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Formula E

Formula E - Jaguar go for Rome E-Prix hat-trick

Formula E finally returns this weekend after what feels like an eternity. Here's what you need to know ahead of the 2021 Rome E-Prix, taking place on the April 10 and 11.

Formula E got off to an explosive start in Saudi Arabia back in February, but now, two months on, the drivers reconvene in the historic city of Rome for the second race of the season.

While Rome is a familiar destination for fans of FE, the track layout won't be, as we'll be treated to a whole new reconfiguration. The doubleheader will see rounds 3 and 4 take place at the new circuit over the course of two days, around a track that is set to become the second-longest in series history.

Who leads the way so far?

After the first two rounds of the 2021 Formula E season, its Dutchman Nyck De Vries who leads the way in the drivers standings. The Mercedes driver dominated the first race, ahead of a season where the German team is hotly tipped to take home both titles.

However, hot on his heels is the man who took a dramatic victory in the second race of the weekend, Jaguar new boy Sam Bird. Bird won a closely fought battle to maintain his record of winning an E-Prix in every Formula E season so far.

It was also his 10th win in the series, meaning that he has now moved into joint second on the list of all-time E-Prix winners.

What to look out for

With a new track layout, the history books can seemingly provide few clues in terms of who is going to do well in Rome. Nevertheless, what we do know is that the team widely anticipated to be leading the way this weekend is, of course, Mercedes.

The German outfit looked dominant in the first race of the 2021 season, and arguably could have led the way again in the second E-Prix in Saudi. Had it not been for a component failure on a customer car - which forced both Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck De Vries to retire from qualifying - they would have surely been at the sharp end for Round 2 as well.

Among those in the chasing pack will be the DS Techeetah pairing of former champions Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa. The drivers finished third and fourth respectively in the second race of the season, meaning they come into this weekend in solid form.

Robin Frijns of Virgin Racing will also be worth keeping an eye on, as his impressive displays in the opening two rounds arguably should have yielded a race win, as opposed to second place.

Previous Rome E-Prix's

Last time Formula E raced around the streets of Rome, Jaguar's Mitch Evans and Porsche's Andre Lotterer fought tooth-and-nail for the victory in the closing stages - with the Kiwi emerging victorious.

The year before that, it was another current Jaguar driver who stole the win, as Sam Bird drove splendidly well at the 2018 Rome E-Prix for a memorable triumph.

Last year's shortened season, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, meant that there wasn't a Rome E-Prix in 2020.

The new circuit layout

As one of the longest tracks on the calendar, the Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR races around the Obelisco di Marconi, against the backdrop of the iconic Colosseo Quadrato.

The Rome circuit has been reworked for the seventh year of the series. It still features the familiar challenges with plenty of undulations, lots of elevation changes, uneven surfaces and a now-infamous jump. Although, the track now boasts longer and faster straights offering up more opportunities for overtaking.

The grid will be tested when they clash on the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR for the third time in the series history - and the first time using this particular configuration.

How to watch

There are a number of different ways to watch Formula E this season, but it very much depends upon which region of the world you live in.

The weekend gets underway on Saturday morning, with Practice 1 getting started at 08:00 CET (07:00 GMT). Qualifying for Saturday's race then commences at 12:00 CET, before the Round 3's main event at 16:04.

For Round 4 on Sunday, you can catch qualifying at 09:00 CET, ahead of the weekend's second race at 13:04 local.

Click here to find out how you can watch the Rome E-Prix in your respective region.

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