Six rapid-fire races on the abandoned Tempelhof Airport in Berlin will bring down the curtain on the disrupted Formula E season.
The all-electric single-seater series runs as a winter championship in Europe – summer in Australia – to avoid conflict with the Formula One world championship and was one of the first major motorsport categories to run into COVID-19 problems.
Only five races were run before the corona virus hit, the most recent back at the end of February at Marrakesh in Morocco when Antonio Felix da Costa was the winner for DS Techeetah.
Races planned for Sanya in China, Rome, Paris, Seoul, Jakarta, New York and London have all been called off and the drivers have had to make do with virtual racing through Esports events.
“We are fully committed to make the championship go ahead, and not be void,” says Nissan’s head of global motorsport and Formula E boss Tommaso Volpe.
“We are finding solutions… to finish the championship over the summer, and then start season seven as ’normal as possible’.”
With the current season in tatters, but still with massive backing from major carmakers including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, a radical plan has been hatched to provide an easy way to finish the disrupted championship.
There will now be three double-header race meetings in Berlin in the space of just nine days.
The circuit to date has been laid out on the flat 22-hectare concrete apron in front of the old Tempelhof terminal buildings, using concrete blocks to map out a suitable course.
The big change for 2020 is Formula E has decided that each of the three double-header events will use a different design of circuit, which will be achieved by moving the concrete blocks around. There will be no spectators and so very little infrastructure is required.
The races will take place on August 5-6, August 8-9 and August 12-13 and will result in an 11-race championship.
At the moment the championship is led by da Costa, who has an 11-point lead over Mitch Evans from Jaguar and Alexander Sims at BMW iAndretti Autosport, which basically means that anyone in the entire field could now win the title.
Felix da Costa’s current points tally is just 67 and there will be 150 points available.
The Berlin effort is a make-do solution to the COVID-19 problem and there will then be a break until January when the series – which will officially become an FIA World Championship in 2021 – is planned to start in Chile.
But if there is a second wave of infections in Germany, Formula E could be back in the same problem again – as all its eggs are in one same basket.