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Misano Double-Header Headlines Formula E's Biggest Calendar

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli; Image Credits - Formula E

Formula E's longest-ever calendar was confirmed on Wednesday, as Misano was announced as the replacement to the Rome E Prix, the Italian double-header set to take place on Saturday, 13th April, 2024, and Sunday, 14th April, 2024.

The announcement came about after the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) approved the addition of the Misano circuit to the 2024 Formula E calendar, making it the third track to debut in Season Ten, alongside the previous announcements of Tokyo and Shanghai hosting the electric racing series.

The Misano Track

The Misano Circuit, officially known as the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, is located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, the same province as the famous Imola circuit. The track used to be the home race of MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.

Located close to the Rimini Beach, the Misano track is named after the late Marco Simoncelli, or Sic, as he was known. Simoncelli was an up-and-coming Italian motorcycle racer in the early 2010s, whose aggressive riding style often made shockwaves, and caught out even the best of the times, during his short stint in the series.

Marco Simoncelli, after whom the track is named; Credit - MotoGP

He was expected to become a star of the future, having won the erstwhile 250cc World Championship back in 2008, and after a solitary appearance in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK), made his MotoGP debut in 2010, riding for satellite Honda team Gresini Racing.

The young Italian was improving ever so steadily, getting closer to the championship contenders such as Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, and Casey Stoner.

However, the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix cut short his sporting career, Simoncelli having a fatal incident at turn 11, his bike, veering across the track, and into the path of Rossi and American racer Colin Edwards.

Simoncelli suffered grievous injuries to the head, neck, and chest, and was pronounced dead less than an hour after the aforementioned incident, on 23rd October, 2011.

The incident had a devastating impact on Rossi, who later mentioned this as the trigger to set up the famous VR46 academy, which has later produced famous riders on today's grid such as Francesco Bagnaia, Marco Bezzecchi, and Luca Marini.

Shortly after the events, the owners of the Misano Circuit announced the renaming of the circuit, in honour of the deceased Italian rider, who was born in the nearby Cattolica town, and had lived most of his life in Coriano.

Coming to the track itself, it hosts the San Marino round of MotoGP every year, having done so under this name every year since 2007. Honda rider Marc Marquez holds the win record at this track, with six victories across categories to his name, while home hero Rossi has won a trio of races here, in 2008, 2009, and later in 2014.

The 4.2 km (2.6 mi) long track features long straights, and has its fair share of technical corners, near the beginning of the lap. With three straights, including the speed section spanning turns 10 to 13, the track is set to provide plenty of overtaking action, given the resounding success of Formula E's debut season in the Gen3 era.

The announcement of Misano as a Formula E host comes about after the concerns over the streets of Rome arose, following season nine's double-header witnessing two massive incidents, one which saw Sam Bird run over a bump at the sweeping left-hander of turn six, and spin, causing a multi-car incident, and red flagging the race.

The massive incident raised worried eyebrows about the Gen3 cars being too big for Rome's narrow streets, and the possibility of such incidents repeating in the future. As a result, the E Prix in Italy were moved out of Rome, and onto the road course of Misano.

Portland also gets an extra race in 2024, after season nine's resounding success; Image Credit - Formula E

Other Developments

Misano takes the double-header spot left vacant by Rome on the season ten calendar, and will become only the second unmodified road course track to host a Formula E race in the Gen3 era, the first one being the Portland International Raceway last season.

And speaking of Portland, the American round played host to a frenetic and action-packed race, providing as many as 403 overtakes during the race, the most by any Formula E track in 2023.

The success of this race has translated into a double-header for season ten, an additional race assigned to the weekend's proceedings. The 2024 Portland E Prix is set to take place on 29th and 30th June, 2024, the penultimate weekend of Formula E in 2024, before the London double-header on 20th and 21st July, 2024.

With Misano also set to take on a double-header, five of the final six weekends of Formula E's season ten consists of double-headers, with Misano immediately succeeded by the regular Monaco E Prix, before four double-headers in Berlin, Shanghai (new location in 2024), and the aforementioned Portland and London double-headers rounding out the season.

Quotes from the dignitaries

Andrea Abodi, Italian Minister of Sport, and Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia Romagna, welcomed Formula E Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Alberto Longo, to formally announce their official host venue status.

Andrea Abodi, Italian Minister of Sport, said:

Formula E is a great opportunity for our country and after many wonderful years in Rome, the next Italian E-Prix will be held in Misano in 2024. It is important that Italy welcomes this event that promotes sustainable mobility and has an extraordinary charm. Motorsport holds a special place in the heart of Italians, and we have learned to appreciate these new cars that bring hope for the future and deliver a legacy of cutting-edge technology”.

Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E, said:

“We are excited to race at the historic Misano track for the first time and introduce the huge local motorsport fanbase to Formula E’s uniquely competitive racing. Everyone associated with the track and region has been incredibly enthusiastic in welcoming Formula E to the area, and I would like to thank them for their support. The same message goes to the local promoter and officials in Portland, we cannot wait to return for a full weekend of racing and entertainment in the City of Roses."

And here's hoping it is indeed a rosy affair in the City of Roses once again, as fans would eagerly be awaiting to see what Portland has in store for season ten, with double the action expected in 2024.


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