Agag: Formula E finally gets 'dream' race in 'first love' city Rome

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag says the electric championship has "finally" achieved its aim of having a race in its "first love" city with the inaugural Rome E-Prix

Agag: Formula E finally gets 'dream' race in 'first love' city Rome

Rome was announced as the first European city to join FE's preliminary calendar for its first season in 2014/15 - alongside a demonstration of the series' initial show car at the Colosseum in '12 - but was not included on the final schedule for season one.

The city will become the 18th venue to host a Formula E event with this weekend's race.

"Rome was the first [city where Formula intended to race] and that's a fact," said Agag.

"There were a lot of press there, we did a press conference five years ago, both presidents [FIA president Jean Todt and the Automobile Club d'Italia's Angelo Sticchi Damiani] were there and it was our first city that we dreamed to race at.

"Finally today we make it a reality - so that is huge for us.

"[Two new partners have joined FE this week] so it cannot get better than this week, but I'm sure tomorrow it will be better with finally [having] our race in Rome - our first love."

Todt expressed his belief that the difficulties in organising a motorsport event in city centres should not be understated and explained why the race in Rome had not taken place in previous years as intended.

How Formula E pulls off its impossible job

"I think people underestimate how difficult it is to organise Formula E races in a big city - everybody should not take that for granted," he said.

"Everybody should be thankful to all those who made it happen - starting from the mayors.

"Five years ago [Rome] was announced and then at the last minute the [then] mayor did not have the courage to say 'let's go, take it forwards'.

"The mayors in the biggest cities around the world do take the responsibility [to host FE races] - for me it's a very smart decision.

"But it's not easy because you must block the city for a certain amount of time and then you must make a safe circuit.

"It's a very specific category of racing and I think it's absolutely admirable."

Virginia Raggi, the current mayor of Rome, attended the race's official pre-event press conference alongside Agag, Todt, and Sticchi Damiani.

"I really want to thank you again [for FE coming to Rome] because you believe in Rome," Raggi told Agag.

"This is what really makes the difference for me."

Find out how you can follow the 2018 Rome E-Prix here

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Author Alex Kalinauckas
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