After one of the most spectacular showdowns in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship took place on the streets of Santiago last season, the city circuit is set to return for Season 5 on January 26.
With Techeetah securing the series' first-ever one-two finish in the dying moments of the race, it was certainly a round to remember. Err, even if Andre Lotterer did his best to take out his teammate in the process - remember that?
This season, with new rules, new cars, new teams and a new track in Parque O'Higgins (subject to track homologation and approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council), Formula E will return to the centre of the Chilean capital for the second consecutive year.
"I’m incredibly happy that Santiago will again feature on the ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar for season five, said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer at Formula E.
"I have particularly fond memories of the event last year and I really like the atmosphere of the city and backdrop against the Andes. I’d like to thank the Mayor Felipe Alessandri for his support - as well as the Minister of Sport Pauline Kantor, the Minister of Energy Susana Jiménez, the Intendenta de la Región Metropolitana Karla Rubilar and the President of FADECH Mauricio Melo Avaria for making it possible to host a race in Chile. Parque O’Higgins is an ideal location for an international sporting event such as ours."
Returning for the second year running is Antofagasta Minerals, which expands its affiliation with Formula E to become the championship's official copper mining partner, will also become the title partner for the race. "Also, I’d like to express my gratitude to Antofagasta Minerals for their continued partnership and I look forward to working closely with them as they join the Formula E family as an official partner,” said Longo.
Previously held in and around Parque Forestal, Formula E finds a new home in Parque O'Higgins for Season 5, where all 22 Gen2 cars and 11 teams will battle on the streets for the win.
"Now we’re changing the location, we learned and we listened to the neighbours - we’re talking with them to mitigate the negative externalities that means organising this event inside Parque O'Higgins, said Felipe Alessandri, Mayor of Santiago.
"Therefore, the work is done during the day and retaining open access - swimming pools and recreational areas still in operation.
"As happened in Parque Forestal, the monies obtained by the concept of municipal rights are invested in projects that improve the quality of life for residents - stories such as the installation of new public lighting, recovery of facades, bollards and improvements to playgrounds, pet areas and the installation of an exercise zone.”
With only two rounds before it, Santiago is a key race in the calendar as the drivers look to take an early lead in the standings. “We’re very happy because Formula E returns to Chile in January," said Pauline Kantor, Minister of Sport.
"It’s great news for all, because it means that we’re up to the task as a country to organise big events, which also gives us a lot of visibility and makes Chile shine outside. It’s very good news not only in sports, but also for tourism - it means that we can project our country to all parts of the world.”
While last season's race proved to be as unpredictable as Formula E fans have come to expect, the race series also serves as a platform to develop all-electric vehicles for the benefit of everyday drivers. "We’re delighted that this Formula E event is being developed in our country, it’s an initiative that is totally aligned with what we want to do and with the commitment we have as a government to promote electromobility, said Susana Jiménez, Minister of Energy.
"On the energy route, we established one of the mega commitments - multiply by 10 the number of electric vehicles that circulate through our streets, and this is a way to spread this technology and show its virtues. It’s clean, doesn’t emit noise and has high degrees of safety and autonomy.”
With 14 Turns, the new Santiago track winds its way through the park and around the centrepiece Movistar Arena. “Formula E is a way to make visible and give a boost to electromobility in the metropolitan region and the country, said Karla Rubilar, Intendenta de la Región Metropolitana.
"This sports initiative is part of the efforts of the administration and regional government to reduce emissions - leaving fossil fuels aside, along with the commitment that we’ve just signed at the Climate Action Summit held a few weeks ago in San Francisco. Formula E brings Santiago and its attractions to the world, while enhancing electromobility - ceasing to be a niche theme and reaching all citizens.”
Taking place on January 26, the race sees top-end motorsport make a welcome return to Santiago. “The Chilean national motorsport federation - FADECH - feels tremendous pride in once again hosting the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Santiago, said Mauricio Melo Avaria, President of FADECH.
"FADECH thanks the promoters of this exciting category and the FIA authorities for the trust placed in our institution to take charge of this event - pending the approval of the WMSC.
"Formula E is no doubt returning due to the incredible success of the E-Prix last season - a product of hard work by more than 250 sports officers who demonstrated great levels of responsibility and commitment.
"I’d like to take advantage of this occasion to give them due merit. We accept this tremendous new challenge with humility and determination and look forward to putting on a great spectacle.”
Click here for more information about the race and the Season 5 calendar.