In a massive disappointment to motorsport fans in Hyderabad, the Formula E race scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 10 in the city has been cancelled.
The Hyderabad E-Prix was the only official FIA World Championship event scheduled in India in 2024. It was part of a multi-year agreement between Formula E and the Government of Telangana.
This comes after the new government took charge of the state post the recently concluded elections in Telangana. In a statement, Formula E said that it was left with no choice after the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department breached the contract. “FEO is considering its position and what steps it may take under the Host City Agreement and applicable laws. All of FEO’s rights in that regard are reserved,” the statement read.
Other host cities confirmed on the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship calendar for Season 10 include Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin, Monaco and London. The season begins next Saturday, 13 January, with the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix.
“The President of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), Akbar Ebrahim, and his team have been incredibly supportive in bringing Formula E back to Hyderabad. They share our disappointment in the decision of the Government of Telangana which means that will not happen,” said Co-Founder and Chief Championship Officer, Formula E, Alberto Longo.
Formula E race in Hyderabad troubles Congress
The inaugural electric race in the country was held in February this year with then IT Minister KT Rama Rao playing a huge role in bringing the race to the city.
However, KTR’s BRS party lost the state election to Congress in December. Considering the operational challenges involved in hosting the first race, Formula E had dropped Hyderabad from the provisional calendar before including it in the final calendar in October.
Formula E officials had met members of the new government earlier this month. Initially, a four-year agreement was signed between Formula E, Telangana government and Greenko, which has pulled out of the event after the inaugural edition.
“It is deeply frustrating that we cannot build on the success of the inaugural race last year, which delivered almost 84m USD in positive economic impact to the region. We are also disappointed for our major Indian partners, particularly Mahindra and Tata Communications, said CEO, Formula E, Jeff Dodds.
“Racing in Hyderabad was important to showcase the benefits of adopting electric vehicles in a market where pollution from vehicle engines has a massive impact on public health and the environment,” he added.
The first race in Hyderabad cost the stakeholders more than Rs 150 crore. It was the first FIA World Championship status event held in India in 10 years, following Formula 1’s departure in 2013. Formula E is staged around the world and in iconic world cities including Tokyo, Berlin and London.