Formula E

Hot battles between historic walls: Questions & answers about the Formula E race in Rome 2023

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

Race-Start-EUR-Formula-E-Rome

The title fight of the 2023 Formula E season is entering its final stretch. Four drivers are on the shortlist of candidates for the world championship, with four races remaining. A preliminary decision could be made as early as next weekend at the Rome E-Prix. In our race preview, you can find out what awaits the drivers and teams on the Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR.

After 438 completed racing laps, only four opportunities remain to collect valuable points for the world championship. In particular, Mitch Evans (Jaguar), who narrowly missed out on the title back in 2022, is playing with high stakes: In Rome, he will be desperate to repeat his double-win from last year to close his current 32-point gap to world championship leader Jake Dennis.

The Rome E-Prix promises to be yet another heat race with temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius expected. Both races start in the blazing midday sun at 3 p.m. (CEST) - a factor that will certainly be taken into account in the teams' preparations.

Where exactly do the Formula E races take place in Italy?

Rome has been an integral part of the Formula E racing calendar since 2018, and the "Eternal City" on the banks of the Tiber river looks back on more than 2,000 years of eventful history. During the centuries of the Roman Empire, the metropolis flourished into a world power. Today, cathedrals, expansive piazzas and the world-famous Colosseum adorn the image of the Italian capital. Through the Pope, who resides in the Vatican within Rome, the city is also the religious center of the Catholic Church.

Formula E makes a guest appearance in the EUR district in the south of Rome. EUR, short for "Esposizione Universale di Roma," was built by the fascist regime under Mussolini as part of the planned 1942 World Fair, although the outbreak of World War II meant work could not be completed until the 1960s. Today, EUR is considered an important business district and houses several international companies as well as some ministries of Italy.

Fast Facts | Rome

  • The "Eternal City" has many other nicknames. These include "Caput Mundi" ("Capital of the World"), "City of the Seven Hills," "Holy City," and "City of God."
  • The Spanish Steps are among the most famous sights in Rome. However, they owe their name only to the Spanish embassy, which once stood at the foot of the stairs. They were built by an Italian architect commissioned by a French diplomat.
  • Over 300,000 cats are said to live in Rome. In 1991, a law was passed to protect the city's "biocultural heritage". Since then, it has been forbidden to chase cats away if they live together in a group of at least five animals.
  • Talking about 1991, the same year the "National Pasta Museum" of Italy was opened in Rome. Various rooms there are dedicated to all aspects of the pasta. On display are rolling machines, a millstone and photos of famous people eating pasta.
  • You would have to string together 13,540 spaghetti noodles to circle the course in Rome once. With a little tomato sauce, you could alternatively prepare 147 plates of "Pasta al Pomodoro". Buon appetito!

Who broadcasts the Formula E races in Rome on TV & Livestream?

Once again, Rome will host two races in one weekend: One starts on Saturday, one on Sunday. Special this time, however, is the organization of an additional rookie training session on Friday, in which only drivers who have not yet raced in Formula E will participate (full list of participants).

Session Date Day Start TV/Stream Session Time End TV/Stream Platform
Rookie Training 14.07.2023 Friday - 14:30-15:00 - -
Free Practice 1 14.07.2023 Friday 16:55 17:00-17:30 17:45 e-Formel.de
Free Practice 2 15.07.2023 Saturday 08:05 08:10-08:40 09:05 e-Formel.de
Qualifying 15.07.2023 Saturday 10:30 10:40-11:55 12:10 depends on your country
Race 15.07.2023 Saturday 14:30 15:03-16:00 16:30 depends on your country
Free Practice 3 16.07.2023 Sunday 08:05 08:10-08:40 09:05 e-Formel.de
Qualifying 16.07.2023 Sunday 10:30 10:40-11:55 12:10 depends on your country
Race 17.07.2023 Sunday 14:30 15:03-16:00 16:30 depends on your country

* all times in CEST

The rookie practice is not expected to be broadcast on TV or livestreamed. All other free practice sessions can be followed as usual on the livestream page of e-Formula.news.

What distinguishes the circuit in Rome?

The "Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR" is one of the most popular courses of the year among drivers. In 2021, Formula E extended the track to a total of 3.385 kilometers and revised corners in all sections. This year, the cars will again wind their way past impressive structures, negotiate unusually large elevation changes and a complex mix of fast and slow corners.

The highlights of the lap include the downhill and uphill sections in turns 1/2 and 5/6 respectively, the bumpy braking zone before turn 7, and the arc around the Marconi Obelisk (turn 15). This is also where the Attack Zone remains, where the drivers can unlock their 350 kW mode.

What has happened since the last race in Portland?

In the days immediately following the Portland E-Prix, the Formula E paddock discussed intensely the meaning of "slipstream battles" like the one in the United States. The course in Rome is likely to ensure that driving too slowly to save energy is unlikely to become an issue. And so public interest soon switched to discussion of the driver market for 2024 and the nominal list for rookie training in Italy.

In which group will the drivers go into qualifying?

In Formula E, qualifying takes place in two sections: Group Stage and Knockout Stage. For group qualifying, the driver field is first divided into two halves, with all drivers in the odd championship places (places 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) competing in Group A, and the drivers in the even places competing in Group B.

The four drivers who set the fastest lap times in their group after twelve minutes will then move on to the quarter-finals, where they will duke it out for the best grid positions from then on. For the Rome E-Prix, this results in the following composition for the qualifying groups on Saturday.

How is the weather going to be in Rome?

Europe is currently facing a heat wave - and Italy is no exception. Although weather forecasts are still unreliable several days before the actual event, drivers and teams must prepare for extreme conditions. Temperatures could rise to as high as 38 degrees Celsius and even more in blazing sunshine. So for man and machine, the Rome E-Prix is likely to be a real challenge.

Who are the favorites?

Given their current form and good results from last year, the two Jaguar-powered drivers Nick Cassidy (Envision) and Mitch Evans (Jaguar) are among the favorites in Rome. Both are in the thick of the world championship battle and full of hope of possibly carving out a small advantage over Porsche drivers Jake Dennis (Andretti) and Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) at the Rome E-Prix.

The hot conditions could also play into the cards of Maserati duo Maximilian Günther and Edoardo Mortara. As a part-Italian, a Mortara victory would be a nice punchline, especially since he is still waiting for his first major success in the 2023 season so far. Incidentally, the same is true for Sebastien Buemi, who has lately been overshadowed by his Envision teammate Cassidy.

An important factor in the form analysis before the Rome E-Prix could as well be the "Free Practice 0". There, it is for the rookies on the one hand to gather their own experience. But they are also human sensors that the teams need to make setup decisions. If a rookie gives good car feedback, one or two teams could start the main part of the weekend with a small lead - that could be decisive!

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