08 Apr 21

'Big fan of the track, but changes make Rome a real challenge,' says Envision Virgin Racing's Frijns

Envision Virgin Racing and Robin Frijns sit third in the Teams' and Drivers' running, respectively, and they're looking to maintain their momentum in Rome after a promising opening race weekend of the season in Diriyah.

Rome became host to a double-header and Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship following the March calendar update, and drivers have not only two races in one weekend to contend with, but also a heavily revised circuit layout.

The circuit in the city's EUR district has been a favourite of many since its first appearance on the Formula E calendar in the 2017/18 season. For this year, the Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR becomes a 19-turn 3.385km monster - the second longest track in history behind Beijing.

Robin Frijns - who currently sits third in the standings after his podium in Diriyah with the Audi powertrain looking promising - has gone well here before, with a best of fourth last time out in Season 5. He says the circuit's not lost its character and with engineers without full data on the new layout, it'll throw up a tough test.

“Rome is a proper street track and one I’m a big fan of," says the Dutchman.

Formula E returns to Rome... #ChangeAccelerated

"The modifications made this year don’t appear to have detracted from its overall flow but for sure it’s going to be a challenge, especially with the bumpy road surface and perfecting the car’s ride height.

"Last time we raced here I finished fourth so it’s a track I feel comfortable on and I just hope we can score strongly again to maintain our momentum in the championship.”

Teammate Nick Cassidy's fresh to the Formula E fold, so every circuit is a new one to him. He's been flat out in the simulator getting up to speed, though.

PREVIEW: Everything you need to know ahead of the Rome E-Prix

"From our extensive work on the simulator the layout looks like a lot of fun and one I’m looking forward to racing on," said Cassidy. "Personally, having races so close together is actually an advantage as it allows you to immediately apply the learnings from the day before – be it set up or strategy – when you’d normally have to wait a whole year to recreate the same conditions.”

Team Principal Sylvain Filippi added: “Rome has always been a firm favourite with the team due to our track record here which includes a victory the first year and a fourth place finish the next. Having two races so close to each other though certainly presents a challenge, but it is one we’re relishing and a scenario we’ve fully prepared for.

“I also want to praise the agile and meticulous approach taken by race organisers Formula E and the FIA in allowing the championship to continue racing safely during such difficult times.”

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