All-electric racing returns to Rome on April 10 and 11 for Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with a new circuit layout for the double-header race weekend and FIA President Jean Todt in attendance.
Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) heads to Italy on top of the drivers’ standings, having completed a Formula E first in the Diriyah opener, topping the timesheets in Free Practice, Group Qualifying, Julius Baer Pole Position, and claiming his maiden race win and the TAG Heuer Fastest Lap for good measure.
Jaguar Racing lead the way in the teams’ standings as new signing Sam Bird sealed a dream victory in Round 2 in Diriyah. That result saw the Brit extend his unique streak of winning an E-Prix in every Formula E season to-date. It also drew him level with Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) in second on the all-time winners’ table with 10 victories. Bird is also a winner in the Italian capital, having won the inaugural race in 2018, and he’ll be among the favourites this time around.
Last time out in Rome, it was Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing) and André Lotterer (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) who fought tooth-and-nail for the full 45 minutes. In the end, it was the Kiwi who held his nerve, forcing Lotterer to settle for second with Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) rounding-out the podium positions.
The 19-turn 3.385km Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR has undergone a number of changes in close collaboration with local authorities for Season 7, and sees the track become the second longest in Formula E history behind Beijing.
The updates ensure the circuit’s character is retained, while strengthening Formula E’s legacy in the area by making more space for spectators at future events, bringing local businesses into the fold and carrying out important restoration work.
The Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazzale Marconi remain landmarks and, starting from this year, the circuit will wind its way around the iconic Palazzo della Civilta Italiana, also known as the „Square Coliseum“.
It’s a mix of high-speed runs and tight, complex sections and undulations with plenty of opportunities for overtaking at the hairpin and some 90-degree bends – peak Formula E and a big favourite of the drivers.
“The new layout is fantastic: it has longer and faster straights and offers more opportunities for overtaking,” said 2017 Formula E Champion, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi. “I’m sure the fans will love it; I can’t wait to race there.”
Showing the natural alignment of Formula E’s reason and racing, in Rome the series will continue its series of Positively Charged grid moments, on this occasion, shining the spotlight on the new multi-year partnership with UNICEF’s Safe and Healthy Environment Fund.
Since Formula E first visited the city, e-mobility options for Rome’s residents have improved significantly. There are 60 electric minibuses operating across the city and Italy’s ‘Good Mobility’ policy encourages the use of electric bikes and has legalised electric scooters. Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, announced that the city would phase out diesel vehicles by 2024.
Rome’s impressive mobility response to COVID-19 has been recognised at European level, following its support of walking and cycling, enabling safe public transport, and its plan for 150km of transitory cycling routes. In total, €3.2 million has been set aside for Rome’s plan, with 20km of these lanes currently in place.