All roads lead to Rome: this famous statement will prove truer than ever to the motorsport community this weekend, as Felix Rosenqvist joins the rest of the Formula E fraternity for another milestone event in the heart of a truly iconic city.
The Rome E-Prix is arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated races in Formula E history. With the rich and passionate culture of Italian motor racing well-documented, a race on the streets of its renowned capital has been at the top of the wish list since day one of the all-electric championship.
This Saturday, that wish becomes reality as The Eternal City – ever prevalent since the might of the classical age – welcomes Formula E back to Europe (where the subsequent three rounds will also take place).
“Rome is one of the big races this season, and one that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It’s the first race for the series in Italy, which is one of the cornerstones in the motorsport foundation. The track layout seems really cool as well with big elevation changes, which we normally don’t get on traditional street circuits. I think this is one of the most important events ever for Formula E, together with a race in Japan in the future.”
Speaking of Japan; Rosenqvist arrives in Italy just days after making his debut in the Far East country’s Super GT championship last weekend. Coping with long-haul travelling this time coincides with a busy schedule both on the track and off it in Rome – making this one of Rosenqvist’s most hectic weeks of the year.
“This is an important weekend for us at Mahindra Racing,” Rosenqvist continues. “We have a lot of people from our partner Pininfarina coming, and it makes for a busy but very positive few days. It’s just great to see the amount of support we are getting from Italy. I also think it’s good to be coming back to Europe now, and as the travel gets less it’s easier to put in the work needed for everyone.”
The Rome E-Prix signals the start of the second half of the Formula E season. Rosenqvist arrives in Italy holding second place in the drivers’ standings, 30 points behind leader Jean-Eric Vergne, following a mixed first six races that yielded two wins but also a number of technical glitches – none more costly than in Mexico City, where Rosenqvist retired while in the lead due to a failed battery.
“We’ve had some average performances over the last three races if you look at it purely from a results point of view, but taking a closer look at our actual pace I’d say we have every reason to remain very optimistic,” Rosenqvist concludes. “There have been some small hiccups that made us lose a lot of points, but the good thing is that we now know why and that we can move on. It will be fun taking on a new track this weekend – I’m really motivated to bring home a good result here in Rome.”
The Rome E-Prix takes place on Saturday, with the race itself going green at 16.00 local time.
All times local (GMT+02:00)
ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Race 7/12 | Rome E-Prix
Saturday 14 April
Free Practice 1: 08.00-08.45
Free Practice 2: 10.30-11.00
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
After 6/12 races
1: Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), 109 p.
2: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 79 p.
3: Sam Bird (GBR), 76 p.
4: Sébastien Buemi (CHE), 52 p.
5: Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA), 45 p.