Returning to Rome for the fourth time in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the Eternal City certainly didn't disappoint. From Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evans all-conquering performance to new championship leaders and a number of surprises along the way. Here are the talking points from the 2022 Rome E-Prix.
Evans reigns supreme in the Eternal City
"This is where we wanted to kick-start the campaign, after the wake-up call in Mexico," he said moments after the race. "Obviously, there's been a lot of hard work that's gone in but we never expected a double win. I just wanted to get a solid amount of points, gain some solid momentum and get the car feeling good but this is like that but on steroids!"
Take a look at Evans' mighty weekend in Rome in-depth.
Don't let Evans' efforts overshadow Frijns' double podium
While the champagne was flowing over in the Jaguar TCS Racing garage and all eyes were on Evans, another championship contender was quietly accumulating a solid stack of points after two podium finishes in Rome.
After finishing a close second in Round 4, Envision Racing's Robin Frijns brought home a third-placed finish after fighting hard for the lead in Round 5. He couldn't quite hold off Evans' charge but took the battle to the Mercedes-EQ of Stoffel Vandoorne, and came out on top in that one.
"If we'd have come to Rome and someone said two podiums for the two races, I would definitely sign for it, so I'm quite happy," said Frijns after the race on Sunday.
"Consistency is always key in Formula E and now with the new qualifying format, I think the racing has improved a lot with the quick drivers and the good teams in front of all the time and everybody is thinking in the back of their head to about the championship."
Now, after scoring a solid set of points in each race this season, Frijns moves up into second in the Drivers' standings - just two points off leader Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH), with the Frenchmanhappy to be in the hunt and looking for moreafter a strong showing in Rome.
Double points for NIO 333
The last time both NIO 333 drivers managed to cross the line in the top ten was in 2017 at the Buenos Aires E-Prix. Since then, five years of ups and downs have passed for the Anglo-Chinese outfit but stalwart frontman Oliver Turvey has continued to fight for his team and his chances in the championship.
"Obviously, the last few seasons have been challenging," said Turvey with a smile after Round 5 in Rome. "Today, in the race, we just executed a perfect strategy. Starting 22nd and finishing seventh is just an amazing result," he added.
But the team's success wasn't all down to its frontman. Slipping in three places behind him was Turvey's rookie teammate Dan Ticktum, who placed 10th for his first Formula E career point in just his fifth race.
Vergne rises in Rome
For Formula E's only two-time champion, the 2021/22 season has been a positive one so far for DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Eric Vergne. Since the season opener, the Frenchman has scored points at every opportunity - the only driver to do so - and Rome was no different.
After just missing out on the podium in Round 4, Vergne came back even stronger on the Sunday to challenge for the lead. Alas, Evans held off the DS driver, denying him his first victory of the season.
After two rounds in Rome, Vergne heads to Round 6 in Monaco - where he managed to take to the top step back in 2019 - as the new Drivers' World Championship leader, albeit by a slender two-point margin.
Despite his admirable performance in Rome, the Frenchman still remains determined to do better, venting his frustration on Sunday, moments after stepping down from the podium. Will 2022 be the year Vergne becomes Formula E's first triple champion?
Speaking of championship leaders, on the teams side, Rome saw Mercedes-EQ take the top spot away from ROKiT Venturi after the German squad's driver Stoffel Vandoorne brought in 28 points for the team over the course of the weekend.
Despite landing Julius Baer Pole Position in Round 4, the Belgian driver failed to convert the win, adding his name to the long list of Rome polesitters who have all failed to hold on and win from the front.
Giovinazzi makes his home race debut
While Rome was a special race for many, no driver received a welcome quite like DRAGON/PENSKE AUTOSPORT's Antonio Giovinazzi in front of a passionate home support.
New to Formula E and the infamous 19-turn Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR, the Italian driver admitted he was feeling "positive pressure" and also that he was finding it difficult to adapt to city street racing.
"There's more pressure but it's positive pressure because you want to do well. It's been a big jump and a big difference from last year," he admitted ahead of Round 4. "It's really difficult to adapt myself and to be more on the limit. If you want to push the limits more. It's really tough."
Despite cheers from adoring fans, the Italian failed to finish in Round 5. The hunt for his maiden Formula E points continues.