FIA Formula E Championship comes to Brooklyn

Formula E NYC Press Conference (Courtesty of

For the first time ever International Race car series FIA Formula E Championship is coming to not just the NY area, but to Brooklyn next summer. According to organizers this will be the first open wheel race to take place in NYC. Formula E was launched as a test bed for research and development around electric vehicles to generate interest in the cars, and to promote clean energy and sustainability. Formula E is just two seasons old, but its brand of futuristic racing has drawn strong interest from cities around the world early on; Marrakesh, Hong Kong, Brussels, and Montreal were all added to the season three schedule along with New York.The all-electric series will wrap up its third season with races on back-to-back days in July of 2017

With the start of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) finally being legalized in NYC, it is great to have more unique events happening throughout the city. New York is the hub of the world when it comes to just about everything, so adding Formula E Racing to our list of what this city can’t do just makes it more amazing. Of course this did not come about without any opposition concerning noise pollution, litter, crowd control, etc. Formula E and New York officials are eager to ensure that these races minimize disruptions or concerns of any kind. The cars are far quieter than the earsplitting Formula One racers which will make it even more attractive for the area in Brooklyn which it is taking place. With only the crowd noises to really worry about I’m sure residences there will appreciate that.

"Formula E wants to promote the electric cars, the technology for the electric cars to make our cities cleaner and to fight global warming," - Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag

The electric open-wheel race cars will zip around a 1.21-mile 13-turn track that travels around Pier 11 and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. Half of the 1.21-mile track will loop around the parking lot for the Cruise Ship Terminal, two straight-aways, and a hairpin turn will run the length of the adjacent Pier 11 building. The track offers a view of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, and the south tip of Manhattan. The course layout is still subject to approval from the FIA, Formula E’s governing body, but as of now it doesn’t overlap with any public streets. Which is great news for those going away around that time and won’t have to worry about any traffic jams or at least not be able to blame the event for the traffic jam they may be stuck in. Hopefully this will mean subways will be running more frequently during that event, but who knows what the MTA have planned around that time.  

There are expected be 20 drivers and 40 cars in every race. The cars cannot finish the race on one battery, and charging them mid-race would be an unnecessary break in the action for the spectators. So each team has 2 cars in which their driver can switch out mid race. Teams from this year’s season include:

  • ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport is the sole German outfit on the Formula E grid

  • Andretti Formula E is one of two US-based teams competing in the FIA Formula E Championship

  • Virgin partnered with the luxury car brand DS to become DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team

  • Faraday Future Dragon Racing is the second team based in the US with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California

  • Panasonic Jaguar Racing is back to electrify the track, to excite and thrill while leading the charge for the electric future

  • Mahindra Racing is the only Indian team to race in Formula E

  • NextEV Nio Formula E team goes down in history as the first outfit to lead a driver to the Formula E title

  • Renault e.Dams, backed by the French car giant, return to Formula E as the reigning teams' champions

  • TECHEETAH is the latest team entry for Season 3 of the Formula E Championship Series

  • Venturi Formula E Team was founded by Gildo Pallanca Pastor, founder of pioneering EV manufacturer Venturi Automobiles

Most noteworthy is that Formula E will not receive any financial aid from the city or the state to host the race, but will depend on corporate sponsorship to offset costs. The series will invest in infrastructure improvements at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and has promised to hire local workers, and partner with local businesses and hotels. They will also offer New York City students hands-on opportunities to learn about engineering, technology and automotive trades.

The upcoming season kicked off on October 9th in Hong Kong with 13 total races scheduled to take place in Africa, Asia, Europe, and both North & South America.