Paddock Whispers: News ticker on all important Formula E topics in Rome
Formula E is holding its penultimate event of the 2023 season this weekend in Italy with the Hankook Rome E-Prix. As always, you can find out what is keeping the paddock in Rome busy besides the track action in the latest edition of our popular "Paddock Whispers" series. We update this news ticker regularly throughout the weekend.
>>> Heat warning: Red alert in Rome
[Jul 16 | 13:30] The heat in the Italian capital is expected to become so extreme that authorities have declared a 72-hour red alert. According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, there is an "emergency situation with possible negative effects on the health of healthy and active people". People, especially those at risk "such as the elderly, young children and people with chronic illnesses" are urged to stay at home.
The Italian weather service fears "the most intense heat wave of the summer and one of the most intense ever". The previous heat record in Rome of 40.7 degrees Celsius could even be exceeded. The current temperature at the racetrack is 35 degrees. On Monday it is supposed to be 37, on Tuesday even 39 degrees.
>>> Sacha Fenestraz misses Sunday qualifying
[Jul 16 | 10:35] Nissan driver Sacha Fenestraz is not able to take part in qualifying, a spokesperson of the team confirmed to e-Formula.news. Nissan is still working on an issue and expecting a battery problem. The Frenchman had already had to skip the 3rd free practice session and will therefore have to start the race from the last grid position.
#RomeEPrix: @sachafenestraz will probably not be able to take part in qualifying. The team is still working on his car, which is suspected to have a battery problem. "It doesn't look good," a team spokeswoman confirmed to @eFORMELde just moments ago. #ABBFormulaE #FormulaE— Tobias Wirtz (@tobiw_apex) July 16, 2023
>>> Mass crash: What those involved say
[Jul 16 | 07:55] The big topic in the paddock on Sunday morning is of course the mass crash of the previous day. The main thing is that all the drivers are okay, thanks solely to the high safety standards of the Gen3 cars. Antonio Felix da Costa, for example, believes that the Halo system saved his life.
>>> Miscalculation at Andretti & Nissan
[Jul 16 | 07:30] Sacha Fenestraz and Jake Dennis were both in promising positions for a long time in Saturday's race. But in the end it was not enough for a podium for either of them, because the engineers of the teams miscalculated. Find out what exactly happened in the article by our colleague Tobi Bluhm.
>>> Great joy for Evans, Cassidy & Günther
[Jul 16 | 07:15] One man's joy, another man's sorrow: Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy and Maximilian Günther profited from the calculation errors of their competitors. Find out what the three first-placed drivers had to say after the race in our article.
>>> Spectacular Maserati Lightshow in Rome
[Jul 15 | 15:10] Italian sports car manufacturer Maserati is celebrating its first home Formula race since 1957 with a spectacular lightshow at the Palazzo dei Congress. In addition to the Maserati Tipo Folgore Formula E race car, the manufacturer also displayed and lit up the GranTurismo Folgore and Grecale Folgore electric vehicles.
>>> After Hughes crash: No start despite Porsche spare part
[Jul 15 | 12:45] The shortage of spare parts for the Gen3 cars still doesn't seem to have been completely solved on the penultimate race weekend of the season. Thus, only one spare monocoque per manufacturer is available in Rome. Since Nissan had to swap the survivor cell of Norman Nato after his Friday crash, no monocoque was available for the rebuild of Jake Hughes' McLaren. The Nissan customer team thus received the spare part of another manufacturer, which was determined by lottery.
According to information from our colleagues at ran racing, this was the monocoque from Porsche. However, as the repair cannot be completed in time for the race start, the mechanics are now rebuilding the car for Sunday's race. Jake Hughes is not going to compete in Saturday's race, McLaren confirmed.
>>> Show interlude with wrestler Claudio Castagnoli
[Jul 15 | 12:20] Swiss wrestler Claudio Castagnoli, also known as Cesaro, did a lap with Bruno Correia in the safety car at the Rome E-Prix. In a video posted to Formula E's social media channels, Correia can be seen making fun of Castagnoli for being scared in the car. Castagnoli returns the favor after getting out of the car, as is typical for his profession, with a wrestling performance. But whether his fighting partner in racing overalls and helmet was really Correia? We have our doubts...
>>> Strategic pool management behind the box
[Jul 15 | 10:32] It's hot in Rome, very hot. While we found Lucas di Grassi in flip-flops and shorts and his Mahindra team spraying sunscreen in fountains, ABT is taking the fight against the heat to a new level: Behind the garage, the team from Kempten has built a decent pool.
The team's "pool attendant" takes a highly strategic approach to the undertaking: Water bottles are first frozen in dry ice and then placed in the pool to cool the water down. There is also a sheet stretched over the basin to protect from direct sunlight.
However, there are discussions here and there about a "pool ban" in Rome - due to water shortages in Rome. However, with the fountains bubbling in front of the Media Centre, the city officials doesn't seem to mind...
