The highly anticipated second Hyderabad E-Prix, slated for this weekend, faced an unexpected cancellation just over a month ago, dealt with by the all-electric championship.
The decision stemmed from the newly elected Government of Telangana’s stance, which had previously voiced opposition to the 2023 edition and sent a communication in December, forewarning of potential implications on the current race, as noted by Formula E.
In January, Formula E made the regrettable call to scrap the event, citing the local government’s apparent unwillingness to honor the Host City Agreement.
While the elimination of Hyderabad from the 2024 schedule was disheartening, Dodds, expressing his aspirations, affirmed a desire to revisit India, emphasizing the necessity for a stable decision-making process that doesn’t jeopardize future calendar commitments.
“I would love in the future to be back racing in India, but I think that needs to be a stable decision,” he shared with Motorsport.com. “Forget India for a second, any race, I don’t want the calendar to ever be in jeopardy where up until the last minute there’s still volatility around whether a race will happen or not.”
He stressed the significance of calendar stability for the series and the imperative to establish a predictable rhythm for fans and stakeholders alike.
The unexpected void in the Formula E schedule between January’s Diriyah event and the forthcoming Sao Paulo race has left a seven-week gap, a consequence of the logistical challenges in swiftly arranging a replacement event.
Dodds expressed hope that the championship’s reputation hasn’t been tarnished by the abrupt cancellation, pointing out the complexities involved and expressing gratitude for the understanding shown by many observers.
“I hope it hasn’t damaged the brand and I think most of the people that have reported on it or commented on it understand the complexity of that race and why it was cancelled and know there was not a lot that we could do about it,” said Dodds.
“On the other hand, what it has done I think is being very damaging for the teams, the manufacturers, the partners who all invested in the region.”
He highlighted the significant ties that various entities, including racing teams like Mahindra, partners like TCS Jaguar, and the presence of an Indian driver, Jehan Daruvala, have with India, underscoring the adverse impact on these invested stakeholders.