Early-season tempo-setter Nyck de Vries leads all-electrical field into Italian double-header
Wearing spectacles in Rome are nothing new – the Colosseum performed host to fierce fights aid within the times of horse-drawn chariots – nonetheless this coming weekend (10/11 April), the Italian capital will welcome an altogether extra evolved breed of automobile, as the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s fashionable-day gladiators stir into town.
The Rome E-Prix double-header marks rounds three and 4 of the 2020/21 Formula E campaign – the all-electrical single-seater sequence’ first as a fully-fledged World Championship. Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries leads the approach following his step forward victory within the Saudi Arabian curtain-raiser at the discontinuance of February – a commanding lights-to-flag affair – and the Dutchman will seemingly be fired-up to soar aid from a worried second day in Diriyah that saw him entirely unbiased proper plight into the aspects after initiating in direction of the rear of the grid.
Saudi Arabia’s numerous stir-winner, Sam Chook, heads to Italy occupying second situation within the standings for Jaguar Racing. The Briton won the inaugural Rome E-Prix in 2017/18, so he is aware of what it takes to master the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR – one of many longest tracks on the calendar and amongst the most animated too, with its undulating nature, elevation adjustments and uneven surfaces, which aspects a brand new layout this 365 days.
Chook’s stale crew-mate, Robin Frijns, is third within the aspects desk following a solid open to the season for Envision Virgin Racing, with Edoardo Mortara unbiased proper within the aid of in fourth and aloof basking within the glory of that overtake in Diriyah, when he threaded his ROKiT Venturi Racing machine neatly between the autos of Mitch Evans and Pascal Wehrlein at full-throttle. Having been unable to open the second stumble upon in Saudi Arabia following a braking-linked excessive-tempo accident in free observe, the Swiss ace has extra motivation to prevail this weekend.
Reigning champion António Félix da Costa flew a minute bit under the radar in Diriyah, taking the chequered flag outside of the aspects on day one earlier than benefitting from a penalty for DS TECHEETAH stablemate Jean-Éric Vergne to gather a high three develop on day two. The Portuguese star will seemingly be aiming to neatly kick-open the defence of his crown in Italy, whereas two-time title-winner Vergne aloof needs to acquire off the mark after leaving Saudi Arabia with a easy scorecard.
It used to be the aforementioned Evans that won the most most modern Rome E-Prix two years ago following a stirring battle with André Lotterer, representing his and Jaguar Racing’s step forward triumph within the sequence. His German rival, meanwhile, arrives boasting a 100 per cent podium-finishing file within the match, which he’s going to be intriguing to take care of as he endeavours to open his 2020/21 Formula E account with TAG Heuer Porsche.
Others to luxuriate in beforehand ascended the podium in Rome are de Vries’ Mercedes-EQ crew-mate Stoffel Vandoorne – third in 2018/19 – and off champion Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler), who used to be runner-up to Chook 12 months earlier. Both desire a tight aspects haul this weekend after failing to reach double-digits in Diriyah.
Fellow massive names that struggled in Saudi Arabia had been double title-holder Sébastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) and Maximilian Günther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport), with the luckless German retiring from both contests. The pair will seemingly be primed to battle aid in Italy.
Buemi’s Nissan e.dams stablemate Oliver Rowland raced neatly for a brace of solid outcomes in Diriyah, whereas Sérgio Sette Câmara and Nico Müller both shone in a hugely encouraging affirm for Dragon/Penske Autosport that they would presumably even be bidding to construct upon this weekend. Any other crew to acquire its season off to a promising open in Saudi Arabia used to be NIO 333, with Oliver Turvey claiming two high ten finishes to directly banish the memory of the squad’s scoreless 2019/20 campaign.
After threatening the podium final day out, compatriots René Rast (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) and Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) luxuriate in their sights situation on some silverware in Italy, whereas the 24-solid field is carried out by Mahindra Racing duo Alexander Sims and Alex Lynn, countryman Tom Blomqvist (NIO 333) and immediate inexperienced persons Jake Dennis (BMW i Andretti Motorsport), Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) and Gash Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing).
The first Rome E-Prix will open at 16: 00 local time (14: 00 GMT) on Saturday, 10 April, with stir two following at 13: 00 local time (11: 00 GMT) the following day.