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Formula E Rome ePrix I

Rome heatwave will be "challenging" for Formula E drivers and teams

Formula E drivers and teams admit it will be “challenging” to cope with the extreme heat that is likely to plague this weekend’s Rome E-Prix double-header.

Atmosphere

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Large parts of Europe are currently experiencing a heatwave, with air temperatures in Italy expected to hit 42C over the coming days.

This is significantly hotter than on Formula E’s previous visits to the Rome street circuit and means drivers, teams and cars will be pushed to the limits.

“It’s going to be challenging for the drivers, the battery, the teams,” said championship leader and Andretti Autosport driver Jake Dennis.

“It’s something we have to manage I think for sure, but these Gen3 cars have been quite impressive in terms coping with the heat so I can’t say it’s been too much of an issue.

“Gen2 would have been a real disaster here in this heat, so full credit to Williams for producing a battery which can actually cope with this kind of heat without too much of an issue.”

While various precautions will be taken to ensure cars are kept as cool as possible by teams, likely the biggest challenge will be ensuring the Hankook tyres do not rapidly overheat which would significantly limit grip for drivers.

“Definitely it’s very hot, we’re all suffering a bit, for the drivers even worse," said Nissan team principal Tommaso Volpe.

“I would say obviously the grip, the tyre management is always crucial, but I would say with this heat we’re going to have to manage it differently from previous Rome events.”

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Drivers were also set to suffer more than usual due to a ban on ice baths because of a water shortage in the area, but a Formula E spokesperson confirmed that “after consulting teams and the medical team, it was decided given the conditions these are now allowed”.

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“I think for us [drivers] it’s obviously tough, we have a short period during the day where it’s obviously intense, but I think for the teams, engineers, mechanics, everyone involved, it’s hard to be exposed to that heat for most of the day," added Evans.

“From a driving point of view, I think it’s the same for everyone so we’re going to just have to take it on the chin and just deal with it.”

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