Rome To Host Green Grand Prix
words by Carol King
The streets and landmarks of Rome will be the venue for a race in the new Formula E Championship in 2014.
Launched by the motorsport’s governing body Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the Formula E Championship features Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. The race will be part of the first-ever ‘green’ grand prix.
Participating manufacturers will design and build their own racing cars. McLaren won the contract to provide the motor, transmission and electronics that all of the cars will use.
FIA president Jean Todt said: “It gives me great pleasure... that the eternal city has expressed its firm interest to host a race in the Formula E 2014 championship calendar. The contrast between this innovative motorsport series and the rich ancient history of Rome is one I am sure the public and the media will be intrigued and enriched by.”
The 2014 Formula E Championship will feature races in circuits in the world’s leading cities, around their main landmarks. Rome becomes the second city in the world to welcome the championship following Rio di Janeiro’s announcement in August 2012. The aim is for a grid of 10 teams and 20 drivers.
The race in Rome is likely to be quieter than a conventional Formula One event because the spectators will not hear the vroom sound from car exhausts. But there may be other, new exciting moments because the all-electric, lithium-batteries batteries in the innovative racing cars are likely to run down quickly, so when a driver goes into the pits they will not just change tyres, he could even change the whole car.
It is hoped that motorsport’s adoption of environmentally-friendly technologies will help promote and improve electric cars because of the involvement of racing-car manufacturers in their research and development.