in Toronto, Canada - after the Vancouver race failed to materialize last year - and Los Angeles, according to reports. Early Formula E fans will recall that the "City of Angels" was mentioned as a venue even before Season 1. Ultimately, however, Formula E made a guest appearance at that time for two years in Long Beach, in the immediate vicinity of L.A.
Prior to the season opener in Mexico City, a Formula E delegation is said to have already traveled to Los Angeles. However, possible areas for a race track are not yet known. Following the loss of the U.S. E-Prix in New York City, the electric series is making a guest appearance this season on a variant of the IndyCar circuit in Portland. Presumably, however, this backup plan will remain a flash in the pan like Puebla in Mexico once was.
Griffiths: "That's where the e-mobility community is really at home".
"In the early stages of Formula E, we raced in Miami and Long Beach, but there was always talk of an event in San Francisco," recalls Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths, who has high hopes for expansion in his own home market with his U.S. team. "A race in downtown L.A. would be super cool." In addition, he brings Chicago into play. The existing track in the Grant Park area, he says, is "made for Formula E."
The U.S. American would especially like to see a race on the West Coast of the United States: "That's where the e-mobility community is really at home. Just think of the brands that are based in California - whether it's Atieva up north near San Jose or Tesla in and around Los Angeles. There are more relevant brands there," Griffiths said. "I think there are a lot of options for them (Formula E). More than one race in North America would be good - there's 3,500 miles between the East and West coasts, after all."
Formula E in Australia? "Just a matter of time"
Australia has also been buzzing through the headlines of Formula E coverage time and again for years. The series took another mini-step toward "Down Under" this week: a Gen2 demo vehicle arrived in Australia on March 11 and has been on display in the reception area of The Bend Motorsport Park racetrack near Adelaide since Wednesday..
"We are incredibly excited to welcome the Gen2 Formula E car here at The Bend for its first appearance in Australia," track owner Sam Shahin told 'speedcafe.com'. "Our welcome center has hosted some amazing vehicles, but the Formula E car is something truly unique."
Shahin would love to bring the electric championship to the state of South Australia for a race: "Formula E has earned the right to be at the forefront of global motorsport. It's only a matter of time before we see this great category in action in Australia," he is sure.
Reigle: "...then Australia should be on the list".
With this desire, he is not alone. Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle also recently said to ' The Australian Financial Review ', "If we have the ambition to be a global world championship, then Australia should be on the list. We'd love to come to Australia and we've had discussions over the years - with varying degrees of progress."
The name Adelaide also kept popping up in media reports. However, Reigle said an E-Prix would need popular support, political will and government backing. "And by that I don't necessarily mean financial resources, but just an explicit welcome," the Canadian said.
A first draft of the race calendar for the 2023/24 Formula E season is expected to be approved and then announced at the WMSC meeting in June. It is likely that Formula E will welcome more new venues next year.