The race calendar for the fourth season of the FIA Formula E championship has been approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, with the series to visit three new cities across a more compact schedule of race dates.
Having often been criticised for extended gaps between races over the first three years of competition, the 2017/18 season will start eight weeks later with the Hong Kong ePrix over the weekend of December 2 & 3. This event will also be the first double-header Formula E race meeting to be held in Asia.
Marrakech will again follow as the second destination before the championship heads to Santiago for the first time, with the Chilean capital replacing Buenos Aires on the calendar. The popular Mexico City ePrix will again feature in early March, followed by the inaugural São Paulo ePrix on March 17.
Moving to Europe, the series will visit its third new destination with the Rome ePrix scheduled for April 14, 2018. The Rome event effectively takes the place of Monaco, with the principality’s ePrix continuing to alternate years with the Historic Grand Prix.
Paris will hold its third ePrix on April 28, with a German event to follow as round nine of the series. The exact venue in Germany is yet to be revealed – despite this year’s return to the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport being popular – however the 2018 event will return to being a single race day.
Season three’s Berlin ePrix became a double header event following the cancellation of the Brussels ePrix, but the 2017-18 calendar instead lists round ten as having its location still to be advised.
The championship will then return to North America, with twin double header events in New York City on July 7/8 and Montréal on July 28/28 again wrapping up the series.
In a slight change to the format of the three double header race meetings, the Sunday schedule in Hong Kong, New York City and Montreal will only features a single practice session. Previously the Sunday running has been a duplicate of the Saturday track schedule, with two practice sessions on both days.
According to Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, the 2017/18 season calendar provides the series with a balance between building on existing events and expanding to new locations.
“It’s exciting news to welcome a number of new host cities on the Formula E calendar, as well as seeing existing locations build on the success of previous events,” he said.
“Formula E is continuing to expand the calendar and the number of cities in key markets, in addition to the growing list of partners and manufacturers joining the electric revolution. Our priority is to consolidate a calendar with long-term agreements with host cities – the schedule for Season 4 is a step in the right direction.”
|2017-18 FIA Formula E World Championship Season Calendar|
|02-03 DEC 2017||Hong Kong ePrix||Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit, Hong Kong|
|13 JAN 2018||Marrakech ePrix||Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, Morocco|
|03 FEB 2018||Siantiago ePrix||TBA, Chile|
|03 MAR 2018||Mexico City ePrix||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico|
|17 MAR 2018||São Paulo ePrix||TBA, Brazil|
|07 APR 2018||Rome ePrix||TBA, Italy|
|28 APR 2018||Paris ePrix||Les Invalides street circuit, Paris, France|
|17 MAY 2018||TBA||TBA, Germany|
|07-08 JUL 2018||New York ePrix||Brooklyn Street Circuit, United States|
|28-29 JUL 2018||Montréal ePrix||Montréal Street Circuit, Canada|
In an additional change to be introduced for season four, the level of power available in each car for use during each race has will rise from 170kW to 180kW. This increase will not only increase car speed, but also place a further focus on energy management. With increased car speed may also come increased race distances, adding even more challenge to the drivers’ battery use.
The FIA have also approved changes to the testing regulations for the championship, with an additional in-season test day added for the whole field, along with a rookie driver-only test. The number of filming days permitted for each team has been doubled from three to six, however only half may be completed at a permanent circuit as the series encourages team to use the other three for fan engagement and demonstration events.
Image via LAT Images