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Formula E open to India return but only with "stable decision"

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds says the championship would be open to a return to India, after this year’s event was cancelled, but only if it was a “stable decision”.

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6, in the attack zone

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6, in the attack zone

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The second Hyderabad E-Prix was scheduled to take place this weekend, but the event was cancelled by the all-electric championship just over a month ago.

This was after the newly elected Government of Telangana, which had openly opposed the running of the 2023 edition, sent a letter to the championship in December that "could impact the Hyderabad race” for this term, according to Formula E.

The decision was eventually taken in January to cancel the race, with Formula E stating that the local government did not intend “to fulfil the Host City Agreement".

Despite the disappointment of losing the venue from the 2024 schedule, Dodds admits he is keen to return to the country, provided such a decision does not put any future calendar in jeopardy.

“I would love in the future to be back racing in India, but I think that needs to be a stable decision,” he told Autosport.

“Forget India for a second, any race, I don’t want the calendar to ever be in jeopardy where up until the last minute there’s still volatility around whether a race will happen or not.

Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E

Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“Calendar stability is incredibly important for the series, for building a fanbase.

“They want to know where they’re racing and roughly when they’re racing there so that you can start to build this cadence, some momentum around growing the sport.

“I’d love to be back in India but with a stable slot in the calendar in the future that allows us to build some momentum.”

The late decision to cancel the race has left a seven-week gap in the Formula E schedule between Diriyah in January and Sao Paulo next month.

This was after organisers were unable to fill the gap in such a short space of time, with Dodds hopeful that the late cancellation has not smeared the championship’s image.

“I hope it hasn’t damaged the brand and I think most of the people that have reported on it or commented on it understand the complexity of that race and why it was cancelled and know there was not a lot that we could do about it,” said Dodds.

“On the other hand, what it has done I think is being very damaging for the teams, the manufacturers, the partners who all invested in the region.

“Mahindra is a racing team, you’ve got TCS Jaguar, Tata Consultancy Services is a big partner there. We’ve got an Indian driver now [Jehan Daruvala], so there’s a lot of companies with close ties to India.”

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