The street course used for the Formula E race in Hong Kong will remain unchanged for this December’s opening round of the all-electric series’ fourth season.
Hong Kong hosted Formula E for the very first time last October with a course in the Central district of the city state, with Sebastien Buemi becoming the maiden victor.
Just days after the conclusion of Formula E’s third campaign in Montreal, the series kicked off proceedings for its fourth season with a launch event in Hong Kong.
Despite facing some criticism for the disruption caused for locals in Hong Kong, officials confirmed at the event that the layout would remain unchanged for the double-header race weekend, taking place on December 2-3.
Efforts were made to adapt the circuit and make it longer in order to pose more of a challenge to drivers, but the compact course used in season three will remain unchanged.
“We tried many ways working with all the Hong Kong departments to see how we could lengthen the track. Unfortunately, we couldn’t,” Alan Fang, chief executive of Formula Electric Racing, told the South China Morning Post.
“It’s very difficult to widen the track to four lanes. The circuit will pretty much stay the same but there a few turns and things that the FIA is working on to refine it and make it safer and more competitive.”
The race promoters are set to open up the fan eVillage for free this year, giving more fans the opportunity to sample Formula E, as well as more than doubling the capacity for fans.
“We sold quite a number of tickets over two days. Each day there were about 10,000 fans in the eVillage,” Fang said.
“We had comments that the people going to eVillage didn’t get a view of the track and it costs money [to get in] as well.
“Unfortunately, due to the large number of spectators coming in, it’s difficult to open up all the tracks. It’s not like a circuit track where we actually can leave space between the fence and the audience.
“So we will keep it that way, but we’ll let them enjoy the eVillage for free.”
Hong Kong will act as the curtain-raiser for a 14-race calendar for Formula E’s fourth season, finishing up in Montreal once again in July 2018.