Circuit type: Temporary street course
The Formula E Championship has succeeded where many others – from Formula One to DTM – have failed, by hosting a race on the streets of Moscow. The announcement of the additional race in June 2015 was something of a coup for the race organisers and the chosen location certainly has a memorable backdrop.
The 2.39 km anti-clockwise street circuit lies adjacent to the iconic Kremlin and will see the Formula E drivers start alongside the Moskva River before circling the site of the former Rossiya Hotel – a gigantic unloved Soviet-era monolith that was once the largest hotel in the world before being demolished in 2007. During the lap the cars also take in Staraya Square, home to the former headquarters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, now used as the offices of the Presidential Administration of Russia.
Among the other famous buildings the racers will speed by are the Gostiny Dvor merchant hall (now a fashionable exhibition centre); the iconic St Basil's Cathedral with its colourful spires; and the imposing walls of the Kremlin, making this one of the most memorable street circuits in the world.
The final section of the 13-turn circuit features a number of switchback hairpins, adding to the technical challenge of finding a good setup for what will otherwise be a medium-fast course.
The Formula E race follows a number of demonstration events held within the city, including a run in 2011 by the French EF01 Formulec electric racing car. This course was located in a similar area of the city to the ePrix but stretched further down the riverside alongside the walls of the Kremlin and also crossed the river (see video).
The Moscow ePrix is located in the heart of Moscow's historic centre, next to the Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral. International flights into Moscow arrive at one of two airports – Domodedovo or Sheremetyevo – and there are good public transport links to the city centre.
Finding the circuit should not be difficult, located as it is at the heart of the historic and tourist-friendly part of the city. Getting about the city should also be straightforward as Moscow is served by an extensive transit network, which includes nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro.
Tickets on the Moscow cost R40 for one journey anywhere within the system. A block of 20 tickets costs R500. The extensive bus, tram and trolleybus system is just as cheap. There are no English-language signs in the metro, so count the stops to make sure you get off at the right place.