Jaguar’s Mitch Evans completed a sensational double victory at the FIA Formula E Rome E-Prix by winning the race on the narrow and challenging streets both on Saturday and Sunday. F1Technical’ Balázs Szabó reports from the Rome E-Prix paddock.
DS Teecheetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne started the second race from pole position after setting a commanding lap in qualifying. The double Formula E champion made a good start to hold off Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis, who got involved in a battle with Porsche driver Andre Lotterer on the first lap.
In the meantime, the battle in the midfield started to get more serious with Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara desperate to pass DS Techeetah racer Antonio Felix da Costa. When the Swiss driver tried to execute a bold overtaking manoeuvre at Turn 4, the Portuguese Formula E champion closed the door.
As a result of the incident, da Costa damaged his the front wing of his own car while Mortara touched the wall and retired from the race due to a suspected driveshaft failure. The Portuguese racer later received a time penalty for closing the door on Mortara.
Your full five minute highlights have arrived from Round 5 in Rome ⚡️— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) April 10, 2022
🇮🇹 2022 #RomeEPrix
The race was interrupted by the Safety Car when home hero Antonio Giovinazzi came to a halt. The Italian driver enjoyed huge support from his fans who showed their passion during the autograph session that took place both on Saturday and Sunday two hours ahead of the race.
However, the former Alfa Romeo Formula One driver was unable to impress during the qualifying sessions and his race ended prematurely when his Dragon Penske car stopped between Turn 8 and 9. The safety car was deployed which closed in the gaps between the drivers.
When the Porsche Taycan was brought in, Evans managed to jump to the front with some nice moves. Two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne was in second place with Porsche’s Andre Lotterer finding himself in P3.
The attack mode was different to Saturday as the FIA mandated a single eight-minute version of the extra power boost. Using his attack mode in the middle of the race, Robin Frijns made his way up the order and snatched the race lead from Evans. The Dutchman’s reign did not last long though as Lotterer took the lead as soon as he activated his own additional power boost.
The Porsche Taycan Safety Car made another appearance in the closing stages of the race when Alexander Sims’ Mahindra stopped at Turn 14 following a spin.
The Race Director Scot Elkins opted to add 5m15s to to the race duration to compensate for the loss sustained during the Safety Car periods. Of the top drivers, only Evans had his attack mode left which he activated with less than eight minutes remaining. The Kiwi managed to make his way up the order, taking over the lead. In the meantime, Vergne passed Lotterer to take P2 with Frijns also overtaking the German, who slipped down to P4.
Bruno Correia made a third appearance with the Safety Car when Nick Cassidy crashed into the wall at Turn 7. With only a single lap remaining from the race, there was no change in the dying minutes of the E-Prix with Evans ending the race victorious following his commanding win on Saturday.
Commenting on his first win of the season, Evans said: "It feels like déjà vu.This is a result of pure graft, hard work. I just want to thank everyone at the team because the last eight weeks have been insane with the amount of work that has gone in. I didn't know if we could manage two - double-headers are tricky to back up - but we showed good quality.
„The race was a carbon copy from yesterday, the car was working perfectly. It was trickier today because of the temperature and the longer ATTACK mode, I almost got caught out with that during the safety car, but a huge thanks to everyone on the team and hopefully this isn't just a one-off but it feels good.
"It has been a big couple of days. It was what we wanted, you dream about that but to try and pull it off is usually quite unrealistic. We are back as a team, I am back towards the top, so it is good times,” the Kiwi concluded.
Round 5 race classification* ⤵️— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) April 10, 2022
It was @mitchevans_ who claimed victory once again on the streets of Rome with some incredible performances across the grid!
🇮🇹 2022 #RomeEPrix
*Provisional, subject to FIA approval. pic.twitter.com/HzplSAuGhs