PARIS – This weekend’s Formula E race in Paris marks the realization of a dream for FIA president Jean Todt as motor racing returns to the streets of the French capital.
Formula E announced in the summer that it would be venturing to Paris for the first time in season two, replacing the round held around the streets of Monaco last May.
A circuit has been constructed around the streets of Les Invalides, one of Paris’ most historic districts and home to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Just a stone’s throw away from the FIA headquarters, the race is a significant event for Todt.
“For me, the Paris ePrix is a dream come true,” Todt wrote in the pre-race programme.
“It’s over a century since the first real motor race, the Paris-to-Rouen started from this city. To see motorsport once more on the streets of the French capital is something I have always wanted, ever since I began my life in the world of racing.
“Today, it has become a reality and I am even happier that it has been achieved through a championship that, by its very nature, is looking to the future.
“I wish to thank the French government, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and the Mayor of the 7th Arrondissement, Rachida Dati and all the authorities involved, for the support they have given to Alejandro Agag and his organization.
“Without the effort and work put in by everyone it would not have been possible to deliver this dream event.
“Another reason this is special is that it takes place just as stone’s throw away from one of the FIA’s ‘homes’, in the Place de la Concorde. I am therefore especially happy that all our family will be able to attend the event in their own reserved grandstand.
“I’m sure they they and all spectators watching the Paris ePrix, by whatever means they choose, will get to see an interesting and exciting spectacle, which is the norm at all Formula E events.”