Reminiscing in Rome: Five unforgettable moments in the Eternal City

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Reminiscing in Rome: Five unforgettable moments in the Eternal City

This weekend marks the fifth visit to Rome for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as the series embarks on the penultimate rounds of Season 9. Six drivers have tasted success in Rome including Mitch Evans, who has won the Rome E-Prix a record three times.

Formula E pope

But while the winners have earned their well-deserved glory, racing in the Italian capital has produced plenty of amazing moments in Formula E. Here’s some you may have forgotten…

A Papal blessing

Before Formula E raced in Rome for the very first time in April 2018, a selection of drivers, plus the official championship car, was given a private Apostolic Blessing by His Holiness Pope Francis at his residence in Santa Marta.

Pope Francis also took the time to bless Lucas di Grassi’s soon-to-be-born son. “It was a unique experience, the sort you only get with Formula E,”di Grassi told DHL InMotion. “My wife is pregnant, we’re expecting a baby, and to receive the Pope’s blessing just now was totally awesome!”


The blessing perhaps helped di Grassi in the race too, as he finished second in the inaugural Rome E-Prix just days later!

The Jump!

The first two races in Rome in 2018 and 2019 featured a unique feature on a Formula E track - a jump! For a brief moment, cars would fly above the ground before returning to the high-speed track.


In 2021, the ​​Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR was substantially revised, with a longer and faster track unveiled.

Vandoorne makes his mark

Stoffel Vandoorne’s Formula E debut in 2018 was met with considerable excitement from the motorsport community, but the Belgian’s first season was always intended to be a fact-finding mission rather than a championship fight.

Racing for HWA Racelab before the team would evolve into Mercedes-EQ for the following season, Vandoorne achieved a stunning first Julius Baer Pole Position at the 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix, but was forced to retire from the race due to a driveshaft issue.


Two races later, Vandoorne scored his first of 15 Formula E podiums when he finished third in Rome. Having earned three podiums in five Rome races, can the DS Penske driver achieve his first podium of Season 9 this time around?

History made for Jaguar

Prior to the start of Round 3 of Season 7 in Rome on 10 April 2021, Jaguar pair Sam Bird and Mitch Evans must have thought they were in for a difficult day. Starting the race in 10th and 12th place respectfully, little was expected of the duo, but that was about to change…

A combination of bad luck for their rivals ahead plus some absolutely outrageous overtaking saw Bird and Evans make up a combined 17 places on the grid to finish second and third in the race behind Jean-Eric Vergne.

Evans Rome win double Formula E 2022 Season 8

That was Jaguar’s first double-podium in Formula E, and though things haven’t been quite so successful for the teammates this season, there’s no place like Rome to revitalise a season. Evans and Bird have collectively won four of the six previous Rome E-Prix, so will have high hopes heading into Italy this weekend.

One last moment of glory for Oliver Turvey

Considered for years as one of the most underrated drivers in Formula E history, Oliver Turvey’s final season with NIO 333 Racing produced plenty of typically dogged performances from the British driver, with limited points rewards.

There was one exception however, one of the most tactically astute races of the season which resulted in both Turvey and teammate Dan Ticktum scoring points for NIO in Rome last year.

Starting at the very back of the grid, Turvey conserved usable energy in the beginning stages, which allowed him to to pick his moments to push on as Safety Cars and time penalties conspired against those around him.


That extra energy allowed Turvey to attack, a tactic which resulted in a seventh place finish and six championship points - all from last place at the beginning of the race.

Those points proved to be Turvey’s last in Formula E, but serve as a reminder of the tactical nous required to achieve against the odds in a fiercely-competitive sport.