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Formula E earns Hyderabad best host' global praise

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Maddy Deekshith

Published on: February 11, 2023 | Updated on: February 12, 2023

Shikhar Dhawan at ABB FIA Formula - E World Championship final race in Hyderabad. (Photo: S. Surender Reddy)

Hyderabad: The Formula E World Championship race held in the city earned Hyderabad a seat at the global table of cities hosting such an event. While the speed thrilled the spectators, a few cars coming in contact with each other had them at the edge of their seats.

A virtual who’s who from a cross section of fields, led by legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, was in town for the event that was making its India debut.
All roads literally led to India’s first street track refurnished especially for the mega event past the picturesque Hussainsagar.

A sellout crowd of passionate fans filled the grandstands as 22 drivers raced the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric Gen3 e-cars, battling it out for top honours in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race.

Approximately 20,000 people including sportspersons, actors, politicians and other celebrities, thronged the venue braving several challenges along the way like traffic snarls, finding parking spaces, entry points, stands and other nitty-gritties. However, once settled, the crowds were hysterical while cheering for their best bet.

Union ministers Anurag Thakur and G. Kishan Reddy, minister K.T. Rama Rao and his AP counterpart Gudivada Amarnath, badminton guru Pullela Gopichand, cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal, tinseltown celebrities Nagarjuna, Ram Charan, Naga Chaitanya, Akhil, Siddhu Jonnalagadda, Dulquer Salmaan, Navdeep, Shruti Haasan, and Allu Aravind added glamour to the sports spectacle.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem turned up for the first world championship status race in India in 10 years, after the Formula 1 event at the Budh International circuit in Noida.

The overall opinion was that the Formula E race will mark a major milestone in the history of Hyderabad.

"This is my visit to a Formula E race and I am thrilled to have been part of this historic event. I have an affinity for fast cars and seeing these Gen3 cars racing on the street-track was exciting. The fact that this is the first sport certified as a net zero carbon event, adds to its appeal. It was amazing to see world-class drivers zipping around the track much to the delight of the enthusiasts," said Dhawan.

Earlier in the day, Dhawan experienced a hot lap of the track in the Porsche Taycan Safety Car, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and reaching a top speed of 260 km.

Joining Shikhar was Chahar, who said being a part of the first ever Formula E race in India is "electrifying, literally!"

"Everyone talks about carbon footprint and motorsport has a direct impact on it. With the way electric vehicles are getting more popular, I think it’s a guilt-free and innovative version of the sport that will resonate with the audience and set benchmarks for the future," he said.

Meanwhile, the common people were forced to suffer due to a lack of coordination among the organisers. Most complained about finding parking places, locating the stands and the galleries, most of which were uncovered on a particularly bright sunny day. Some patrons sitting in the lounge complained about the rude behaviour of the support staff, dysfunctional air-conditioners and lack of food and drinking water facilities. Many commuters complained about severe traffic snarls around the venue.

"Please avoid, if possible, travelling around central #Hyderabad (any road within the radius of 5 kms of Hussainsagar) today in view of Formula E related traffic restrictions. It’s inconvenient but kindly bear for a day please (sic)," special chief secretary Arvind Kumar tweeted after complaints kept coming in.