The ABB FIA Formula E Championship could return to the UK with a Birmingham E-Prix in summer next year, according to the region’s mayor.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, has stated that the city is in “advanced” negotiations with Formula E about a race that could race on a similar track which was used for the Birmingham Superprix Formula 3000 race between 1986-1990.
However, e-racing365 believes a more likely date is for the following sixth season of Formula E in 2020.
A race in the UK’s second city would help to promote and prepare operational infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games which it will will host in 2022.
Street originally announced intentions to bring racing back to Birmingham in his manifesto ahead of the 2017 mayoral election.
The location for the race would be to the south of the city centre and is likely to incorporate aspects of the original circuit including the Belgrave Middleway, Sherlock Street and Bristol Street.
“To be really clear the deal has not yet been signed but we are in the final stages of negotiation,” Street said on Monday morning.
“An electric motorsport event in Birmingham would not only showcase the transformation of the city but give us a platform for our region’s world-class future transport technologies.”
While Street claimed that he was in “advanced stages” of talks with Formula E, he also stated that there was “still work to do.”
“Over the last year, we have been in negotiations with the organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship about bringing a road race to Birmingham, effectively reviving the Superprix,” said Street.
“We are now in the advanced stages of these negotiations.
“Of course, there is still work to do. Birmingham City Council have been supportive in our discussions and we are working towards a deal based on commercial sponsorship.”
The comments made by Street triggered the following response from Formula E on Tuesday.
“The UK has a strong racing heritage and is an important market for Formula E – so it’s a priority to bring a race back to British soil,” a Formula E spokesperson said in response to Street’s comments.
“Formula E is based in the UK, as are a number of drivers, teams and manufacturers.
“With the impending ban of petrol and diesel cars in 2040, the movement towards electric is unstoppable and Formula E is helping to speed-up that process.
“Regarding an E-Prix in the UK – we want to find the right venue for the long-term. We’re currently evaluating a number of options and Birmingham is one of them.”
Birmingham and the surrounding area has traditionally been the center of the UK’s motor industry with British Leyland historically based in the south of the city.
Aston Martin Lagonda, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW Group all currently operate plants in the region.
The UK last hosted a Formula E event at the second Battersea Park race in London in July 2016.
The calendar for the 2018-19 season is expected to be issued by the FIA in three weeks’ time at the World Motorsport Council meeting which takes place in the Philippines.