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Formula E Confident Santiago E-Prix Will Go Ahead

Formula E remains confident the Santiago E-Prix will be unaffected by civil disturbances…

Photo: Formula E

Formula E is currently expecting the Santiago E-Prix to take place as scheduled on Jan. 18 despite significant civil disturbance taking place in Chile over the last two weeks.

The race, which is planned to take place in the Parque O’Higgins area of the Chilean capital for a second consecutive year, is the second scheduled event of the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign.

E-racing365 understands that teams have this week been informed by Formula E that the race is set to go ahead and that local authorities have given reasonable assurance that the event is currently not in any danger.

However, Formula E and local teams in Santiago are still believed to be carefully monitoring the situation.

After days of violence and protest over social inequality issues in Chile, several people were killed and widespread damage has been inflicted to businesses in the capital. In addition, two major international summit conferences have been cancelled in recent days.

These are the APEC trade summit and COP25 UN climate conference events which were set to be attended by many heads of state including US President Donald Trump and China’s leader Xi Jinping.

Chilean President Sebastien Piñera stated on Wednesday that the cancellations of the events have been “a very difficult decision” but that he was intent on “fully restoring public order, security and social peace”.

However, the violence has abated in recent days, and the government is forming expected social reforms after the recent outcry was triggered by public transport price increases.

The resulting riots have been widely reported to have cost businesses $1.4 billion.

Despite the cancellation of the APEC and COP25 events, Santiago is still planning to host the South American soccer final, known as the Copa Libertadores, on Saturday, Nov. 23 between Brazilian side Flamengo and reigning champion from Argentina, River Plate.

However, the Chilean Football Federation (ANFP) took advice from political authorities and police to suspend their fixtures until Nov. 4.

“The security conditions are not given to ensure the normal development of massive sporting events in the coming days,” said an official ANFP communication this week.

All professional soccer games in Chile have been suspended until Nov. 4.

The UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice to Chile on Thursday, stating: “Following civil unrest across Chile you should expect to see a military presence in major cities.

“Further large demonstrations are expected in Santiago and other cities. Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for involvement in protests and demonstrations.”

Formula E Operations is based in London with the majority of its staff travelling to events from the UK.

Freight for the Santiago E-Prix will be sent immediately after the Ad Diriyah E-Prix next month.

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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