St Petersburg, Florida could be the site of a Formula E race in 2023. According to The Race, Formula E has had discussions with the organizers of the St Pete Grand Prix, an IndyCar race that takes place each year on the downtown waterfront, about bringing Formula E racing to the city.
It appears that St Pete’s potential gain would be New York’s loss. Formula E has been racing on the Brooklyn waterfront for the last five years, but planned renovations at the Red Hook cruise terminal could force the 2023 US race to move to another city.
“The Burg” has much to recommend it as a Formula E site: a beautiful waterfront location, a long history of successful racing, and strong support from the local government and business community. Most important of all, the city is the home of Charged, which is the world’s only print magazine dedicated to the electric vehicle industry, and has extensively covered Formula E over the years (including accounts of races in Miami, Bern and New York).
The plan appears to be to hold Formula E’s USA round in St Pete a week before the 2023 St Pete Grand Prix. Formula E and IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti told The Race that talks “are possibly happening,” and suggested that the arrangement could be a good option. “I think there’s ways that you can make it work for both, or let’s say an organizer that doesn’t have to build a track. If they can have a Formula E race the week before, something that helps with the costs and stuff, I think that’s possible, and I think that’ll be up to them if they were looking to share the show or not.”
The majority of Formula E races have taken place on street tracks specially designed for the electric racing series, but some have shared circuits with other series. The first two Formula E seasons used an IndyCar track in Long Beach, and three current Formula E tracks (Marrakesh, Mexico City and Monaco) are also used by other championships.
Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle told The Race that St Petersburg is among several “tracks of interest” for future races. “We’re always on the lookout for venues that are true to Formula E, this DNA anywhere in the city. We’re able to do a street-type environment, ideally, with some infrastructure so that it’s more cost-effective.”
Avalanche Andretti’s Oliver Askew, a current Formula E driver, has also raced in the St Pete IndyCar event. He told The Race that St Petersburg would be “a fantastic track for Formula E,” as “the straights are quite long and there are some pretty good braking zones.”
“For the battery management, I think it’d be on the higher side, and thermally as well it can get pretty hot in March time, but the racing should be phenomenal,” Askew added. “I also think that having back-to-back events would be pretty cool between IndyCar and Formula E, so I hope they can get it to happen.”
Source: The Race