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December Race to Be Scrapped; Jakarta E-Prix Set for May

A heavily modified Formula E schedule is set to be presented at the FIA WMSC next month…

Photo: Formula E

The planned second round of the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season in December is set to be deleted from the calendar as organizers work towards a second heavily-modified schedule.

The race, which was likely to have taken place in Marrakesh for a fourth consecutive season, is expected not to feature in an updated calendar which will be ratified at the World Motorsport Council on Oct. 4.

Formula E announced a controversial 13-date schedule in June which included three possible date clashes with the FIA World Endurance Championship, which had announced its schedule almost a year earlier.

Removing the Dec. 14 date, which was presented as a TBC, will alleviate a clash with the 8 Hours of Bahrain WEC event.

With the 6 Hours of Spa having been brought forward a week to April 25, only one potential clash would then remain between the two championships.

This is the March 21 weekend when WEC runs its U.S. race in Sebring on Friday, March 20, while another TBC Formula E round, which e-racing365 understands will be confirmed as a return to Sanya on Hainan Island, will take place.

Formula E is believed to have looked at the potential of moving this race earlier in March but it currently remains as a direct clash with Sebring on March 21.

Enova Holdings Ltd., Formula E’s exclusive greater China regional partner, is keeping a watching brief on the political situation playing out in Hong Kong.

Civil unrest has been flaring up in the city ever since changes to a law that would allow extradition to mainland China were introduced earlier this year.

This has now been shelved but protests have continued as groups of the populace call for greater democratic rights.

Berlin/New York to Move for Jakarta Race

It has emerged that a first ever E-Prix in Indonesia is now likely to happen between the Seoul and Berlin races.

Formula E is believed to be looking at shifting the Berlin E-Prix to a possible later date in order to accommodate the insertion of a Jakarta E-Prix on the streets of the Indonesian capital.

A June 20 slot for the race at Tempelhof now looks to be the most likely for the German date.

The knock-on effect of scheduling the Jakarta race could also see a fourth visit to New York City continue in its previously traditional July slot with a modified date of July 11.

An announcement to confirm the first ever Formula E race in Indonesia could come as soon as next week with either a late May 30 or June.6 date the favorite for a slot.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan told Indonesian media last month that $24.1 million was needed to stage an E-Prix in the capital.

Baswedan said that the budget needed to be spent by the Jakarta Administration was less than hosting an F1 race.

“Let me read out the list, hosting a MotoGP race needs $7-9 million, an F1 race is $29.4 million, Formula E is $24.1 million. There are always costs that need to be spent,” said the Jakarta governor.

Baswedan said the funds will largely come from the city’s regional budget known as the APBD, because the central government has not yet sanctioned certain expenses.

The plans for Formula E to go to Jakarta are expected to be approved by the Jakarta Legislative Council shortly.

This would give green light for the race to be included in the new calendar, which will be presented to the FIA in early October.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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