For years, Bernie Ecclestone, the ringmaster in charge of the Formula One circus, has dreamed about staging a race in New York City. There was even a proposed route set up some years ago across the Hudson that would have featured the New York skyline in the background. Sadly, Governor Chris Christie’s loutish behavior during Bridge-gate seems to have cooled everyone’s interest in a venue that would require people to cross over from Manhattan and perhaps celebrate another birthday while trying to get back across the river. Now it seems Formula E will do what Formula One could not. It has scheduled a two race weekend in The Big Apple next July at the conclusion of the sport’s third season of competition.
ThThis week, Formula E revealed the proposed track layout which will wend its way through the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. The 1.21 mile long configuration is still subject to FIA approval, but in its current form it will feature 13 turns and wind its way around Pier 11 and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty will form a dramatic backdrop to the race. Red Hook is getting a lot of attention these days. A few months ago, Tesla Motors opened its first dedicated sales location there.
Speaking at the press conference in New York this week, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said, “To race in New York City is a historic moment — not only for Formula E, but for motorsport in general. It highlights the philosophy of Formula E to bring fully electric racing to the world’s greatest cities. When we originally started the project we could only dream of bringing Formula E to a place like New York, with arguably the most recognizable skyline of any city in the world. I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping bring Formula E to New York for many years to come.”
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, said: “Just being able to bring a motor race to the heart of a great city like New York is already an amazing achievement in itself. I am really pleased that this city is going to feature on the calendar of an FIA championship, especially Formula E, which provides the best possible combination of the two pillars that form the basis of the Federation, namely sport and mobility. Formula E brings motorsport to the heart of the most important and fascinating cities in the world – New York joins a list that includes, among others, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Paris, Marrakesh and Montreal, proving just how vibrant and attractive this series has become, even though it is about to embark on what is only its third season.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio was equally enthusiastic. “New York City is where technology, sustainability, and commerce collide. We are thrilled to be the new home of the ePrix,” he told the audience.
Reigning series champion Sebastien Buemi spoke about what a race in New York means for the drivers. “New York is one of the world’s great cities. I think it will be an amazing event, particularly with that backdrop! I can’t wait to race there. I expect it’s going to be one of the most spectacular tracks we have been to so far. Formula E is always pushing the boundaries with where we go and, along with Hong Kong, Paris and Berlin, we can genuinely say we have the most exciting calendar ever seen in motorsport.”
Source: Electric Cars Report Graphic credit: Formula E