In early December, Formula E released its finalized race calendar (see image above) for the inaugural season.
Formula E Electric Racer
Formula E issued a press release on the race calendar, too. In that release was these words:
"Round 3 will now see the championship head to Rio de Janeiro, the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro and the second largest city of Brazil. Rio replaces Hong Kong which will instead be considered as a candidate city for the following Formula E seasons.”
As you might imagine, Hong Kong is not pleased that it got bumped in favor of Rio. Hong Kong was on the preliminary Formula E race schedule (see image below), but it vanished when the schedule was finalized.
Why was Hong Kong cut? As the South China Morning Post reports:
"The new Formula E motor racing championship will not be coming to Hong Kong after the proposed circuit in Central failed to meet the approval of the world auto sports governing body."
President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association Lawrence Yu Kam-kee, is quoting by the South China Morning Post as saying the following:
"I'm very disappointed. The Hong Kong race was cancelled because the FIA didn't approve the circuit. They said the circuit was not up to their standards.
"I believe it was not just one part of the circuit, but many parts which did not measure up to expectations. This is the first time we were making a bid and we couldn't meet the FIA requirements in time. Hopefully we can do better in the future."
But wait, there's more. The reason Hong Kong lost out seems to be linked to the government's decision that the race route had to be altered so that Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying could go to work on the Sunday that the race was initially scheduled for.
According to the South China Morning Post:
"The initial circuit had to be changed after the government ruled that a section of road near the gates to its offices in Admiralty could not be used. Though the race would have been on a Sunday, the gates had to remain open so Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying could go to work."
"The alternative route reduced the length of the circuit to 2.4 kilometres."
In the end, Hong Kong's altered race circuit didn't pass FIA inspection. Only a few changes will need to be made so that Hong Kong can get on the calendar in the second season of Formula E. We expect those changes to be made.
This Preliminary Formula E Race Schedule From Nearly 3 Months Ago Lists Hong Kong
Source: South China Morning Post