“From the familiar cobbled streets and piazzas to Rome's ancient landmarks and world-famous monuments, the Italian capital awoke to the sound of four all-electric single-seater racers touring the streets to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship, ahead of the inaugural Rome E-Prix on April 14 2018.
Leading the pack was reigning champion and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi, touring the city alongside former champions Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) and Nelson Piquet Jn. (Panasonic Jaguar Racing), followed by newly-signed Italian NIO Formula E driver Luca Filippi.
Making their way in formation through the heart of the Eternal City, the drivers stopped off in front of city hall, pulling onto the Michaelangelo-designed Piazza del Campidoglio. “I’m excited to be here today to present the first-ever E-Prix in Rome," said Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. "Seeing and hearing the Formula E cars on the streets of a place like Rome, for me, will be a truly unforgettable experience," he added.
Greeting the drivers in the square alongside Agag, Rome's Mayor Virginia Raggi said the E-Prix will have a "positive economic impact," bringing "investments and benefits to the city with its legacy programme, such as new streets and electric charging stations."
Continuing on their journey, piloting the cars past Rome's most notorious battleground - the Colleseum - all four drivers arrived at the Roma Conference Centre, in the contemporary district of EUR where the race will be held. “Today we’ve finally managed to determine the right conditions that will bring the great show of electric cars on the city's EUR circuit...It’s a personal satisfaction and a team result," said EUR SpA Chairman Roberto Diacetti.
With the course being announced during the event, the Circuto Cittadino dell’EUR will be the second longest track in the calendar at 1.77miles in length. With a total of 21 turns, the circuit will be "challenging for the drivers," said Agag. With the start/finish line on Via Cristoforo Colombo, the cars will race around the Obelisco di Marconi, against the backdrop of the iconic Colosseo Quadrato.
For Italian fans, every race in the Championship will be free-to-air on Mediaset's Italia 1 and Italia 2 channels, as the new Italian broadcaster of Formula E.”