Formula E wants to come to India but no time set

Greater Noida, Feb 10 (IANS) Though Formula 1 exited India after a brief three-year stint and shows no sign of returning, the new Formula E Championship is keen to race in one of the Indian cities but has not set any time-frame so far.

Formula E is a class of auto-racing which uses only electric-powered cars. The inaugural championship started in Beijing in September 2014 while the second season is currently on — being held from October 2015 to July 2016. The series travels across the world and 10 races are held each season on street circuits at various cities.

“We absolutely want a race to be held in India. It will be great as a spectacle, for the people to be able to witness something like this. We have the support of the local partners (Mahindra Racing). We need the support of the media to promote our campaign of coming to India,” Ali Russell, Formula E director of media and strategic partnerships, said in response to a question posed by IANS here on Wednesday.

In an earlier interview with IANS, Dilbagh Gill, team principal of Mahindra Racing — the only Indian team in Formula E, had spoken of efforts to bring the series to India in the third season. However, Russell disclosed that to have a race in the 2016-17 season was improbable.

“It is not easy. We have to meet a lot of officials, have to go through a lot of dialogue. We need the support of the local authorities as it is a street race. We want to cause an effect in India and will be happy to race in India. To be honest, third season seems a little unrealistic,” Russell added.

When asked by IANS as to which city will they propose for hosting the race — if and when the race comes to India, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said New Delhi would be a good choice.

“This involves the union home ministry officials, police and government. We will try and create a desire and a buzz to host this race in India. The public wants to see it and I request the media to help us create a buzz about it,” Mahindra said at the Buddh International Circuit while showcasing the M2Electro — their Formula E racing car.

“Only yesterday we showed our (racing) vehicle to some government officials and told them about Formula E (a pollution free form of racing).

“Formula E, unlike F1, takes place on street circuits inside cities. The whole idea is to connect with the public and entries to racing zones are free. New Delhi would be a great choice to host a race,” said Mahindra.

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