Electrical avenue: Some chaos and lots of anticipation


‘Welcome to the Hyderabad E-Prix’ reads a signboard above a Formula E information desk at the very exit of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here. A few metres ahead comes another poster informing incoming passengers about a live screening of the February 11 race in an amphitheater. Beautified with palm trees, the Airport Approach Road that leads to the centre of the Telangana capital has many billboards advertising the arrival of Formula E to India, Telangana and Hyderabad.

The promoters and organisers are working night and day to get the 2.83km temporary Hyderabad Street Circuit ready. Teams are organising interactive and autograph sessions with the drivers meeting fans at cafes and bars. Even the state government is hosting the Hyderabad E-Motor Show – the first dedicated event for electric vehicles (EV) in the country – from February 8-10. Some drivers went as far as Kurnool – 220km from Hyderabad – to visit and learn about renewable energy projects.

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Clearly, the Deccan city is buzzing with a unique kind of vibe not felt in the country in the last decade, not since the exit of Formula 1 after the 2013 Indian Grand Prix. The Hyderabad E-Prix will be India’s first main motorsport occasion in a decade.

“This will be the third time I will be racing in India. I raced in two Indian GPs in 2012 and 2013 in Formula 1. That was a long time ago. Now I will be doing a Formula E race in India. I am always excited to come to India and race here,” says Jean-Eric Vergne, the one driver to win two System E championships.

The road circuit – India’s first ever – will see 22 vehicles taking 18 turns, hitting a most velocity of 322kmph alongside the picturesque Hussain Sagar Lake in the course of town.

“I am really excited about being in Hyderabad. None of the drivers have raced here before so it levels the playing field a bit for me as a rookie. We’ve been putting in the hours to be ready for the race, getting used to the track in the simulator, so hopefully, we can hit the ground running,” says Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz.

However because the organisers and state authorities are revving up the topic of electrical mobility amid all the joy, it’s coinciding with a serious downside town is dealing with. The race will probably be held within the metropolis centre, across the newly constructed Telangana state meeting constructing, NTR Gardens, Prasads IMAX and Necklace Street. With site visitors curbs positioned on arterial roads, site visitors has choked and descended into full disarray with commuters having to spend an hour or much more to cross a kilometre or two.

“I have been driving in Hyderabad for the last 12-13 years. I have never experienced such traffic,” stated Dattu Siddareddy, a taxi driver.

It has additionally been discovered that the organisers are barely not on time relating to finishing the preparations; the monitor, paddock and all different services. With the primary free apply session scheduled for Friday afternoon, the authorities have little time to tug up their socks and put together every little thing for the inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix.

“Yes, we are behind schedule. But to be honest there is nothing to worry about. Everything will be complete and ready before the event on Friday and Saturday. It is normal for a new venue to get slightly behind as they are doing it for the first time. It has happened earlier too at other venues,” stated a System E official on situation of anonymity.

“We have been hosting Formula E for the last nine years. These are normal issues that are sorted by the time of the event. Next season you will see, the city will be much better prepared having already hosted the event once.”


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