Formula E set for Santiago's streets

All-electric street racing makes its debut on the streets of Chile's capital as registration opens for the 2018 Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix.

For commuters travelling through Santiago's O'Higgins Park this morning, it was far from the usual trip to work. Sharing the streets with conventional cars and public transport was the all-electric SPARK SRT_01E, with Santiago born former racing driver Eliseo Salazar behind the wheel, to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship to the city's streets.

After touring the city, Salazar joined Alberto Longo, Co-founder & Deputy CEO of Formula E and the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in front of La Moneda Palace before reviewing the track layout ahead of the race on February 3 2018. “It’s an honour to join President Bachelet for the first appearance of Formula E on the streets of Santiago," said Longo. "South America is steeped in motorsport history and tradition - and Formula E will make its own history in Chile for many years to come, starting this coming season,” he added.

Stretching 1.53miles (subject to FIA Homologation) through the city centre, drivers will line up on the grid along Avenue Santa Maria before crossing the river Mapocho. Once across, they'll navigate their way around Plazza Baquedano before cutting through Forestal Park to return to the start/finish line. Having hosted the Grand Prix in 1950 - when racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio took the chequered flag - Round Four of the Formula E Championship will be the first time Santiago has seen all-electric single-seaters take to the city's streets.

"This race will allow the benefits of electric vehicles to be known by the Chilean people," said Andres Rebolledo, Minister of Energy. "Our projection says that if we generate the necessary regulatory, logistics and market conditions, in the year 2050, 40 per cent of the vehicles in Chile will be electric,” he added.

Non-state mining company Antofagasta Minerals will be the title partner for the race. "We believe that Formula E contributes to promoting the use of electric vehicles, which not only improves the outlook for the copper market, but contributes to a cleaner world," said company CEO Ivan Arriagada.