Three races into the season and the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns to the streets of Rome on 9 & 10 April. Serving up plenty of unpredictable, wheel-to-wheel action year on year, Rome will once again play host to the championship as all 11 teams and 22 drivers battle it out in a double header in the Eternal City. Here's your guide to the facts and stats behind the race in Rome.
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.
The Eternal City
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’.
Until Formula E ushered in a new era of motorsport in Rome in 2018, street racing hadn't taken place in the city for 62 years. Now celebrating five years on the streets of the Italian capital, the Formula E circuit pays tribute to Rome's racing roots with the track using parts of the old Tre Fontane circuit from the 1920s - with the start line on Via delle Tre Fontane.
Another race, a different winner?
Despite heading into a fifth Formula E race in Rome, no driver has won on the city's streets more than once. Both Jaguar TCS Racing's Sam Bird and Mitch Evans have claimed victory here over the years in 2018 and 2019 respectively, while double champion and DS TECHEETAH driver Jean-Eric Vergne won here in 2020.
As for the race last year, the win went to Mercedes-EQ's Stoffel Vandoorne but who will have the edge this time around? If the past is anything to go by, we'll be looking for a new winner in Rome.
Home race hero
New Formula E recruit and DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT driver Antonio Giovinazzi should feel right at home when he lines up for the first round in Rome. The Italian is yet to score any points in his first Formula E campaign and will be looking to do so in front of a full home crowd.
"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," he said in the build up to the race. Despite being the only current Italian driver, he is the fifth Italian driver to race in the series.
Return to EUR
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. Although the fair never took place, the district has been the backdrop to all five rounds in Rome since Formula E made its debut here in 2018.
Reigning champion Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) is second in the running, having made the top step in the season opener. The Dutchman and leader Mortara are two of only four drivers to have scored points in all three rounds of Season 8 so far - the others? DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Eric Vergne - a winner in Rome last time around - and Avalanche Andretti driver Jake Dennis, who sit sixth and seventh in the standings.
The Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR
While the backdrop remains the same, the 19-turn 3.385km Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR underwent a number of amendments in close collaboration with local authorities for Season 7, which saw the track become the second longest in Formula E history after Beijing.
The Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazzale Marconi are major landmarks as the circuit winds its way around the iconic Palazzo della Civilta Italiana, known as the "Square Coliseum". Ninfeo Park will also form a part of the circuit’s perimeter.
It's a perfect 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.
A minor tweak this year sees the start moved between Turns 3 and 4 with the finish on the approach to Turn 19.
Published on 5th April 2022