- FIA news
Formula E announces Rome raceChris Medland December 1, 2012 « Ferrari had to react to yellow flag conspiracies - Domenicali | HRT missing from 2013 entry list »
The FIA has announced that it will host a Formula E race around the streets of Rome when the championship launches in 2014.
The new championship for electric cars will see races taking place in city centres, with Rio de Janeiro the first confirmed host city which will stage the last race of the opening season in 2014. Rome has been announced as the latest host city today at a press conference at the Campidoglio, after Lucas di Grassi displayed a prototype car on the streets around the Colosseum.
Bernie Ecclestone was keen to take Formula One to Rome but while that move never came to fruition, FIA president Jean Todt has been able to ensure Formula E will include a round in the city. The CEO of Formula E Holdings, Alejandro Agag, says the announcement is important to the championship's success.
"It's great news for the championship," Agag told ESPN exclusively. "This is the first city we're announcing in Europe - we already had one announcement in South America; Rio de Janeiro - and actually we have already lined up another five or six cities to announce, but to make this first announcement is a big moment for us. Especially a city like Rome which is going to deliver an amazing show with all the monuments as a backdrop so we're really very excited."
While Formula One is just attempting to re-establish itself in the United States, Agag said Formula E would have a major presence there from its birth.
"We are announcing two races in the US - in really big cities in the US - and it's really exciting because this championship is really catching a lot of traction in the United States and their passion for electric vehicles and clean mobility is very high there, we are realising."
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1