Formula E Rome preview

April 9, 2018

Formula E Rome preview

April 9, 2018

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship kicks off the second half of its season this weekend from the historic streets of Rome, Italy, for what should be an interesting weekend.

Formula E resumes in Europe for the first time this season, after visits to Asia, Africa, North and South America in the first six races.

The international swing cedes to what will be a crucial four-race, four-city European run of races that will provide a clearer look at the championship picture. After Formula E’s first trip to Rome, return trips to Paris and Berlin follow before the four-race run ends in Zurich in mid-June.

Rome’s 1.76-mile (2.84 km) Circuto Cittadino Dell’EUR features primarily 90-degree turns, although a hairpin, a couple sweepers and chicanes add to the track’s challenge.

Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne enters the weekend with a 30-point lead over Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist and a 33-point lead over DS Virgin’s Sam Bird in the driver’s championship.

Vergne has won twice, finished in the top-five in all six races and scored three pole positions.

Season two champion Sebastien Buemi sits fourth in points, but is 57 points behind Vergne. The Renault e.dams driver will need a run similar to his season three start of five wins from six races if he’s to claw his way back into title contention.

Last season’s champion Lucas di Grassi finally made it onto the podium in the series’ most recent race at Punta del Este, Uruguay. But with only 21 points scored, more than 80 behind Vergne, a title repeat doesn’t look on the cards for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s No. 1 driver.

One driver will have the opportunity to race on home soil. NIO’s Luca Filippi hails from Savigliano, Italy.

He has had a tough first season in the series, with only a single point scored at the Hong Kong season opener.

But buoyed by the support he’ll likely receive from his home fans, he’ll be looking for his best Formula E weekend yet in Rome.

U.S. television coverage from Rome airs Sunday, April 15 on the FOX Sports networks. Qualifying coverage is at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS2, with the race airing one hour later at 11:30 a.m. ET on FS1.

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