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FE: Season 11 calendar revealed, and Liberty Global acquires stakes

The calendar for season 11 (2024/25) of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has been announced and features significant omissions and returns for the all-electric racing series. 

Eleven locations have been selected to host the all-electric racing series, with a few returning cities that were featured in earlier seasons and one yet-to-be-confirmed date. 

The calendar was released by Formula E (FE) following approval from motorsport governing body FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) during FE’s month-long break before the penultimate rounds of the season.  

The calendar clearly indicates that Italy will no longer be a racing location, following the Misano double header in rounds six and seven. 

The calendar also shows one weekend with no location yet confirmed for the March 8 date, which is round five after the Saudi Arabia double-header on February 14 and 15. 

A possible return to South Africa for the return of the Cape Town E-prix seems to be dashed following the city’s omission from the latest calendar announcement.

The City of Cape Town previously hosted the race in 2023, which according to the Western Province’s Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, generated R2.13bn directly and indirectly, which includes R481m in global exposure.

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Both the city and FE have relayed hopes of a return to the city pending financial support and partnership in the city’s plans to host the race for nine years (following its ten-year agreement).

The Formula E calendar for the season 11 (2024/25). Picture: FIA

FE fans will be thrilled to spot that motorsport’s jewel location, Monaco, will become a doubleheader weekend for the first time in the racing series, bringing back-to-back racing in the Principality on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 May.

The city of Jakarta returns to the calendar after its 2023 debut with a doubleheader, which was won by Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein in the first race, and Maserati’s Maximilian Gunther grabbed his maiden win in the second race.  

Another returnee is the vibrant American city of Miami, which played host to an FE race back in season one. This will be a home race for American manufacturer teams DS Penske and Andretti. 

Interestingly, FE has not had an American driver on its podiums since Scott Speed, who got second place in his debut race, the Miami E-Prix, for Andretti back in season one.

The launch of Season 11 will begin with pre-season testing taking place from Monday, November 4th, to Thursday, November 7th, 2024, in Valencia, Spain. 

This testing session marks the debut of all teams showcasing their new GEN3 Evo cars, allowing fans to witness the impressive speed of these race cars capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in only 1.82 seconds as they navigate the twists and turns of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

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The GEN3 Evo is recorded to be around 30% faster than a current Formula 1 car (2021-2025 ground-effect cars), and quicker than any other FIA sanctioned single-seater.

The FE GEN3 EVO, unveiled in Monaco, 2024. Picture: FIA

Another refreshed move for FE is the decision to start season 11 just weeks after the pre-season testing, announcing Brazil’s Sao Paulo as the starting location on December 7, 2024, for the first time, and ending in England’s capital of London for the final rounds on July 26 and 27. 

With the calendar release came the FIA’s recognition and confirmation of a World Championship title for manufacturers for FE’s manufacturer teams (introduced in season 10), boasting a tighter fight for the title from the new season onwards.

Alberto Longo, FE co-founder and Chief Championship Officer, enthusiastically announced the official inclusion of a manufacturers’ championship title for the first time in Formula E history. This addition aims to further showcase the optimisation of electric vehicles by highlighting their performance on the racetrack.

“This will enable the best, most efficient, and fastest manufacturers to showcase their performance not just on the track but to the public and consumers of their EVs all around the world,” Longo told Formula E. 

In the continued growth of the electric racing series, it was announced that multinational telecommunications and media company Liberty Global Ltd. acquired a stake in shares held by Warner Bros. Discovery. 

Liberty Global is not meant to be confused with Liberty Media, a holding company that owns the media and business rights for the Formula One Group (F1). 

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This means that upon completion, Liberty Global’s total share of ownership in Formula E will be 65%, which means that Liberty Global will take a controlling interest in the world’s fastest growing motorsport. 

Mike Fries, Liberty Global CEO, said that he was excited for the company to get a controlling stake in Formula E following their decade long investment, highlighting the electric series’ massive potential in integrating the most advanced sustainability standards in sports.

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds expressed his gratitude to Warner Bros. Discovery for their support and went on to highlight Liberty Global’s proven track record in business growth, stating that their investment aligns perfectly with Formula E’s plans for exponential growth.

“Having personally known and worked alongside the Liberty leadership team for over a decade, I’m thrilled to be able to further benefit from their expertise and their resources. This is a powerful vindication of the huge potential of our sport,” Dodds said. 

By Mpho Rantao