Formula E Preview: Rome E-Prix
Written by Olly Radley, edited by Umut Yelbaşı
It’s been a while, but Formula E is back! We’ve been treated to a delightful first three rounds in Diriyah and Mexico City and for the second double header of the season, we head to the Italian capital of Rome. The Rome E-Prix has been on the calendar in different variations since 2018, and in its present layout it races around the financial district of Rome. The 19-turn track proves difficult for the drivers, featuring multiple fast and bumpy corners throughout the circuit. We saw these in full effect after Vandoorne’s huge crash over the bumps last season.
There’s been four different winners in the four races held in Rome since 2018, and all four of them are on the grid now in 2022. Jaguar’s Sam Bird and Mitch Evans won the Rome E-Prix in 2018 and ‘19 respectively, and Vergne and Vandoorne shared the wins at the Rome double header last season. Vandoorne has an impeccable record at Rome: the Belgian has finished the three races in third, fourth, and first - a record he’ll want to maintain after an average start to 2022.
The talk of the town last time out in Mexico City was Porsche’s dominant 1-2 victory, with Wehrlein leading teammate Lotterer. The German squad haven’t really shown this kind of front running pace before, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare this weekend in Rome, a track where André Lotterer has seen success in the past.
Techeetah also impressed in Mexico, finishing behind the Porsches in third and fourth. The two-time teams’ champions struggled big time in Diriyah and for a lot of last season. Although that being said, Jean-Eric Vergne took his one and only win last season in Rome. Antonio Felix Da Costa has never even finished in the top five here.
The championship leader, Edoardo Mortara, finished fifth in Mexico, having previously led the race, before getting swamped by both the Porsches and the Techeetahs in the latter stages of the E-Prix. His championship rival and defending champion Nyck De Vries was just behind him in a Mercedes that just didn’t seem to have the pace that weekend, with teammate Vandoorne outside of the points. It’s safe to say the pair will be fighting tooth and nail again this weekend.
Jaguar’s torrid start to the season continued in Mexico and doesn’t seem to be improving. The team didn’t necessarily perform badly in Mexico, but an energy miscalculation kept them from a double-points finish on the final lap. Jaguar finished last season in second place but seem to have lost all of their pace in 2022, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming back anytime soon. Virgin Racing recently announced they’d be powered by Jaguar next season, and there’ll definitely be question marks over the performance of their power unit after the start of this season. Their star driver Robin Frijns made some impressive moves throughout the Mexico E-Prix, but fell off later on. His teammate Nick Cassidy scored his first ever pole position last season in Rome, although the New Zealander has scored only six points so far this season.