14 Jun 19
10 Apr 19
With the ABB FIA Formula E Championship storming into Rome for the first round of the voestalpine European races on April 13, we uncover the lesser-known stats and facts behind the race in the Eternal City.
One of Europe’s oldest continuously occupied sites, Rome’s history dates back thousands of years. According to Roman mythology, it was founded on 21 April 753 BC, but the area has been inhabited for much longer, with archaeological evidence of human occupation dating back 14,000 years.
Ancient Roman civilisation has spawned the foundations for modern language, art, literature, architecture and politics and thus provided the inspiration for many modern republics. Over thousands of years, the Italian capital has grown into a bustling cosmopolitan city, interceded with old with the new architecture – home to approximately three million people. Such was the power and might of their empire, Ancient Romans believed Rome would last forever, irrespective of whatever happened to the rest of the world, and so it became known as the ‘Eternal City’.
Legend has it that Rome was founded in the eighth century BC by twins Romulus and Remus, sons of the god of war, Mars. Shortly after establishing their own city, Romulus killed Remus, and so became the sole founder, naming it after himself and making himself Rome’s first king. After Romulus, six other kings followed. The E-Prix takes place eight days before the day traditionally regarded to be Rome’s ‘birthday’.
Six different winners from six different teams in six rounds. The 2018/19 Formula E season is proving to be more unpredictable than ever before and it’s all to play for in Rome. Could Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler’s Daniel Abt breakthrough for his first win of the season? Or will Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein finally make it happen after falling short in Mexico? Is Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi due to return to his former glory? As was the case in Rome, which saw a total of seven kings crowned in its time, could we witness a seventh different winner in seven races? Join us to find out.
Rome is home to one of the longest tracks in the Formula E calendar. The Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR stretches 2.87km around the EUR district, with a total of 21 turns. The start/finish line is located on Via Cristoforo Colombo, with the cars racing around the Obelisco di Marconi, against the backdrop of the iconic Colosseo Quadrato.
EUR is a residential and business district in the Italian capital and stands for Esposizione Universale Roma, an area built for the World exhibition of 1942, a world fair that Benito Mussolini and his administration had planned for 1942, to celebrate 20 years of Fascist rule in Italy but the fair never took place.
Few countries can rival the passion Italy has for motorsport, be it on two or four wheels. The mere mention of the nation spawns images of icons such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Lancia or Ducati. While that fiery enthusiasm has been on view for decades at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, the motorsport mad Tifosi - literally meaning ‘fans’ – transfers to the country’s historical heartland for the Formula E. With Italy’s adopted son and former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa taking part in his first race in Rome, expect the Tifosi to be out in full force for the race on April 13.
Standing alongside Felipe Massa is his Swiss-Italian teammate Edoardo Mortara. The Venturi driver was born in Geneva, where he studied economics while cutting his teeth on the racing circuits, to a French mother and an Italian father - Turin-born Riccardo, a former rally driver and ex-ice hockey player for the Italian national team. Despite no wholly Italian drivers taking to the grid this time around, there have been a total of four Italian drivers in the all-electric series to date. Jarno Trulli, Michela Cerruti, Vitantonio Liuzzi featured in the inaugural season, all with the Trulli team (which raced under the Swiss flag), and, more recently, Luca Filippi who scored just one point in 11 E-Prix with NIO last season. The four Italian drivers amassed only 18 points between them, with Jarno Trulli scoring 15 of them, including 12 points in the first Punta del Este E-Prix in December 2014.
Owner of the fastest lap in Rome is former Mahindra Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist who lapped the 2.87km Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR in 1:35.467 during Practice 2 last season. With the new faster and longer-lasting Gen2 cars making their debut in the city this weekend, expect lap times to tumble.
The race in Rome (round seven) will mark the halfway point in the 2018/19 campaign. With just 10 points separating the top six drivers and a mere four points separating the top four manufacturers in the Teams’ Championship, it’s all to play for in Rome. As the European campaign rages on, the continent is make or break for our teams and drivers’ championship hopes. Stay tuned for all the action on April 13.