In a surprising turn of events, the eagerly anticipated Round 4 of the Season 10 Formula E Championship, the Hyderabad E-Prix, set for February 10, has been cancelled. This development follows the decision of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department (MAUD) of the Government of Telangana, who have chosen not to honor the Host City Agreement established on October 30, 2023.
The non-compliance by the MAUD has forced Formula E Operations (FEO) to declare a breach of contract, leaving the organization in a difficult position. FEO is currently weighing its options, including potential steps it may take under the Host City Agreement and relevant legal frameworks, while reserving all its rights in this regard.
The Hyderabad E-Prix was poised to be the only official FIA World Championship event in India for 2024. It was a key part of a multi-year collaboration between Formula E and the Telangana Government, indicating the significance of this cancellation.
Despite this setback, the Season 10 calendar of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship remains robust, featuring host cities such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin, Monaco, and London. The season is slated to commence next Saturday, January 13, with the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix.
Expressing his disappointment, Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer of Formula E, stated: “The cancellation is a major letdown for India’s vast motorsport fanbase. Hosting an official motorsport world championship race is a prestigious event for Hyderabad and the entire nation. The President of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), Akbar Ebrahim, and his team were instrumental in bringing Formula E back to Hyderabad. Their efforts, however, have been thwarted by the decision of the Telangana Government.”
Jeff Dodds, CEO of Formula E, also voiced his frustration, highlighting the missed opportunity to build on last year’s inaugural race, which had a significant positive economic impact. He expressed regret for the major Indian partners, particularly Mahindra and Tata Communications, emphasizing the importance of showcasing electric vehicles in India to combat pollution and its effects on public health and the environment.