- Formula E cancelled Hyderabad round last month
- Local authorities failed to fulfil host city agreement
- Dodds hopes decision hasn’t damaged Formula E brand
Formula E chief executive Jeff Dodds has left the door open for the electric single-seater championship to return to India, but only if it was a “stable decision”.
The series had intended to race in Hyderabad this season but ultimately cancelled the 2024 race last month after local authorities failed to fulfil the host city agreement.
The Hyderabad E-Prix would have been the only official International Automobile Federation (FIA) world championship event in India in 2024. The race was part of a multi-year agreement between Formula E and the Government of Telangana.
Despite the loss of India for this season, Dodds was optimistic about Formula E racing again in India, provided the series’ calendar was not put “in jeopardy”’.
“I would love in the future to be back racing in India, but I think that needs to be a stable decision,” Dodds told Motorsport.com.
“Forget India for a second, any race, I don’t want the calendar to ever be in jeopardy where up until the last minute there’s still volatility around whether a race will happen or not.
“Calendar stability is incredibly important for the series, for building a fanbase. They want to know where they’re racing and roughly when they’re racing there so that you can start to build this cadence, some momentum around growing the sport.
“I’d love to be back in India but with a stable slot in the calendar in the future that allows us to build some momentum.”
The empty slot in the Formula E schedule will not be filled, meaning the season will be reduced to 16 races, leaving a seven-week gap between the third and fourth rounds of the campaign.
Despite being unable to fill the void left by Hyderabad due to the late cancellation, Dodds hoped it hadn’t negatively impacted Formula E’s image.
“I hope it hasn’t damaged the brand and I think most of the people that have reported on it or commented on it understand the complexity of that race and why it was cancelled and know there was not a lot that we could do about it,” he said.
“On the other hand, what it has done I think is being very damaging for the teams, the manufacturers, the partners who all invested in the region.
“Mahindra is a racing team, you’ve got TCS Jaguar, Tata Consultancy Services is a big partner there. We’ve got an Indian driver now [Jehan Daruvala], so there’s a lot of companies with close ties to India.”
The Formula E season continues with the São Paulo E-Prix on 16th March.
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