Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.
Evening Standard

Formula E in London: CEO Jamie Reigle promises ‘futuristic’ and ‘spectacular’ ePrix in capital

Formula E is out to create a “futuristic” and “spectacular” show as it finally welcomes fans through the doors of its London ePrix.

The ExCel Exhibition Centre will host its second ePrix on July 30 and 31 with tickets going on sale on Thursday ahead of the venue finally being able to welcome fans, following last year’s behind-closed-doors race.

Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle has told Standard Sport what fans can expect when the series rocks up in the capital for its penultimate weekend.

“Fans will be the biggest thing about the London ePrix, we’ll have room for about 15,000 and there’s also our E-Village fanzone,” he said.

“There’ll be grandstand seats outside and inside, hospitality, we’re trying to make it really welcoming for hardcore motorsport fans or those just wanting a fun day out.

“One of the reasons we can race in the cities and right in the heart of these big capitals of the world is because we’re electric - the cars are quiet, they don’t pollute and we’re welcome on the city streets.

“Within London we really are pushing the envelope in terms of the show. We could go to Pall Mall and do something pretty iconic like that but we’ve chosen east London intentionally because of what we can do at the ExCel, indoor and outdoor, it’s a very futuristic show.

“It’s also the first show with fans so this year we’re going to open the doors and it’ll be pretty spectacular.”

(Formula E)

Formula E hope this year’s ePrix will produce a faster, more entertaining race than last year with tweaks to the track layout as the circuit dips in and out of the ExCel centre itself.

Furthermore, each location for the 2021-22 campaign has been given a unique, homegrown twist. In London’s case, street artist Mr Cenz has been enlisted to design a car livery that delivers a “creative expression of life in east London, to literally paint onto our race car”.

Destinations such as the capital provide the all-electric racing series Formula E with a unique edge, although these facets are not something the sport is short of. Indeed, the booming Formula One franchise, an FIA stablemate, has made a concerted effort to grow its eco credentials while pitching up in more urban locales.

Reigle is confident that Formula E can maintain a sense of distinction despite the often inevitable overlap, such as McLaren’s recent agreement to take over departing championship leaders Mercedes from 2023, although following F1 over to Las Vegas is not off the table.

(Formula E)

“It’s interesting, we’re different because we’re electric and we race in cities,” he added.

“We’re racing in London at the ExCel, F1 couldn’t do that for reasons that are pretty obvious - but we race in Monaco, we race at Mexico City. So when we look at the F1 calendar there are a host of city races that could fit with Formula E; Singapore, Baku, Miami and Vegas would fit that well.

“The deal would need to make sense. We would not want to be an undercard - at Monaco and Mexico we go at very different times of year. There are no immediate plans on Vegas but certainly we’re acutely aware of what F1 is doing in some of these cool cities and if there’s some overlap and it makes sense there could be some merit to it.”