The 2024 Formula E World Championship calendar may be set for a last-minute shakeup following recent elections in Telangana, which brought about a change of leadership in the government.
The race was planned to feature as the fourth of the 2024 season on February 10 but is now under threat based on a letter from the new government, which “could impact the Hyderabad race”.
The 2023 Hyderabad E-Prix was the first time the series raced in India and the country’s first FIA-sanctioned World Championship event since the 2013 Indian Grand Prix.
France’s Jean-Eric Vergne won a spectacular 2023 Hyderabad E-Prix from New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy on the street circuit, while Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans had qualified on pole.
While the on-track action was considered a success, there were concerns regarding the infrastructure at the event, with work in the paddock and around the venue continuing after the race weekend had begun.
A statement from Formula E was issued on Thursday seeking urgent clarification on the 2024 situation and reads: “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’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 $84mil in positive economic impact to the region, many times more than the overhead costs invested by Formula E and the Government of Telangana.
“Hyderabad is set to host the only official FIA World Championship event in India next year, alongside other iconic world cities, including Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin and London, as part of a multi-year agreement between Formula E and the Government of Telangana.
“Further updates will follow in due course.”
The Formula E World Championship begins in two weeks in Mexico City, with the scheduled Hyderabad E-Prix set to run four weeks later.
Organisers are now left scrambling to determine whether running the event is possible and developing a contingency plan if not.
Header Image: Nick Cassidy in action in Hyderabad in 2023. Image: Formula E