2018 Calendars: Formula E

2017/18 FIA Formula E Schedule

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*Updated 6 December 2017*

Sao Paulo cancelled and replaced by Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Date Race Circuit Location Country
2 Dec 17 1 Harbourfront Circuit Hong Kong Hong Kong
3 Dec 17 2 Harbourfront Circuit Hong Kong Hong Kong
13 Jan 18 3 Circuit Moulay El Hassan Marrakesh Morocco
3 Feb 18 4 Avenue Santa Maria Santiago Chile
3 Mar 18 5 Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Mexico City Mexico
17 Mar 18 6 Sao Paulo
Punta del Este
Sao Paulo
Punta del Este
Brazil
Uruguay
14 Apr 18 7 Rome Rome Italy
28 Apr 18 8 Les Invalides Paris France
19 May 18 9 Berlin Berlin Germany
9 Jun 18 10 Zürich Zürich Switzerland
14 Jul 18 11 New York New York USA
15 Jul 18 12 New York New York USA
28 Jul 18 13 Montreal Montreal Canada
29 Jul 18 14 Montreal Montreal Canada

What’s Changed?

The 2017/18 season starts two months later than last season. Kicking off the first weekend in December, it gets away from the end of the F1 and WEC seasons, compared with October for the previous seasons, albeit the first weekend is only a week after F1 finishes!

14 races at 11 venues in a shorter timeframe makes this the busiest Formula E season yet. It is more compact. There are big changes too. It is not usually a good look to have a high turnover of events but I have to say the changes are largely positive.

Deleted events:

  • Buenos Aires
  • Monaco (expected to return in 2019)

New events:

  • Santiago
  • Sao Paulo
  • Rome
  • Zürich

Hong Kong returns as season opener after last year’s debut. It now hosts a double-header, round 1 on Saturday and round 2 on Sunday.

Marrakesh touring car track returns for round 3, this time in January.

Santiago de Chile is a new event and replaces Buenos Aires. Mexico City moves up a month to March followed two weeks later by a new race on the streets of Sao Paulo. [Subsequently, Sao Paulo was cancelled and replaced by the returning Punta del Este beach-side track in Uruguay.]

In April the series visits a new venue in Rome where it looks like they will race next to the Colosseum! Paris and Berlin both return, now earlier in the year. Berlin drops to a single race after 2017’s double-header.

This opens up June for another new venue as Formula E brings street racing to Zürich. This is a really interesting one, I’m looking forward to it.

The season closes in the same way as 2017, July double-headers in both New York at that awkward dockland track, then at Montreal’s excellent city centre track.

Comment

A very good evolution of the calendar. The big gaps have been eliminated and it looks more professional as a result. Shuffling dates and replacing venues doesn’t solidify date equity but we must remember these are still early days for this young championship.

I think Buenos Aires will be missed. Santiago is an exciting alternative. The other loss is Monaco, just temporary as the ACM alternates between Monaco Historique on even years and Formula E on odd years, balancing past and future.

After F1 personnel were robbed at gunpoint at the Brazilian GP (again), holding a race on Sao Paulo streets is a worry. It should be remembered IndyCar raced there successfully and I believe FE will race in a similar location.

Changing the double-header events is good, Templehof may be historic but it isn’t a highlight as a TV viewer. A double-header to open the season gives it an early ‘bang’.

Zürich is a real win, circuit racing long having been banned in Switzerland until this exemption, so this is a genuine landmark. In a sense so is Rome, I imagine organising a street race there is as difficult as it is in Paris.

Clashes

A bugbear with Formula E are the driver changes due to clashing events. This is much less of a problem in 2018. The remaining clashes won’t really hurt the Formula E contingent too badly.

Notable clashes:

Santiago:  12hr Bathurst;
Sao Paulo:  IMSA 12hr Sebring;
Rome:  F1 Bahrain, IndyCar Long Beach, IMSA Long Beach, ELMS Paul Ricard;
Paris:  F1 Baku;
Zurich:  F1 Montreal, IndyCar Texas;
New York:  IndyCar Toronto;
Montreal:  F1 Budapest, IndyCar Mid-Ohio;

Hong Kong is a week after the last F1 race of 2017. It clashes with WTCC and Asian Le Mans Series, I don’t see any crossover there whatsoever.

In 2017 Maro Engel raced the Bathurst 12 Hours and the FE season, he won’t be able to this time unless he skips Santiago. There’s also an Asian LMS race that week, though the worst clash there is between the two sports car events, not FE.

IMSA’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona attracts quality racers from all over, including Formula E. It is just a week before Santiago so many FE drivers may stop off for a quick enduro on the way to Chile – you’ll probably see many tired faces in Santiago!

On the other hand, IMSA’s second big early enduro, the 12 Hours of Sebring, is a clash with Sao Paulo. Any double-duty FE/endurance drivers will only be able to pick one of IMSA’s premier events, or skip Brazil: this may affect such as Bird, Lynn, JEV, Heidfeld.

IMSA Long Beach is a clash but will not be a problem, not being an endurance round the 3rd drivers and one-off entries will not be present. There’s also ELMS though this shouldn’t affect anyone.

There are no WEC clashes, this by agreement but also as much due to the new ‘Super Season’ concept adopted by the WEC reducing the number of their races. More on that in my WEC post at a later date.

Sadly, again both North American events clash with IndyCar. This is not good for media purposes and prevents IndyCar guys from doing a one-off FE weekend for late-season promo!

The various F1 clashes are only a problem in terms of exposure, F1 is such a pull that it dominates over anything else.

Clashes are an unavoidable part of racing and this is better than before, but I am sure it is possible to do a better job.

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