Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR
Rome's Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR is a temporary circuit created for the Formula E championship, bringing single seat racing to the streets of the Italian capital. One of the longest courses employed by the all-electric racers, the event is the culmination of multiple efforts over the years to bring racing to the area.
The circuit is located within the city's Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) district, which was chosen by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to celebrate fascism in the 1940s. He hoped to create a 'world fair' on the site but, while his ambitions were soon curtailed, the enormous Colosseo Quadrato - which also forms a backdrop to the track - was constructed as a symbol of fascist architecture. Today it is home to an exhibition space and houses the headquarters of luxury fashion label Fendi.
First used in 2018, the circuit was lengthened for its third running in 2021.
In its first incarnation, the circuit began on the Via Cristoforo Colombo, the longest district road in Italy. Among the landmarks it takes in are the Obelisco di Marconi, a marble-concrete structure built as part of the city's hosting of the 1960 Olympic Games, and the Rome Convention Centre (which houses the E-Village on race day).
The the inaugural Rome E-Prix took place on April 14 2018 before a crowd of 45,000 people. The 33-lap race was won by Virgin driver Sam Bird from second on the grid. Lucas di Grassi finished second for Audi and Techeetah driver André Lotterer came third.
In 2019, the second edition of the race provided a bit of a thriller. Andre Lotterer took his first pole position of the season but at the start, José María López caused a huge pileup at the back causing the race to be stopped. The race was restarted under the Safety Car and Lotterer led the way until being overtaken by the Jaguar of Mitch Evans, who went on to take his first win for himself and the team.
There was to be no repeat in 2020 as the race fell victim to the Covid-19 crisis, being one of a number of races cancelled due to the pandemic.
Race returns with new layout
In 2021 the race returned, though with a substantially revised layout designed to reduce the traffic impact of the event by reducing the run down the Via Cristoforo Colombo. The 2.1-mile, 19 turn circuit is the second longest ever to be used by Formule E, designed with input from the drivers committee of Lucas di Grassi, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Oliver Rowland.
"As always, we've created a real challenge – and in my opinion, one of the greatest layouts we've made yet," said Formula E Sporting Director Frederic Espinos. "The first and most important thing was to create a track that caused minimal disruption for the city, so we have had a re-think of the area we're using.
"We've managed to keep the character of Rome in this new layout, with its undulations, lots of elevation changes, surface changes and the on-track excitement we've always seen when visiting the city.
“Rome is quite unique for a street circuit on our calendar as it’s one of a handful with fast, sweeping corners and varying radiuses because of the roads that we have to work with. It’s a circuit that drivers will be able to make a real difference as a result."
The revised layout opens up the use of Rome’s La Nuvola Convention Centre and creates space for more spectators at future events. Restoration of the pavement in Via Murri – an area of historical importance to the city – and road resurfacing around the track will also strengthen Formula E’s legacy in Rome.
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