The Hong Kong E-Prix set to remain on the ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar for 2019-20, with a fourth edition expected to be confirmed when the schedule is released on Friday.
It’s believed there is now an agreement in place to keep the race, after doubt had been cast about its future due to construction works in the harborfront area and questions whether an extension to the existing layout could be possible.
E-racing365 understands that development work has been agreed to extend the 1.86-mile circuit for next year’s race.
Alternative tracks in the Western Kowloon Cultural District and Salisbury Road area by the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade are believed to have been considered in recent months but will not go ahead.
Senior Formula E officials, including founder and chairman Alejandro Agag, spent time in the city after the most recent running of the race in March, lobbying for a new deal.
The circuit is expected to be increased by around 400 meters, which could involve changes to the first corner.
This may prove problematic for organizers due to the military headquarters base located in the area.
More likely is an extended second corner which will further bypass the local Apple Store close to the Man Cheung Street transport hub.
This would then feed into and prolong the Turn 3-4 roundabout area and constitute an additional loop to extend the circuit.
A March 1 date is believed to be the most likely for the race, beginning an Asian double-header during that month.
Second Asian Round Still Unclear
The second race in Asia next March is still under negotiation with two possibilities believed to be options for a deal.
Sanya is currently the most likely to get the slot with an E-Prix on the same circuit used earlier this year again set to be utilised.
E-racing365 understands though that an alternative in the city of Xi’an, which is located in Shaanxi province in central China, is also under consideration.
The tourist destination, famous for its terracotta army in the Qin Shi Huang mausoleum, has entered into discussions with Asian Formula E promoter and organizer Enova.
However, with the latitude in Xi’an similar to that of Seoul, the race would be a risk as average day temperatures in the city are just 12 degrees with eight days of rainfall during the month.
A race in Shanghai, which is the preferred long-term option for Formula E, is unlikely to be a realistic prospect until 2021 at the very earliest. Another option in Chengdu is also being explored.
The full calendar will be released at the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting on Friday. As per this season, the second Chinese race has the possibility of being initially confirmed as a TBA.