The climate is relaxed. Pascal Wehrlein and Andrè Lotterer, the first and second of the last Formula E ePrix which took place two months ago in Mexico City, arrive at the Eur Media Center in Rome with the electric scooter. “We are highly motivated”, they explain almost in unison. “As before every race”, states Lotterer, with his 40 years the oldest in the electric world championship. “In the end, what counts are the performances and I am happy to compare myself with all these young people. Age, after all, is just a number ”, he concedes with a half smile. The two Germans race for Porsche and are currently third on equal points, 8 points off the top, in the individual standings. The Zuffenhausen team is also third in the constructors’ rankings after celebrating their first victory in Mexico, chased by two seasons. Today and tomorrow they will seek a difficult confirmation in the politically correct world. “Rome is one of the tracks I like best,” says Wehrlein, who was third in the Eternal City last year, when both ePrixes started from behind the Safety Car.
“We are not here with an Olympic spirit,” admits Thomas Laudenbach, head of motorsport at Porsche. For the luxury brand as for the other car manufacturers, Formula E is a technological laboratory through which to gain experience, collect data and develop new measures to be applied to the road range. “I can’t explain the details, but the next Porsches will have an electric motor cooling system borrowed from Formula E”, summarizes the manager. That like Florian Modlinger, the operations manager of the electric championship, was hired a few months ago by the house in Zuffenhausen. Porsche, which blesses the cost cap imposed by Formula E, would not mind, however, greater freedom of intervention in the development of single-seaters. Laudenbach does not comment on the rumors about Porsche’s entry into Formula 1 (the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen group has also given the green light to the similar Audi project), but confirms the commitment to Formula E for at least another two years. A period of time that does not coincide with the advent of the Gen3, the racing cars that will enter service with the next championship, the ninth.
The urban route of the EUR of Rome measures almost 3.8 kilometers and is the longest in the championship. It is extremely busy and has several bumps. A few years ago it was the most popular among pilots in a specific survey. With the Capitoline races, Formula E arrives in Europe, where it stays for about a month with the races in Monte Carlo (April 30) and Berlin (May 14 and 15) before returning at the end of July with the double appointment in London.
In the capital, the headlights are also focused on the Jaguar drivers, Sam Bird and Mitch Evans, both already victorious in the Eternal City, on those of Rokit Venturi, Maserati’s next partner, the Italian Swiss Edoardo Mortara (leading the world championship) and the ‘Italian Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi (former world champion), and on those of DS Techeetah Jean Eric Vergne (twice world champion and first in the city a year ago) and Antono Felix Da Costa (also winner of a zero emissions world championship) , as well as the reigning champion Nyck De Vries and his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne (who had won one of the two ePrix of 2021) with the same Mercedes, a team he leaves at the end of the season.
The “electric marathon” starts at 7 in the morning with free practice, while qualifying is scheduled from 10.40 onwards, with the pole assigned with the new system that includes knockout battles for the best 4 of the two groups of 11. The away shortly after 3 pm Live TV on Mediaset Canale 20, Italia 1, Sportmediaset.it and Sky Sport.