Formula E has raised fresh concerns over its race in Hyderabad, saying it might not be able to go ahead with the round scheduled for February 10 following the latest communique from the new Telangana government. The inaugural electric race in the country was held in February this year with then IT Minister KT Rama Rao playing a huge role in bringing the race to the city. However, KTR’s BRS party lost the state election to Congress in December.
Considering the operational challenges involved in hosting the first race, Formula E had dropped Hyderabad from the provisional calendar before including it in the final calendar in October.
The change of guard has put them in a tough spot with the Congress government’s letter to Formula E adding to its woes ahead of the race in six weeks’ time. “Following a recent official communication received from the new Government of Telangana, Formula E is seeking urgent clarification of their contractual commitments under the agreement and how it could impact the Hyderabad race.
“Based on the content of the letter received, Formula E is concerned the race will not be able to go ahead as planned,” Formula E said in a statement.
Formula E officials had met members of the new government earlier this month.
Initially, a four-year agreement was signed between Formula E, Telangana government and Greenko, which has pulled out of the event after the inaugural edition.
“Formula E’s senior executive team met with the new leadership of the Government of Telangana immediately following elections earlier this month. Discussions have been ongoing since then.
“With the event just a few weeks away and in its final stages of preparation, Formula E, partners and suppliers have already made significant commercial investments in the event.
“The inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix in February this year returned almost 84 million USD in positive economic impact to the region, many times more than the overhead costs invested by Formula E and the Government of Telangana,” the statement added.
The cost of holding a Formula E race varies. The first race in Hyderabad cost the stakeholders more than Rs 150 crore. It was the first FIA World Championship status event held in India in 10 years, following Formula 1’s departure in 2013.
Formula E is staged around the world and in iconic world cities including Tokyo, Berlin and London.
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