Racing at night is a little bit like racing in the rain: it’s a whole new discipline for drivers to master, and it’s exciting as hell. Now that they’ve gotten their first wet race out of the way, Formula E is now looking into a night race, but only if they can do it in an environmentally friendly way.
If a night race were to be added to the calendar, FE CEO Alejandro Agag has expressed interest in that taking place at Ad Diriyah in Saudi Arabia. The ePrix is signed on for a ten-year deal and has been rumored to become a double-header.
But it would also make for one hell of a night race—if, as Agag says, it could be done sustainably. As per Motorsport.com:
When asked how such a move would fit in with FE’s sustainability aims, Agag said: “It depends where you get the energy from. Solar energy – it’s very sunny there. Only if it’s renewable [would FE hold a night race].”
Team and driver reactions have been favorable, according to e-racing365.com. Plenty of FE drivers have competed in races like Le Mans or even F1's night races and thus have experience with it. Implementing a race under the lights would add FE to a lengthy list of established racing series that include night races on their calendar.
Personally, I’d be interested to see what FE would do to make their night races distinct from those of other series. The Gen 2 cars have implemented the halo, to which they’ve added a crowning of lights that have been used to denote different power modes. I could easily see the series utilizing similarly illuminated liveries all over the car.
Sustainably, of course.
That’ll prove to be the biggest challenge in this situation. Formula E has found creative, renewable solutions to the notoriously wasteful sport of racing: cutting out ICE vehicles, implementing recyclable tires, hosting races in city centers to reduce travel for spectators, and even using recyclable materials on trackside branding.
Being able to host a night race would boost FE’s legitimacy as a sport—but it would also just be pretty damn cool.