New challenges for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team on the return of the series to Rome
At the end of a six-week break since the season opener in Diriyah, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team returns to the track this weekend for the Rome E-Prix
- As with the season opener, the second race weekend of Season 7 will consist of two races (10 and 11 April).
- The 3.380 km Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR is one of the longest tracks in Formula E and has been specially modified for this season
- Ian James: “We must ensure we don’t lose our focus and that we optimise every opportunity throughout the weekend to score as many points as possible”
- Nyck de Vries: “It looks like a real city centre Formula E track – the varying surface quality and the elevation changes are going to make it a bumpy ride, so it promises to be a very intense and challenging race”
- Stoffel Vandoorne: “I have great memories from Rome where I scored my first podium in Formula E, and it is one of my favourite tracks”
- Further information, statistics and facts about the upcoming E-Prix can be found in the Race Facts on our media site
The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team will be in Rome this weekend (9 – 11 April) for the second event of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season. This will be the first time that the team has contested a race in the Italian capital. The Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR is one of the longest tracks on the itinerary of the all-electric racing series.
The Rome E-Prix will be held for the third time this year, the first two having taken place in 2018 and 2019, and will be staged on a modified 3.380 km street circuit with 19 corners running through the campus of the Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR) World Expo.
In Season 7, the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR will retain its characteristics as a mini-rollercoaster with a number of elevation changes and an exceptionally bumpy surface. At the same time, the new track layout has longer and faster straights, which should offer more overtaking opportunities.
There are a couple of differences in the programme for Saturday and Sunday this time. After the usual 15-minute shakedown on Friday evening, there will be two free practice sessions on Saturday morning before qualifying and the first of the two races (start time 16:04 CEST). On Sunday, there will be only one free practice session before qualifying, with the race starting at 13:04 CEST.
Comments ahead of the 2021 Rome E-Prix
Ian James (Team Principal):
“The weekend in Diriyah was one of real highs and lows, with some outstanding performances by both our drivers, and the rest of the team. The highlight of the weekend of course was that first race win of the season, which gave us a confidence boost and confirmed we are on the right track as a team, but the second race day in Diriyah showed us that we cannot take anything for granted.
After waiting over a month for the next event of the season, the team is ready to go to Rome, and take on the next track on the calendar. The gap between the races has given us the opportunity to review our data and prepare for the demanding conditions of the Rome E-Prix. Rome will bring its own challenges; and the track lay-out is very typically a Formula E-circuit: it looks exciting, is demanding on the car, and will see us return to the centre of one of the greatest cities in the world. With the weekend now being a double-header, we must ensure we don’t lose our focus and that we optimise every opportunity throughout the weekend to score as many points as possible. It’s difficult to say what to expect from our competition, but we are expecting a close fight!”
Nyck de Vries:
“At last, we’ve got another race weekend to get stuck into. Since the season opener in Diriyah, we’ve obviously done everything we could to be optimally prepared for Rome. I think it is going to be a different track from the ones we’ve been racing on recently. It looks like a real city centre Formula E track – the varying surface quality and the elevation changes are going to make for a bumpy ride, so it promises to be a very intense and challenging race. We’re obviously hoping that we’ll be as competitive as we were in Diriyah. It is difficult to predict what the opposition is going to do. On Saturday, we will be out in qualifying group 1, so I think the target there should be to qualify in the Top Ten and take our race from there. The most important thing is to take it one step at a time and make sure we put the laps in and gather the data to basically build the rest of our weekend on that.”
“I’m really excited to be going back to Rome, not least because it’s a long time since we last raced on a proper street circuit. We’ve obviously had Berlin and Diriyah in the meantime, but they have slightly different characteristics from the real street circuits like Rome. So, it is even more exciting to be back on this type of track. I obviously have great memories from Rome where I scored my first podium in Formula E, and it is one of my favourite tracks. However, the track layout this year is a little bit different from the way it was in Season 5. It’s a very challenging one as well, with a very bumpy surface by the looks of it, but this is what Formula E is all about. You have to master the challenges and the difficult circumstances. The same goes for the format of the weekend. We have two very busy days, where all the practice sessions, qualifying and race will be on the same day, on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s going to be another busy one, but after Diriyah it will just be nice to be back in the car and hit the road again.”