Russia will play host to round nine of the 2014/15 FIA Formula E championship, to be held on the streets of Moscow on Saturday June 6.
Having been listed as ‘TBA’ since the planned Rio de Janeiro event was dropped from the calendar in April 2014, it was revealed it was revealed at a press conference in the city of Tuesday that the penultimate ePrix of the season will take place on a 13-turn circuit that runs alongside the Moskva River, adjacent to Red Square and the Kremlin.
Whilst still subject to final FIA approvals, the proposed circuit includes the unique feature of two 180-degree hairpin turns in succession – a right hand corner followed by a left-hand turn.
The event is another boost for Russia’s growing motorsport program, having also gained a Formula 1 Grand Prix and World Touring Car Championship round in the recent past – a fact pointed out by FIA President Jean Todt at the announcement.
“Russia’s presence in motorsport dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century but the growth rate which we’ve seen in the last few years is incredible. After the debut of WTCC two years ago and of Formula One last year, the launch of another FIA Championship in the country is an important milestone in this growth path,” he said.
“Formula E represents a new form of racing and entertainment as it’s aimed to attract and engage not only motorsport fans but also a new audience and in particular the younger generations. It fits perfectly in the FIA’s traditional role as a leading promoter of innovation, technology and performance in the automotive sector. I am sure that Moscow will enjoy the event.”
As Executive Director of the Russian Automobile Federation, Sergey Ivanov took pleasure in making the announcement of the ePrix: “Formula E – is a very interesting and above-average project which links motorsport with innovative science and technology. It is a historic event for Russian motorsport – for the first time ever a real race will take place in the very heart of the city. We’ve been cooperating with FIA for a long time and we are certain that the FIA Formula E Championship round in Moscow will be held in accordance with all the international standards.”
For FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, the interest of the Russian officials and fans alike made Moscow a more than suitable location to host a round of the championship: “We are delighted to be welcoming Moscow onto the 2014/2015 Formula E calendar as our 10th host city, Russian people have always welcomed with passion and enthusiasm international events and we are sure it will be the same with the Moscow ePrix. Russia’s automotive market is steadily growing, as is its electric vehicle industry and I am confident that Formula E will help to promote the concept of sustainable mobility in this country. As with our previous races, we have no doubt the Moscow ePrix is going to be a fantastic spectacle for teams, drivers and fans.”
In recent years, motorsport has not only been expanding across Russia as a whole, but also within Moscow itself. For several years the city has played host to various racing events and demonstrations.
The Formula E race will take this to a whole new level, said ePrix organiser Svetlana Korshunova: “For eight years now we have been holding Moscow City Racing events and each year we would do our best to come up with something new and exciting. In 2011 the highlight of our show was the participation of EF01 Formulec racing car, the first in the world completely eco-friendly vehicle, developed in France. Since then we’ve been closely following the development of this segment in motorsport and it is a great honour for us to see fully electric racing cars on Moscow streets again but in a totally different status. This is going to be an unforgettable experience!”
With the Moscow date now confirmed as round nine, the eighth round of the championship – the Berlin ePrix – has been moved one week earlier to Saturday May 23. The Berlin event will also hold the distinction of being the first ePrix not to be held on a ‘traditional’ street circuit, instead the track is being developed on the taxiway apron of the closed Berlin Tempelhof Airport.
Images via FIA Formula E Championship and Flickr