It’s been reported that the Hyderabad E-Prix is at severe risk of not returning to Formula E for a second season, with there being “various reasons” as to why a return is looking very unlikely.
Formula E raced in India for the first time in its history last season, with the championship having become the first FIA-governed series to have raced in the Asian nation since Formula 1 last raced in Delhi back in 2013.
It was far from a simple affair, with there having been concerns ahead of the inaugural trip to Hyderabad that the E-Prix wouldn’t even happen. Even when the paddock rolled into Hyderabad, the circuit was still having last-minute work done to it, to ensure it met FIA safety standards.
There is no doubting that the event wasn’t the best managed, with rush hour traffic having somehow gotten onto the circuit ahead of Free Practice getting underway, something nobody could’ve expected. Scooters, tuk tuks and cars all got onto the track, in what was truly a sight to behold.
However, everything went well once the initial issues were addressed, with Hyderabad having been in many ways where the Gen3 era really came to life. Mexico City and Diriyah weren’t the most exciting of races, mostly due to how new the Gen3 machinery was to all of the teams.
The Hyderabad E-Prix couldn’t have been more different, as the high-speed start to the lap allowed the drivers to really push the new cars for the first time. Pascal Wehrlein infamously had a huge crash, which he thankfully walked away from in Free Practice.
Whilst it was Jean-Éric Vergne who won the race following a defensive masterclass against Nick Cassidy, the race’s biggest talking point was new NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver Sam Bird taking out ex-Jaguar TCS Racing team-mate Mitch Evans.
From Hyderabad onwards, the races became increasingly frenetic, something which resulted in consistent thrilling racing. Whilst there is no doubting that season 10 will produce just as much enthralling action, Hyderabad isn’t looking set to do so.
Hyderabad’s date on the season 10 calendar is currently down as “TBD” (To Be Decided), with an Indian daily newspaper reporting that the Indian city “will not be hosting the event”. If true, then Formula E will need to either decrease the number of rounds in S10, introduce another double-header or add a new city.
“At the moment, the race isn’t happening in Hyderabad, and India’s chances of hosting the 2024 Championship are slim,” the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) told The Hindu daily newspaper, as reported by e-formula.news.
According to a manager at the FMSCI, the doubt behind the event – which was attended by 31,000 people in February and generated €78.5 million for the city – going ahead is down to “management”, with the circuit itself not being a concern.
There are supposedly “various reasons” why the Indian motor sport association are unconvinced that the E-Prix will take place, with hosting the event yearly being a “challenge”.
“The circuit is great and there is nothing wrong with the track,” a manager at the FMSCI said.
“It’s just the management thing that might have led to this decision. It was the first time that Hyderabad was hosting and it was great. The challenge is to host it on a consistent basis like other countries.”
An updated provisional calendar should be released by the FIA in the opening weeks of October, as the FIA World Motor Sport Council are set to meet on October 9.