Berlin does the double to replace binned Brussels

Spacesuit Media-Dan Bathie FIA Formula E Berlin 2016 Renault e.dams Sebastien Buemi podium

The Brussels Formula E race has been cancelled, with Berlin becoming a double-header event. The change means Berlin, New York and Montreal become the final three venues of the 2016-17 season and all three are two-race weekends.

Formula E officials confirmed today that Brussels has been formally cancelled after event promoters failed to find a new location for the 1 July race. City officials voted in January against it being held in the Koekelberg region.

Sources indicated to Current E in Buenos Aires last month that a number of options were being explored by Formula E to keep the calendar at 12 races. Staying on for a second race day in Berlin was viewed as “the most logical option” according to one team official, given that all freight and equipment will already be in place.

So it has proved to be. Formula E announcing today that Berlin would indeed be a double-header weekend, taking place on 10 and 11 June 10. The format will be identical to that used in London, with both Saturday and Sunday featuring practice, qualifying and race sessions.

The move does create some pressure for those set to make the trip directly from Berlin to Le Mans for the 24-hour race the following weekend. Le Mans activities traditionally begin on the Monday before the race; numerous drivers and personnel who are involved in both series were planning to make the trip from Formula E’s Berlin location on Sunday 11 June to the Circuit de la Sarthe. With the second Berlin race now set to finish around 5pm local time on that Sunday, those needing to travel down to France will find themselves doing so late into the night.

We’re pleased to see the end of the season cemented in place now, after a few changes. Double-headers are good value for fans, give drivers and teams extra track time in the same place (which helps come the second race day), and the last three races are now sensibly spread out across June and July. Trying to coordinate so many different cities and their respective planning and transport authorities is no mean feat but we’re now set for a cracking end to season three.

Luke Smith

1 Comment

  • David says:

    Unfortunately that means another gap has opened up in the calendar; over a month between the double-headers in Berlin and in New York. Hopefully they do start next season later than in previous years and make sure the races stay closer together.

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