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Formula E Hyderabad E-Prix runs into fresh trouble

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The 2024 Hyderabad E-Prix has hit fresh trouble after Formula E on Thursday raised concerns if the race would be able go ahead as planned on February 10.

Jean-Eric-Vergne of France DS Penske driver ride during the Hyderabad E-Prix on February 11, 2023 in Hyderabad, India.(Getty Images)
Jean-Eric-Vergne of France DS Penske driver ride during the Hyderabad E-Prix on February 11, 2023 in Hyderabad, India.(Getty Images)

“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,” said a Formula E statement.

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The fourth round of the 21-race calendar, the Hyderabad E-Prix was initially not in the provisional 2024 calendar when it was released in June before making the final list in October following the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting.

But a lot has changed since then as Telangana got a new government this month with Congress’s Revanth Reddy as the new chief minister.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s KT Rama Rao, cabinet minister of the previous Telangana government and son of former CM K Chandrashekar Rao, had played an important role in bringing the global motorsport championship to India with the inaugural race held in February this year.

Formula E has a four-year contract to host the race in India with the host city agreement signed on October 30 for the 2024 race. Formula E’s senior executive team met with the new government immediately following election results 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 $84 million in positive economic impact to the region, many times more than the overhead costs invested by Formula E and the Government of Telangana,” added the statement.

An additional problem is that the race has no promoter currently as Ace Gen Nxt backed by green energy company Greenko, which was also the principal sponsor, has already pulled out after hosting the first race in February. The maiden race had its own share of problems. Many last-minute arrangements had to be made well into the race weekend that didn’t go down well with the organisers.

The race was the first global motorsport race to be held in India following the unceremonious exit of Formula 1 in 2013.

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