Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship gets back underway this weekend in Rome. Here’s everything you need to know about Rounds 4 & 5 of the series.
Eight weeks after the last weekend of action in Mexico, Formula E is finally back, with the teams and drivers this time heading to the Eternal City of Rome.
Rome is always a highlight of the Formula E calendar, and with the race for the Championship already starting to heat up, the stage is set for another action-packed weekend of racing.
What happened last time out?
All the way back in February, Porsche’s Pascal Werhlein and Andre Lotterer secured a masterful front-row lockout in Mexico City, with the duo finishing comfortably in front of DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne.
The victory was both Werhlein and Porsche’s first in Formula E, and catapulted them both into third place in the drivers and teams standings.
Despite the result, ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara remains top of the Driver Standings, ahead of last season’s champion, Nyck De Vries of Mercedes EQ.
Located in the heart of the Eternal City, the weekend in Rome is the true embodiment of Formula E, with a street circuit that is truly unforgiving.
Set amongst a backdrop of the historic Palazzo di Congressi and Piazzale Delle Nazioni, the track layout features an exciting blend of tight, narrow corners which bleed into long, sweeping straights, with a troublesome hairpin by the Pizza G. Marconi monument.
Last year saw Jean-Eric Vergne of DS Techeetah come out on top, snatching first place in a race that was chaotic from start to finish. Let’s hope for more of the same this weekend.
Ones to watch
The upcoming weekend of races in Rome will be particularly special for one of the newest members on the Formula E. Dragon / Penske Autosport’s Antonio Giovinazzi is gearing up to race in front of a home crowd for the first time in his Formula E career, and the Italian hopes this weekend can help kickstart his Formula E experience.
With last year’s race shut off from the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Rome E-Prix opens its doors once again to fans, and Giovinazzi is excited to race in front of a packed crowd once again.
“It is going to be a great feeling,” Giovinazzi told Formula E “We’re talking about Rome, the capital of Italy, and the Eternal City. It’s giving me shivers; it is definitely going to be one of a kind experience racing around these streets.
“Italy has a great motorsport culture that covers many different generations, and it’s going to be incredible having public support back in the grandstand.
“I really can’t wait to get there with all the fans supporting and cheering us, not only in Rome but in the other cities we are still to visit.”
Whilst Rome will be a special race for Giovinazzi, it will also be an opportunity for those at the top of the championship to get more points on the board.
Whilst Mortara and De Vries are leading the way currently, Porsche’s Pascal Werhlein will be looking to build on his win in Mexico to close the gap to the front two. Another win would lift the German right to the top of the standings and put him well in the mix for the rest of the campaign.
After a fourth placed finish in Round 1 in Diriyah, Jaguar’s Sam Bird will want to reignite his season in Rome, after two consecutive 15th placed finishes. However, Bird has history in Rome, claiming a victory in the Italian capital back in 2018, so this weekend could provide the perfect opportunity for the Brit to revive his campaign.
It is a similar story for Bird’s teammate, Mitch Evans. Having only been able to manage a tenth placed finish so far this season, Evans will be hoping for a repeat of his triumph back in 2019 to ignite his campaign.
Last year’s winners Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne will also be hoping for a repeat, with both drivers still lurking around the top of the drivers’ standings.
What comes after Rome?
Once the chequered flag is waved in Rome, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will head to the iconic principality of Monaco on April 30th, for Round 6 of the series.