Rome FE round "a miracle" following extended Italy COVID emergency

Formula E drivers reckon “it’s not short of a miracle” that this weekend’s double-header Rome E-Prix has been organised as Italy extends the state of emergency of in the country.

Rome FE round "a miracle" following extended Italy COVID emergency

Italy is presently seventh on the list of countries in which confirmed cases of the coronavirus are spreading most rapidly and it has also extended its state of emergency until 30 April.

Rome - in the province of Lazio – has recently been eased from a red zone and is now classified as orange, which means a curfew plus travel bans between cities remain in place.

This follows an Easter weekend when the top restriction levels were imposed nationwide.

The Rome E-Prix on a revised circuit layout in the EUR region also marks the first bona fide street track on the Formula E calendar since the Bern E-Prix on 22 June 2019.

All subsequent races have been held at temporary circuits, in parks and at airfields.

Audi driver Lucas di Grassi praised that the race has been able to go ahead, saying: “Congratulations to Formula E and to everybody from Rome that has allowed this race to happen.

“It is not short of a miracle that we are here racing this weekend with all the right protocols and everything.

“It is fundamental that we go back to racing street tracks like we are racing with weekend.”

The Rome E-Prix has four years remaining on its deal with the series to host races and city mayor Virginia Raggi, who is seeking re-election in 2021, is a major proponent of the event.

The Marconi Obelisk

The Marconi Obelisk

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Jaguar Racing driver Sam Bird, who won the inaugural Rome E-Prix in 2018, added: “I want to echo what Lucas said.

“A lot of acknowledgement needs to be to Formula E and to everybody that made this happen.

“It is a bit of a miracle we are here racing in such an iconic city.

“Given the circumstances, it’s amazing.”

Last month, Rome was modified to become a double-header with the next round in Valencia also boosted to two races with the Marrakech E-Prix set to be cancelled for this year.

Formula E has also delayed the announcement of the remainder of the schedule for this season, with the final update now thought to go public at the end of this month.

Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries did repeat di Grassi and Bird’s sentiment, adding that the Rome street circuit was “real” Formula E.

He said: “This is really what Formula E is and is about.

“It’s in the DNA of the championship and we should really be pushing to continue to build these tracks in city centres.

“I am very much looking forward to actually getting the real Formula E experience.”

shares
comments
Jaguar latest manufacturer to commit to Formula E's Gen3 era

Previous article

Jaguar latest manufacturer to commit to Formula E's Gen3 era

Next article

New Dragon FE car now expected to debut in Monaco

New Dragon FE car now expected to debut in Monaco
Load comments
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Plus

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Plus

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Plus

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock

Formula E
May 10, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Plus

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021