The German city of Hamburg has emerged as a late contender to host a round of Formula E’s European leg later this year, as the 2016–17 calendar faces the chance of losing both the Brussels and Berlin ePrix.
This is according to Hamburg politician Dennis Thering, who in an interview with e-formel.de confirmed that a proposal for the Hamburg ePrix will be put to the local government on 15th February, and if successful will be followed by a formal application to the FIA to host the race.
Thering also spoke of two possible locations for the race—Hamburg’s business district, the City Nord, or the HafenCity beside the River Elbe: “The City Nord would definitely be [on the list] because there is quite a lot of business area and only a few residents.
“The HafenCity would, of course, be very attractive and definitely an option, but in the choice of locations we want to leave the city all freedoms.”
The news of Hamburg’s bid comes as Formula E is now faced with the possibility of losing two of its major European races. The maiden Brussels ePrix has been left in search of a new venue after local government vetoed the proposed Elisabeth Park circuit this week, following protests from citizens similar to those that caused the cancellation of London’s Battersea Park race.
Meanwhile, the Berlin ePrix has been placed under similar doubt by a request from Berlin mayor Michael Muller—prompted by objections from the city’s green party—to move the event from last year’s Alexanderplatz circuit. Discussions are currently underway for the ePrix to return to its season one setting at Templehof Airport, although the switch has yet to be confirmed.
With Formula E still keen to retain its twelve-round calendar despite the setbacks, Hamburg’s ePrix bid has become a credible alternative for either of the threatened races.
However, it is understood that the preferable option if Brussels is lost from the calendar is to stage the Berlin event as a double-header at Templehof, rather than fast-tracking an unsuitable new circuit elsewhere.
James Matthews, Formula E editor