The prospect of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship returning to the United Kingdom is getting closer with talks underway for another race in London.
According to key e-racing365 sources, a race in London, potentially to be held in the summer of 2021, has received significant recent traction in recent months.
A delegation of executives, believed to be representing the interests of the ExCeL Arena in the east of the city, visited the recent Marrakesh E-Prix to meet with key Formula E staff including co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo.
While declining to give detail on recent developments, Longo did acknowledge that parties had travelled to Morocco to attend meetings and see the championship in action.
“We welcomed some people there [at Marrakesh] yes, but I can’t go in to details on who, that would not be correct at this stage,” Longo told e-racing365.
“It is obviously a possibility [to race in London] and I can confirm to you that it is a market we want to race in but there are not many different places inside London to race.
“There are options and there is a big desire to get back to the UK. It is one of two or three priorities from a country location point of view.”
Formula E previously held two rounds in London in 2015 and 2016, racing on the Battersea Park circuit south-west of the city center.
“We had a race in Battersea Park, we thought it was ideal because the level of disruption was quite minimal,” said Longo.
“But we found quite a a lot of challenges as you know so basically we moved on from Battersea and we are looking for another place around London now.”
London Race “Crucial” for Formula E
An E-Prix in London would be “well received”, according to Panasonic Jaguar Racing team principal James Barclay.
Barclay, who is also the chairman of the Formula E Teams and Manufacturers Association, says the UK needs to be better positioned to showcase EV engineering excellence.
“I think it is crucial that we have a race in the UK because we have so many British based teams,” Barclay told e-racing365.
“We are a proud British manufacturer and we would love to race in front of our home fans, it would be very well received.
“I think we need to really catch up in the UK and be at the forefront of promoting electric vehicles and to do that in the capital, in London, it would be a fantastic show.
Barclay believes that last weekend’s Santiago E-Prix shows that hosting an event in a major capital city does not have to disrupt the day-to-day lives of its inhabitants.
“Santiago showed that you don’t have to be disruptive to race in the city centre,” he said. “I think locations such as ExCeL or the O2 [Arena] could be really positive news for Formula E in the future.”
Formula E currently has five British drivers competing in the championship and one of them, Gary Paffett, also believes that a race in London is important.
“It would be a big deal definitely and I think it is important to race in the UK,” Paffett told e-racing365.
“When you get a lot of home support with fans and partners watching you race there is a different feeling so it would be incredible if the Formula E guys could make it happen.”