The three champions of Formula E were joined by the newest addition on the grid, for a scenic drive on the streets of Rome to launch the inaugural race in the Italian capital on April 14.
Reigning FIA Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi drove in formation alongside Sebastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr. and newly-signed NIO Formula E driver Luca Filippi through the Eternal City – making a pit-stop at Campidoglio, continuing past the iconic Colosseum and towards the Roma Convention Center La Nuvola in the contemporary district of EUR where the race will be held.
The four fully-electric Formula E cars made a grand entrance inside La Nuvola – pulling up to their designated parking spots in front of a large audience, including Founder & CEO of Formula E Alejandro Agag, Major of Rome Virginia Raggi, President of ACI Angelo Sticchi Damiani and EUR SpA Chairman Roberto Diacetti.
Along with images being relayed of the street demonstration, the location and circuit configuration was unveiled for the first time – with Rome featuring the second longest track on the calendar, behind only Marrakesh.
The Circuto Cittadino dell’EUR consists of 21 turns and is 2.86km in length – with the cars lining-up on the starting-grid on Via Cristoforo Colombo and navigating their way around the Obelisco di Marconi against the backdrop of Colosseo Quadrato – subject to FIA track homologation.
Fans across Italy will be able to follow every race live and free-to-air on Mediaset, as the partnership with the new Italian broadcaster of the FIA Formula E Championship was announced today.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “I’m excited to be here today to present the first-ever E-Prix in Rome – for a spectacular event that will engage and entertain the Roman citizens, as well as create a number of benefits for the city. Seeing and hearing the Formula E cars on the streets of a place like Rome, for me will be a truly unforgettable experience. The circuit looks long and challenging for the drivers – I’d thank everyone who made it happen, bringing Formula E to the Eternal City. This demonstrates the unity of intent to promote alternative and clean energy solutions, speeding-up the transition thanks to the developments and innovations that characterise our series.”
Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome, added: “Rome is a key protagonist in the international landscape with EUR setting the scene for the first Formula E race in Italy. The future means sustainable mobility, innovation and above all respect for the environment. With this event, Rome will benefit from a positive economic impact as other major cities in Europe and around the world have experienced. Formula E will bring investments and benefits to the city with its legacy programme, such as new streets and electric charging stations. Our desire is to see more and more vehicles powered by clean energy circulating in Rome, because for our administration – sustainable mobility and safeguarding the environment are extremely important objectives.”
Angelo Sticchi Damiani, President ACI, explained: “I’m really very pleased. Finally, ACI’s commitment is crowned since our support for Formula E in 2012 – and its intention to host an E-Prix in Rome. We’re working with and for motorists on new forms of mobility, bringing the example of technological progress in the heart of Rome as a formidable opportunity to accelerate sustainable mobility and innovation. Such an important result is due to the positive convergence between the will of the Italian government, especially thanks to Minister Luca Lotti, the availability of the city with the Mayor of Rome and the driving force of the FIA chaired by Jean Todt.”
Roberto Diacetti, EUR SpA Chairman, stated: “In recent years, there have been many attempts to include Rome among the world’s automobile capitals, and today we’ve finally managed to determine the right conditions that will bring the great show of electric cars on the city’s EUR circuit – created among the masterpieces of rationalist architecture and the contemporary spaces of the Roma Convention Center, La Nuvola, which is already an icon for Rome. It’s a personal satisfaction and a team result. A world-class showcase for our congressional assets, in particular La Nuvola and Palazzo dei Congressi, as they will also support the logistics of the event and will benefit from an extraordinary promotional engine. A confirmation of the intentions of the EUR district to host the E-Prix, which on the eve of 80 years from laying the first stone, is probably the best way to celebrate what is the most contemporary and international area in Rome.”