By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
After a month of searching, ABB FIA Formula E Championship officials have elected not to replace the canceled Montreal E-Prix doubleheader season-finale.
The Season Four calendar will instead be cut to just 12 races – trying the record schedule length set in Season Three. The July 14-15 New York E-Prix doubleheader will serve as the season finale in Montreal’s place.
“We’ve looked at a number of alternatives, but decided not to replace Montreal,” a Formula E spokesperson said. “Racing in city-centres requires proper planning and while this process opened-up some interesting alternatives, we’ll allow more time to look at these before proposing for inclusion on the calendar.
“Our season finale event will be in New York and it will surely provide a spectacular backdrop to crown this year’s champion.”
Montreal was originally set to serve as Formula E’s season finale for the second-consecutive year, but the planned event was canceled after just one of three scheduled years after mayor Valerie Plante announced in December that it couldn’t continue under the current terms.
“I was pretty clear during the campaign: the E-race won’t happen at the same location in 2018 and we must re-negotiate the deal so that Montrealers are not on the hook for tens of millions of dollars,” Plante wrote on Twitter at the time.
As a result, teams will have two fewer rounds to contest in their quest for a championship – a fact that could prove critical for defending champion Lucas di Grassi, who has failed to tally a single point through three of the season’s 12 rounds.
The cancellation also removes any potential prize money that teams could receive for their efforts.
The Montreal cancellation marks the second schedule conflict that Formula E officials have faced during the early stages of Season Four. The all-electric tour’s sixth round on Mar. 17 – originally scheduled for Sao Paulo, Brazil – was replaced by Punta Del Este, Uruguay, in December after the location of the Brazilian track failed to secure a buyer in time for 2018.