The Formula E Championship returns to Europe this weekend with the Rome E-Prix and Envision Virgin Racing are ready for a big race.
The race on Saturday April 13th will be the second the Italian capital has hosted in the all-electric series. Envision Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird won last year’s inaugural race and he’s hoping to repeat that result this weekend.
“Winning last year was such an amazing feeling, especially in front of such passionate motorsport fans. Of course, it would be great to do the same again this year, but we’ll just have to see,” he said. “The competition is seriously high this season with just 10 points currently separating the top six drivers, and all six races so far have seen a different winner, so it’s really open. As always, qualifying will be key, but if we can get this right and start from the front then we have the car and the team to deliver.”
Bird is currently in fourth position in the driver’s championship, while his teammate Robin Frijns is in eighth. Together they’ve put the team at the top of the team’s championship as the season reaches its halfway point.
“The Rome E-Prix will be a new event for me and it’s great to be racing in such an iconic city, and in a country with such fantastic motorsport heritage,” Frijns said. “The track looks challenging from our work in the simulator, and pretty bumpy in some of the braking areas, plus it’s one of the longest we race on and one of the largest elevation changes there is. For sure, it’s going to be an interesting race and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Taking place on the specially-built 2.87km Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR, the Rome E-Prix is the first of five European races. The track features 21 turns and drivers are expected to reach speeds of more than 200kph.
Sylvain Filippi, Envision Virgin Racing’s managing director, commented: “The team is enjoying its strongest season to date, so we head to Rome full of confidence. It’s a track we’ve previously performed well at with the win last year, and we know we have a quick car and two great drivers, so there’s no reason why we can’t come away with another good result.”
UK fans can follow the team’s progress on the BBC’s live events platform – via the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and the BBC red button. Coverage will also be available on BT Sport and the Envision Virgin Racing website and social media channels.