Formula E

Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s a long time since we last raced on a proper street circuit”

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Credit: Stephen Reuß

Stoffel Vandoorne says it is exciting to be racing around a true street circuit this weekend in Rome as the FIA Formula E championship takes to the Italian capital for the second round of the season.

The Mercedes-EG Formula E Team driver scored only four points across the two races in Saudi Arabia at the end of February and sits a lowly fifteenth in the championship standings as a result, but the Belgian is ready for the challenge of the Rome ePrix this weekend.

The season-opening Diriyah ePrix and the 2019-20 season closer in Berlin were on makeshift circuits, but Rome offers a much different challenge as it is on true streets of the city.

“I’m really excited to be going back to Rome, not least because it’s a long time since we last raced on a proper street circuit,” said Vandoorne.  

“We’ve obviously had Berlin and Diriyah in the meantime, but they have slightly different characteristics from the real street circuits like Rome.  So, it is even more exciting to be back on this type of track.”

Vandoorne says he has great memories of racing around the streets of Rome, having taken his maiden podium in Formula E there whilst racing with HWA Racelab in the 2018-19 season.

However, he knows this weekend is going to be extremely challenging, with a slightly different track layout and two races to contend with.

“I obviously have great memories from Rome where I scored my first podium in Formula E, and it is one of my favourite tracks,” said the Belgian.  “However, the track layout this year is a little bit different from the way it was in Season 5.

“It’s a very challenging one as well, with a very bumpy surface by the looks of it, but this is what Formula E is all about. You have to master the challenges and the difficult circumstances. The same goes for the format of the weekend.

“We have two very busy days, where all the practice sessions, qualifying and race will be on the same day, on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s going to be another busy one, but after Diriyah it will just be nice to be back in the car and hit the road again.”

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