Formula E to follow Formula 1 – and Bond – to Mexico City
Formula E looks set to finally fill the longstanding TBC slot on the season 2 calendar, with the announcement of a race taking place in Mexico, March 2016.
A modified version of the circuit Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the heart of the sprawling capital, Mexico City – which welcomed F1 back less than a fortnight ago – will house the ePrix event. The venue will also join the Berlin ePrix as the only other Formula E track not to take place on city streets, but will instead utilise a street circuit like layout.
All the signs were there from the beginning for Formula E’s latest venture. Mexico City was after all the venue for the World Motorsport Council’s meeting that approved the all-electric championships season 2 calendar. The TBC marker, already hovering tentatively in place…
And it makes sense that Formula E should wait until the spotlight is away from Formula 1’s decent on the capital before making its own announcement. The two world championship races should compliment each other perfectly – taking place in March and October – providing the countries motorsport fans with the next big event to anticipate no sooner has one finished.
Last months Formula 1 Mexico Grand Prix was a huge success, drawing a sell-out crowd to the venue which put fans at the heart of the experience. In a departure from other grand prix events that use the pit lane complex to house the podium ceremony, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez instead utilised it’s arena section of track, creating a concert like atmosphere for the celebrations.
Formula E will be looking to capitalise on this success and it’s arrival will cement a real motorsport revival for the country, which in itself is also embracing electric vehicles…
Mexico currently houses 291 EV charging stations, 122 of which are in Mexico City itself. The CFE (Comision Federal de Electrical – the organistaion responsible for supplying Mexico with electricity) is aiming to open 30 more of these in the months ahead, as the government plans to reduce the countries CO2 emissions by 51% http://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/electricpower/mexico-advances-electric-vehicle-charging-station-buildout. It’s unquestionably a big market for the sport, who’s core foundation is to promote the use of electric vehicles in city centres around the world.
Somewhat ironically Formula E has just lost it’s Mexican poster boy, as Salvador Duran and Team Trulli part ways – at a time when questions and uncertainty surround the future of the team in the sport. However, that’s not to say Duran will not find a drive elsewhere before the ePrix rolls around; whether that be a return with the team, a takeover company, or one of the other FE teams on the grid (who are permitted up to two driver changes during the 2015/16 season).
Alongside Long Beach, Mexico would also deliver two races in the continent for a successive year, as Miami slips from this years calendar. It also delivers on the Latin America market, further diversifying Formula E’s vision for a truly global championship.
by Tom Clancy @Retro_F1