The first season of the Formula E electric motor racing series will conclude with a 'double-header' race weekend on a temporary street circuit constructed in London’s Battersea Park.
The London event had long been included on the championship’s 2014/15 race schedule but before revealing the Battersea track, organisers had to wait for planning permission to be granted by Wandsworth Council.
After the track was approved, Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Discussions for our London Formula E race have been many months in the planning so we’re delighted to be awarded planning approval by Wandsworth Council. Our thanks must go to all the parties involved for their hard work and co-operation, especially Mayor Boris Johnson, Wandsworth Council and the various stakeholder groups with interests in the location.”
Unlike traditional motorsport championships, Formula E race events take place on a single day to minimise disruption to the city-centre locations the series is committed to race on. London is the only city to be granted a second race and both events will be run over the weekend of June 27-28.
Agag believes that change could see the Formula E title winner crowned over the course of the London rounds.
He said: “Having two races in London – the final two of the season – was an option we discussed at length with Wandsworth Council and means that London could well be where the inaugural champion is crowned, making it a fantastic spectacle for the city and a great platform to showcase sustainable mobility and clean energy. We will now begin preparations for bringing urban electric racing to London but of course that means working closely with all parties and local residents’ groups to ensure that we remain sympathetic to all park users.”
The Battersea Park circuit approved by the council has been designed by Formula E’s London Event Team and architect Simon Gibbons. The 2.92km track features 15 corners and a combination of short straights, sweeping bends and the tight chicanes which have become a notable element of every Formula E track announced so far.
Formula E used a development car to test the suitability and noise levels at the circuit, which uses the perimeter roads around the park, in a secret early morning session in August 2014.
Virgin Racing’s British driver Sam Bird, winner of the Putrajaya ePrix earlier this season, voiced his initial impression of the design of his home circuit: "The layout itself seems to combine fast straights, a couple of high-speed bends, as well as some challenging chicanes and braking zones. I think the London ePrix spectators will be treated to some close, fast racing with plenty of action and overtaking. The organisers have done a good job with this layout and I can’t wait to race there, in front of my home crowd."
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, gave his thoughts on the benefit the races will give to the surrounding area of London.
He said: “Formula E is set to be a superb addition to London’s sporting calendar. The atmosphere will quite literally be electric and Battersea, which is already booming with the buzz of regeneration, will be alive with the excitement that this new, world-class event will no doubt spark."
Formula E Championship overview 2015