The Berlin ePrix will return to its original location for its third running, with the event to once again be set up on the apron of the city’s defunct Tempelhof Airport.
After hosing the Berlin round of the inaugural Formula E season, the ongoing European refugee crisis saw the historic airport’s terminal buildings being used to temporarily house displaced people. With it being deemed impractical and inappropriate to run a race event at the same location, the ePrix was moved to a traditional street circuit layout in the Karl-Marx-Allee area in the city’s east.
Now that the airport is once again available, the decision has been made by the event and championship organisers to move the ePrix back to where it was first held.
Expect the track layout to be different to that used in the opening season, however, as the original circuit – in particular the final sector of the lap – was criticised as being too technical and too processional.
Being built on the apron of the former airport, the ePrix is free of any of the usual layout constraints forced upon a traditional street circuit and allows for almost any route to be constructed and modified to suit. Organisers intend to release the revised circuit plan in the near future.
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller was delighted with the announcement, happy to see Formula E remaining in his city.
“Motorsport with electric motors is an advertisement for innovative technologies and sustainable urban mobility. Electromobility is the key to environmentally friendly transport in the cities of the 21st century, including Berlin,” he is quoted as saying.
“I am therefore delighted that Formula E continues to take place here. The event thrills motorsport fans and proves – in a spectacular way, in front of a special backdrop – the performance of this technology to a wide audience.”
The 2015 running of the Berlin ePrix at Tempelhof saw one of the few highlights of the Trulli Formula E team’s brief existence, with Jarno Trulli taking pole position.
While Lucas di Grassi finished the ePrix first on the road, however, the Brazilian was subsequently excluded from the event for a technical infringement found in post-race scrutineering – his disqualification handed victory to Jérôme d’Ambrosio.
Reigning Formula E champion Sébastien Buemi is also the defending champion in Berlin, having won last year’s Karl-Marx-Allee event to keep his title hopes alive as the 2015-16 season drew to a thrilling close.
The Berlin ePrix will form the seventh round of the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship, and is scheduled to take place on Saturday June 10.
Image via FIA Formula E Championship