Formula E Coming To U.S., Will Race In Brooklyn Next Season

A view of the Formula One flag and FIA flag before practice for the United States Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
A view of the Formula One flag and FIA flag before practice for the United States Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Formula E will soon be stateside as the electric racing league has inked a deal to head for New York next summer.

Formula E is finally coming to the United States, according to a fresh report from the New York Times that confirms a two-race date is set for Brooklyn in July 2017.

Formula E Brooklyn will take place on a circuit at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, where two races will be held, and league executives are bullish on the idea of bringing the electric vehicles to one of America’s premier sports cities.

“The world has been trying for years to race in New York City, and it has never been possible,” FE boss Alejandro Agag told the Times. “Everyone has been trying to race in New York City. Formula One, everyone. New York is the capital of the world. We are really over the moon.”

New York City and Formula E announced the plans during a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon. They’re targeting Formula E Brooklyn for one weekend in late July 2017, with one race on each day, but specific dates haven’t been nailed down yet.

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What can U.S. motorsports fans expect from FE?

According to Agag, in a straight line Formula E cars can reach speeds upward of 180 MPH. But in a race over a twisty road-style course – like the one that will be set up at the Cruise Terminal in Red Hook – they will top out between 140 and 150 mph.

There are twenty entrants in a race but forty cars, since none of the entries can finish the race on one battery. Each driver brings two cars, making a Le Mans-esque switch to the second car mid-race.

It’s certainly different from the other racing in the New York-New Jersey area, which has included NASCAR driving at Watkins Glen International, IndyCar returning there this year, and Red Bull Global Rallycross adding an event in Atlantic City.

But instead of any of those existing stops, FE is headed right into NYC. Red Hook was selected by Formula E organizers because they believe it will serve as the most picturesque circuit in the area and emit an image of classic Americana.

“It’s a phenomenal setting in terms of view,” said Fred Dixon, the president of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism organization. “Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge. Very iconic.”

Now the city and the league will be hoping the high-profile event also helps boost Formula E in the eyes of U.S. audiences, who may not be very familiar with the sport as it’s still very young.

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Manufacturers such as Audi, Jaguar and Renault have been associated with Formula E so far and the first two years featured a driver line-up which included  Jacques Villeneuve, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Bruno Senna. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is involved as the head of the league’s Sustainability Committee and is involved with the Venturi Formula E team.

Season 3 of Formula E kicks off in Hong Kong in October and will conclude at the Brooklyn race.

Are you excited that Formula E is headed to the United States?