Marrakesh has replaced Hong Kong on the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar amid a wave of political protests in the city in recent months.
The Marrakesh E-Prix will return on Feb. 29 as the fifth round of the season between races in Santiago and Sanya, the latter of which was also confirmed on Friday with the release of decisions made at the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting.
As previously announced in June, the campaign will begin with a double-header Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23.
E-racing365 understands that initial ideas to introduce night races at the Riyadh venue were dropped some time ago due to a lack of the necessary sustainable lighting.
A test with some lighting metering appliances at the Bahrain circuit is believed to have taken place earlier this year.
With the cancellation of the Dec. 14 date, Santiago will now be the second event of the season in January.
This enforces an eight week gap, something which is believed to have negatively impacted on the championship when it faced a similar span between the first races in the 2016-17 season.
The deletion of the initial December date ensures that there is no clash with the 8 Hours of Bahrain FIA World Endurance Championship race which takes place on the same weekend.
Marrakesh (Feb. 29) slots in two weeks after the Mexico City E-Prix on Feb. 15, holding the weekend initially reserved for Hong Kong.
The second Sanya E-Prix will run on March. 21, thus ensuring a direct clash with FIA WEC’s 1000 Miles of Sebring event on the same weekend.
This will affect Brendon Hartley, James Calado and Sebastien Buemi, who are all expected to have to give their WEC priorities precedence.
It will be the only shared date between Formula E and WEC as the other two potential clashes have been avoided.
These were to be the aforementioned canceled December date with Bahrain as well as the Seoul E-Prix with the WEC’s 6 Hours of Spa, which has been brought forward by one week.
The first leg of the European tour starts as previously confirmed with Rome on April 4 and Paris two weeks later before the second Asian visit with the inaugural Seoul E-Prix on May 3 and Jakarta on June 6.
Berlin, New York Pushed Back
As first reported by e-racing365, the Berlin and New York City E-Prix dates will be pushed back to June and July respectively with the Tempelhof race now scheduled for June 21.
The Berlin E-Prix moves back from its original slot of May 30 due to the confirmation of the Jakarta E-Prix last month to take place on June 6.
The race has been switched to a Sunday to ensure there is no clash with the UEFA European soccer championships.
New York City has been moved back three weeks from June 20 to July 11 and is now just two weeks before the first ever race at the ExCeL Arena as the London E-Prix is revived for the first time since 2016.
2019-20 Formula E Schedule
Nov. 22-23 – Ad Diriyah (double-header)
Jan. 18 – Santiago
Feb. 15 – Mexico City
Feb. 29 – Marrakesh
Mar. 21 – Sanya
Apr. 4 – Rome
Apr. 18 – Paris
May 3 – Seoul
June 6 – Jakarta
June 21 – Berlin
July 11 – New York City
July 25-26 – London (double-header)