FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag believes that last weekend’s inaugural event in New York City was “a defining moment” for the all-electric series as it continued its world tour.
Formula E became the first motorsport series to hit the five boroughs on Saturday when it staged a race around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, with the Manhattan skyline acting as a backdrop across the East River.
New York was just the latest in a long line of major cities to host Formula E, but series chief Agag felt it was particularly significant given the effort that went in to securing it as a venue.
“Formula E has a habit of breaking new ground. This weekend in New York was yet another example of achieving what many thought was impossible,” Agag said.
“We managed to bring international open-wheel racing to New York for the first time in history, this is something that sets Formula E apart from any other series, bringing electrifying motorsport to the world’s leading cities.
“Along with Hong Kong on Victoria Harbour and Paris with the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, New York has quickly positioned itself as a flagship event on the Formula E calendar. The race in New York was a defining moment in the series and years in the making.”
New York had been a target city for Formula E since its inception in 2014, but Agag had fears at one stage that a race would not be possible before settling on Red Hook.
“We worked tirelessly with the local authorities to find the right location. It couldn’t be Central Park and Liberty State Park wasn’t an option either,” Agag said.
“I actually thought it wasn’t going to happen, I didn’t lose hope but I wasn’t certain we’d get Formula E to New York. It hadn’t happened before in any form of open-wheel racing.
“Then we found the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. It was the most viable option and it also meant we didn’t need to close any streets.
“But, best of all, we still had the most spectacular view of New York. I had a similar feeling on the grid as at our first-ever race in Beijing. We’d done it, and the race proved to be a resounding success in front of a sell-out crowd.
“As the saying goes, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere!”