It’s been two years since Formula E lost their London ePrix at Battersea Park, the series’ season finale. The rumor mill has been active ever since with speculation of a UK return—now, we’ve finally got confirmation that the series will be back in London. And the circuit—partially indoor with 23 turns—is going to be the wildest one during the season.
The previous London ePrix took place at Battersea Park, which became a point of contention for NIMBY neighbors who were not cool about the fact that there were race cars in their family park. Trying to find a well-trafficked location in a city center is one of Formula E’s main challenges when it comes to race organization, and it’s been one of the toughest parts about orchestrating London’s return.
The next London ePrix, which will make its return as the double-header finale of the 2019/20 FE season, will be located at the city’s Royal Victoria Docks and ExCeL London (a convention center-like event space). Composed of a whopping 23 turns next to the Thames river, the circuit looks like it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
Most interesting, though, is that Formula E is advertising this as a “one-of-a-kind track indoor/outdoor” track. A what?
Yeah. This circuit is designed to dip into and traverse the inside of the ExCeL London building before it shoots back out onto the street. This isn’t a move that any other racing series has pulled, with the exception of Monaco’s tunnel if you count that as an indoor space.
And that’s not all. I would like to present to you a very specific section of track. I hesitate to say it’s a section of esses, because that implies a smoother flow than, uh, this. But I have no idea what else to call it:
One sharp 180 degree turn is one thing, but stacking one on top of the other? After you jump outside after a section of indoor track? That’s just cruelty. This is going to be a beautiful mess, and I’m here for it. Props to you, Formula E, for designing the absurd tracks that no one else will.
That said, Formula E notes that the circuit is still “subject to circuit homologation and approval of the FIA World Motor Sport Council,” which means the indoor-outdoor double-esses concept could still be nixed.
Formula E and the Royal Docks have negotiated a “multi-year deal” for the London ePrix, so, no matter what, UK fans will have a home race for the first time in four years.