An aborted attempt to host the Jakarta E-Prix was planned for a temporary circuit in the heart of Indonesia's capital, circling the famous National Monument.
A street circuit penned by Hermann Tilke (his first track for the all-electric series) was set to host Formula E in 2020, until Coronavirus intervened. When the pandemic's travel restrictions subsided, a new storm circled the event, with city authorities deciding it would be too disruptive.
This forced organisers to look elsewhere and the event eventually took place in 2022 at a purpose-built facility at Ancol Beach.
Details of the circuit emerged in dribs and drabs, though circuit plans from October 2019 revealed that Tilke GmBH, the favoured track designer for Formula One, was in charge of coming up with the new course for the all-electric racers. It is Tilke's first ground up Formula E circuit design.
Backdrop to the event was to have been the National Monument itself, a giant obelisk built to commemorate Indonesian independence from the Netherlands. Merdeka Square is the centre of some of the most important government buildings. The north side is dominated by the Merdeka Palace, once the home of the Dutch Governor Generals, which now also houses the office of the President and the Cabinet.
To the South is the office of Indonesia's Vice President, Jakarta's Governor and the provincial parliament building and also the American Embassy, while to the West is the National Museum, the Constitutional Court, the Ministry for Culture and Tourism and the Indosat building.
After an initial setback when local authorities rejected the location for the race, a U-Turn with a revised course around the national monument was approved, with the race set to take place on June 6. However, the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic forced a postponement, with organisers describing it as an 'indefinite delay.' Options to reschedule later in the year remained under review for much of the season until it became inevitable that it would be cancelled altogether.
It was left off the 2020-21 Formula E calendar, which was much truncated due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and missed the first cut of the 2021-22 schedule, until it emerged as a replacement for Cape Town's previously announced slot in June 2022.
Even this though proved a false dawn as city authorities had changed their mind and permits were withdrawn, with concerns about both the cost of the event and disruption to city traffic being cited.
Race organisers hastily looked at other options in the city for hosting the race, opting in December 2021 to switch to the Ancol Beach area, where a new circuit would be built from the ground-up to host the Formula E racers.
This is an undeveloped circuit proposal.
- National Monument, Gambir, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia
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The circuit was to have been set on a course around Merdeka Square in the centre of Jakarta, Indonesia. While the event never happened, the area is still worth a visit. Numerous bus routes serve the area, while Gambir Station exits onto the eastern side of the square.