When Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship kicked off in Saudi Arabia, few would have predicted the rise of ROKiT Venturi Racing. Going into Round 4 and 5, the team has pulled ahead of its manufacturer team and main rivals Mercedes-EQ - albeit by two points - to lead the teams' championship while frontman Edoardo Mortara tops the driver's standings, ahead of reigning champion Nyck de Vries.
For a team that has, for the most part, been confined to the middle of the pack, Season 8 has proved to be a pleasant surprise for CEO Susie Wolff and Team Principal Jerome D'Ambrosio.
“The performance that we showed throughout the first three races was very promising," says D'Ambrosio ahead of the Rome double-header. "In the gap between races we have taken the chance to examine our data, identify that issues that we faced, and implement solutions to be as ready as possible for this weekend."
Last year in Rome, Venturi's Norman Nato started on the front row in race two, while his teammate Edoardo Mortara just missed out on the podium in the same race.
"Rome is a circuit that we have performed well at in the past, last year we showed that we had the pace to contend for the podium," says D'Ambrosio. "In Rome we return to a conventional street track layout so overtaking will be challenging and qualifying well will be even more important. If both Edo and Lucas can progress to the duel stages, we should be in a good position to threaten for more points and contend for the podium in both races.”
Now, as the team prepares to fend off advances from reigning champions Mercedes-EQ and close rivals TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, Rome will be a critical juncture in Venturi's championship campaign. Confidence will key as Lucas di Grassi and Mortara take on the longest (3.385km) and one of the most technical tracks in the Formula E calendar.
"The track is extremely tight and technical in parts," says Jérémy Colançon, ROKiT Venturi Racing Chief Engineer. "The Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR is the longest track on the Season 8 calendar and as a result, is quite high in terms of energy sensitivity. This means that during the race, it will be crucial to strike the perfect balance between both using and saving on the energy management front.
"Rome’s elevation changes both aid and hinder energy consumption and regeneration. The downhill run to Turn Three is a key area to recover energy but because the next four corners of the circuit are uphill, it is important not to scrub off too much speed through this section which can increase pressure from behind. Finding a balance in Sectors One and Two is critical."
With both Mercedes-powered Venturi and Mercedes-EQ teams fighting for the championship lead in Rome on April 9 and 10, don't miss a moment of the double-header in the Eternal City. Keep track of the best ways to tune in where you are at fiaformulae.com/watch and follow every lap from Rome as it happens in the revamped Live Hub.
Published on 6th April 2022