A Trio of New Racetracks Join the New Era of Formula E
Written by Vyas Ponnuri, Edited by Simran Kanthi
The Gen3 era is set to be a new step forward in the history of Formula E. Freshly designed, faster and lighter cars for more side-by-side racing. Two teams have left the sport with both being taken over, and a new team joining in too. There have been a plethora of driver changes too, with many familiar faces from last season set to don new outfits for season nine.
Apart from the driver line-ups being shuffled and a new generation car being used, there have been changes to the calendar too with three new locations entering the world of Formula E. Season eight saw Jakarta and Seoul host races for the first time. Season nine will see Hyderabad, São Paulo, and Cape Town set to take slots in the early part of the season. While these are the new tracks for next season, they could be joined by more, as two slots are currently vacant on the calendar for season nine.
What does the trio of new tracks have to offer? We take a look at their characteristics in this article.
Hyderabad (Round four - February 11th, 2023)
One of the most highly anticipated rounds of the season, the Hyderabad E-Prix marks the return of top-tier motorsport to the Indian subcontinent. This will be the first FIA-sanctioned event held on Indian shores since the Indian Grand Prix held at the Buddh International Circuit in 2013. The arrival of a major motorsport spectacle to the country speaks volumes about the country's growth in interest in motorsport. On 17 January 2022, the Government of Telangana, the state in which Hyderabad is situated, signed a "letter of intent" with Formula E to stage the Hyderabad E-Prix.
The Hyderabad Street Circuit is situated in the southern part of India. Designed by Drive International, the 2.376 km (1.476 mi) track is set against the backdrop of the famous Hussain Sagar Lake, a major tourist attraction in the city. The track is situated in Lumbini Park and is characterised by three long straights, two of them along the lake, whereas the other is underneath an overpass. These straights are linked by two smaller straights which will take the cars back toward Hussain Sagar Lake. A couple of tricky chicanes are set to challenge the drivers too. One can expect plenty of overtaking to take place around this short and fast circuit.
Cape Town (Round five - February 25th, 2023)
The most recent addition to the calendar, the Cape Town E-Prix is set to debut in the new era of Formula E. Originally scheduled to host a race in the 2022 season, the event was cancelled for unknown reasons, with the Jakarta E-Prix taking its place. Only a few days ago, it was announced that the Cape Town E-Prix would debut in the 2023 Formula E World Championship.
The track is set to be one of the fastest in the sport. The 2.8 km (1.73 mi) circuit is set to wind along the streets of the South African capital with Signal Hill providing a great backdrop to the track. The race starts on Vlei Road, where the Green Point precinct is located. The drivers then proceed to turn one, a left-hander which takes them onto Helen Suzman Boulevard. A quick chicane and the drivers are on another straight, Granger Bay Boulevard, which sees them take on another quick chicane. A left-hand turn then takes them onto Mouille Point's Beach Road along the oceanfront. A final left onto Fritz Sonnenberg Road and a right onto the main straight round off a lap of the Cape Town Street Circuit. With the waterfront and the mountains on either side, this track is set to be a photographer's delight. This layout is set to provide plenty of overtakes at the end of the long straights.
The Cape Town E-Prix will be the first sub-Saharan African city to host a Formula E race.
São Paulo (Round six - March 25th, 2023)
Alongside the Hyderabad E-Prix, Formula E is set to head to São Paulo for round six in the season. This isn't the first time São Paulo has bid to host a Formula E race, with an initial bid coming way back in the 2017-18 season. This will be another shot in the arm for the city, which already hosts the Brazilian Grand Prix in Formula 1 at the renowned Interlagos circuit.
The São Paulo E-Prix is set to be run on the 4.081 km (2.536 mi), 11-turn São Paulo Street Circuit. This circuit isn't new to motorsport, having hosted the São Paulo Indy 300 from 2010 to 2013. The lap begins inside Anhembi Sambadrome, an indoor exhibition centre, followed by a brace of corners leading the drivers out onto Olavo Fontoura Avenue. A right turn awaits the drivers at the end of the straight, before a series of corners in the periphery of the Sambadrome. Another right-hander takes the drivers onto the banks of the Tietê River. This is a long straight and represents a potential overtaking zone for the drivers as they head into the round final corner, heading back indoors and across the finish line. This track shares similarities with that of the ExCel Arena in London and is expected to provide an action-packed race.
This event marks Formula E's return to South America since the Santiago E-Prix, which was last held in the shortened 2019-20 Formula E season.
Tune in on the above-mentioned dates to watch these cities host their respective E-Prix, and watch the action unfold on the newest Formula E circuits.