IT. IS. HOT. ?— Tobi Bluhm (@TobiTweetings) July 15, 2023
The envy of the paddock currently is ABT's cute little paddle pond. Not sure whether a black plane will prevent the water from heating up though. ? #FormulaE #RomeEPrix pic.twitter.com/YGibWBT69D
>>> Norman Nato crashes in FP1
[Jul 14 | 19:30] Nissan driver Norman Nato crashed at the end of free practice 1. As pictures from our photo partner Spacesuit Media show, the Frenchman braked too late in the chicane and subsequently hit the TecPro barrier. Nato was able to exit the vehicle under his own power and left the accident scene on foot.
>>> Teammate culinary diss at Porsche
[14.07. | 17:30] Porsche is continuing its halo joke series in Rome. This time, the two drivers are teasing each other with culinary preferences that, on the other hand, are considered a sin in Italy: For example, it is written on Pascal Wehrlein's halo that his teammate cuts his spaghetti. Antonio Felix da Costa, on the other hand, has it written that Wehrlein likes pineapple pizza.
>>> Daniil Kvyat eyes regular cockpit, but...
[14.07. | 16:00] Ex-Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat could get a regular cockpit at the Chinese-British team Nio 333 next season. According to information from e-Formula.news, however, this would depend on whether the team agreed at the same time that the Russian would have to skip races should there be any scheduling conflicts with the World Endurance Championship (WEC). At the moment, there is one overlap in the race calendars of the two series for 2024: The WEC race in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) will take place at the same time as the Formula E double header in Berlin.
>>> Jake Dennis unveils Rome helmet
[14.07. | 14:45] As is often the case, the Hankook Rome E-Prix features a number of drivers with special helmet designs for the event. Andretti driver Jake Dennis is one of them. In a social media video taken at the Colosseum, he explains his design for the Italian "double-header".
>>> ABT Cupra: Martin Tomczyk on site for the first time
[14.07. | 09:45] ABT Motorsport director and ex-racing driver Martin Tomczyk is at a Formula E race for the first time with the team from Kempten. The 41-year-old is holding a senior position since March within the team he competed for in DTM from 2001 to 2010.
>>> Cassidy switch to Jaguar fixed?
[14.07. | 09:00] The driver carousel keeps spinning: as reported by our colleagues at The Race, Envision driver Nick Cassidy is said to have signed a contract with the Jaguar factory team following his victory at the Portland E-Prix and will succeed Sam Bird. Find out what Bird's options are n our in-depth article on the matter.
>>> Nyck de Vries at Maserati in 2024 instead of Max Günther?
[14.07. | 08:15] Max Günther may have scored the most points for Maserati MSG Racing this season, but he could still lose his place at the end of the season: Nyck de Vries, Formula E world champion in 2022 and subsequently a desired candidate for the Monaco-based team, could dock there next year after his early Formula 1 exit.
>>> Nissan drivers make cherry blossom ice cream
[07/13 | 19:00] The Hankook Rome E-Prix is set to be one of the hottest races in of the year. Nissan drivers Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato have therefore made cherry blossom ice cream in Italy. Cherry blossoms served as inspiration for the livery of Nissan's Gen3 cars.
To the delight of the other Formula E drivers, the two then handed out the ice cream to their colleagues in the pit lane. Apparently, the two themselves were surprised by the huge rush. Thus, in a video from the Nissan customer team McLaren, Robin Frijns and Max Günther can be seen at the ice cream stand next to the Nissan drivers and Jake Hughes.
>>> "Ask Lucas" - New format & more power for eSkootr Championship
[07/13 | 18:10] After it became very quiet about the eSkootr Championship (eSC) following its debut season, there is news now. eSC co-founder and sustainability ambassador Lucas di Grassi responded on Twitter to a question from a Polish colleague, that this year the World Cup will be held as a single event. The e-scooters will have double the power from the first season, di Grassi announced.
>>> New international commentary team in Rome
[13.07. | 17:45] Fans who follow Formula E on the English-language world signal will have to adjust to new voices this weekend: Tom Brooks, the voice of Gran Turismo, is taking on the role of main commentator for the first time. He will be assisted by ABT Cupra reserve driver Kelvin van der Linde, who also took on this role in Jakarta.
>>> Merhi confirmed for rest of season
[13.07. | 16:00] Rowland substitute Roberto Merhi has been confirmed by Mahindra Racing for the remainder of the 2023 season following races in Jakarta and Portland. The Spaniard will thus not only compete in the two races in Rome, but also in the final "double-header" in London.
>>> "ABB Driver of Progress": Wehrlein in the lead
[13.07. | 14:40] He may have lost the overall lead in Portland, but Pascal Wehrlein has regained the lead in the newly introduced "ABB Driver of Progress" standings thanks to ten positions won in the USA. The Porsche driver thus has 58 positions gains over the course of the season. Lucas di Grassi is second with 55 positions, while Antonio Felix da Costa is third with 52. In contrast to the evaluation in our statistics article, only position gains are included in the standings. If a driver loses positions in the race, that race will be scored as 0 for him.