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Formula E 2014-'15 Calendar Includes Monaco, U.S. Rounds

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in General

imageFormula E 2014-'15 Calendar Includes Monaco, U.S. Rounds

Formula E, the highly anticipated electric-car racing series, has released a provisional 10-race 2014-'15 calendar.

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  • Everything else with Formula E sounds pretty well sorted, from the cars to the teams, but this idea that they can just name some big cities, most without existing course configurations (the Los Angeles race will not be Long Beach) and show up and pull off a one-day stand-alone race is just completely unrealistic. Street races are enormously difficult to make successful long term. Look at Baltimore. It was a great race that drew big crowds in a beautiful setting to watch a jam-packed schedule full of races but the impact to the infrastructure was a nightmare, the local government lost interest, it lost money hand over fist, went through multiple promoters and managers, and was finally canned so the city can host one college football game next year, and an American Legion conference next year. Have the Formula E organizers ever wondered why street races have 3 day schedules packed full of literally every series they can possibly fit in the paddock? Because that's what you need to make it worthwhile to shut down major streets for a whole weekend. It doesn't matter if they only race for one day, the setup and tear-down are still going to massively impact the cities, just as much as if it was a real event. Los Angeles is scheduled for Valentines Day. Do they really think the city's restaurants are going to be OK with shutting down or having customers unable to reach them just so a single, silent 1 hour race could be held? And for that matter, who will go out and buy tickets to see a single one hour race, with no support series or anything of the like? Monaco for F1 works because it has history and tradition. Long Beach works because it offers a full slate of races and history. St Pete works because it mostly uses an airport and minor roads on the edge of the city. For Formula E to make their events work, they need to get out of city centers, bring in support races, and understand that even if everything else goes perfectly, they will still probably fail unless they miraculously survive long enough to become traditions and sacred cows. Pity, because a good racing series is just what electric cars need to advance the technology.
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