Formula E set for London return

05 Mar 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Formula E has confirmed its global series will return to London in 2020 with a new venue around the Royal Docks and ExCeL.

The electric racing series last appeared in the capital in 2016, when the London ePrix took place for a second successive year in Battersea Park.

The stage was subsequently discontinued amid opposition from the local community to the disruption caused to the site.  

Formula E has now agreed a multi-year deal with ExCeL that will see drivers compete on a “one of a kind” indoor/outdoor track around Royal Victoria Dock, beginning in July next year.

The 2.4km clockwise circuit will be laid out along the Thames waterfront. It is earmarked to host the season finale of the 2019/20 campaign subject to approval from the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

Formula E CEO and series founder Alejandro Agag hailed the return to London, saying: "Every motorsport series would love to host an event in London - this has been our desire for quite some time now and we’re delighted to have found a new home at the ExCeL.

"We have a growing base of knowledgeable and passionate fans in the UK, and this race adds to a fantastic summer of sport as a world-class event we hope Londoners can be proud of.  

"Formula E coming back to the UK extends beyond pure racing excitement, it’s also a strong message for London to tackle inner-city air pollution by promoting clean technologies and electric sustainable mobility.”

In the years that Formula E has been absent from London, the series has seen significant growth.

It unveiled a major rebranding ahead of the current season and secured its first terrestrial TV coverage in the UK this year. 

Formula E has also been shortlisted in three categories at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019, including for Sport Organisation of the Year in association with AXA XL.

The rightsholder, which seeks to promote sustainable mobility, believes the return to a market already at the forefront of electric vehicle technology will help reinforce its message and reduce the toxicity of London's air. 

Jeremy Rees, CEO of venue partner ExCeL London, commented: “Events at ExCeL are thriving and London provides the perfect backdrop to host global entertainment brands, such as Formula E. 

“We look forward to working closely with Formula E to showcase the versatility of our venue, creating a truly unique experience for teams, drivers and spectators.

“Hosting this event is also closely aligned with our vision to create a more sustainable venue, in the heart of one of the most exciting destinations and best connected cities in the world.”