Published November 5, 2013
Spanish Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said Hong Kong was a 'last-minute inclusion.'
Spanish Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag is "so enamoured" with Hong Kong that when he heard the city "wanted to become part of the inaugural FIA Formula E world championship, he had no hesitation in bumping off another city already pencilled in, and inviting 'Asia's World City' to join the 10-race street series," according to Alvin Sallay of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. Agag: "Hong Kong was a last-minute inclusion in our [provisional] calendar. They only confirmed they wanted to host a leg a couple of weeks before we announced the 10 cities in late September, but we had no hesitation in accepting them." Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Bangkok had been on the "original list, but when Formula E released its provisional calendar for the series starting in Beijing next September, they had been replaced by the glamorous harbour of Monte Carlo, Uruguay's picturesque beach resort of Punte del Este and Hong Kong." It is not F1, but in the "eyes of Agag, it will be even more significant" because it is "the future." Motorsports governing body FIA is setting its "hearts on environmentally friendly races to target the younger generation." It costs Singapore more than $100M annually to "put on Formula One's showpiece night race around Marina Bay." In contrast, it will cost $5M -- "most of it borne by the promoters" -- to bring Formula E to Hong Kong. Money, however, is not the most "pressing issue for organisers, including the Hong Kong Automobile Association, the local partners of the concern." Right now everything is focused on "identifying the circuit with Lung Wo Road in Central at the centre of discussions between government, Formula E and FIA officials." The proposed 2.4km circuit is "ideal." Bordering the harbor, it will be a "fantastic backdrop for the race." More than 40,000 spectators will be "catered for on grandstands, while VIPs and corporates will be wined and dined elsewhere." The race will be "broadcast live to more than 90 countries around the world" on Fox TV (SCMP, 11/4