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Formula E

Misano E-Prix preview: ‘Portland but in Italy’

Check out RacingNews365's Misano E-Prix preview ahead of Formula E's inaugural trip to the venue this weekend.

To news overview © Formula E

Following on from the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix, Formula E is heading to yet another brand-new venue this weekend situated on the Adriatic Coast in Italy, for the first ever Misano E-Prix.

Not only is it a second consecutive new circuit on the calendar, it is the first genuine purpose-built venue of Season 10. With this in mind, the peloton will return in potentially its most extreme format yet.

During an exclusive interview with RacingNews365, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz agreed that this weekend could be dubbed as “Portland but in Italy”, to give a taste of what to expect.

A wild double-header will take place this weekend, in what looks set to be two races consisting of a staggering number of overtakes. Being a purpose-built circuit, the drivers can push more to the limit.

Maserati at home

This weekend will be Formula E’s seventh visit to Italy but its first to a city other than Rome, with the Italian capital having held all previous races in the nation.

Rome, of course, was a huge talking point last year following the terrifying multi-car crash caused by Sam Bird crashing on the exit of a blind high-speed corner.

Italy remaining on the calendar is significant for Formula E and particularly for Italian manufacturer Maserati. Maserati has back-to-back home races in Misano and Monaco, with the latter being where the team are based.

After winning in Tokyo, Maserati’s Maximilian Günther will be targeting home glory for the side – he did feature on the podium in Rome last season. Günther is in sensational form and is a contender for victory. The German will get two chances!

			© Andrew Ferraro / Formula E
	© Andrew Ferraro / Formula E

Track layout

Of course, the purpose-build circuit in Misano is the iconic Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, named after the late MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli.

Typically, the venue hosts motorbike racing and is a very fast circuit, which is why Fenestraz expects the peloton to be extreme.

Formula E will not be using the full circuit and will instead be using a modified 3.381 km track consisting of 14 corners. Effectively, the usual first sector will not be used; however, the bulk of the circuit remains the same.

			© Formula E
	© Formula E

Favourites for victory

Given the comparisons which have been made between Portland and Misano, it’s difficult to look past last year’s winner in the United States, Nick Cassidy. Cassidy needs to bounce back after a frustration couple of rounds, a win or two in Italy would do just that.

Reigning world champion Jake Dennis is another driver who should be seriously considered for a win, as he finished on the podium and claimed pole in Portland in 2023. The Porsche powertrain is excellent in the peloton-style races, making it a no-brainer to predict that Dennis will be fighting towards the front.

Championship leader Pascal Wehrlein also cannot be forgotten about, considering not only how well he has performed this season but also because he is one of only two drivers yet to finish outside the points in 2024.

			© Sam Bloxham / Formula E
	© Sam Bloxham / Formula E

Dark horses

An obvious dark horse is Günther who, as mentioned, heads to Maserati’s home race on the back of winning in Tokyo, meaning he has plenty of momentum. The German also finished sixth in Portland last year and had excellent pace in São Paulo, the most recent peloton-style race.

That race was won by Sam Bird, who is another driver to watch closely across the two races in Misano. The same can be said for Nissan’s Oliver Rowland, who has claimed two pole positions and three podiums in the last three races.

Do not count out Antonio Felix da Costa either, the Portuguese driver has grown in confidence over the last couple of rounds and came close to a rostrum in Tokyo. Mitch Evans is another driver to consider, as he narrowly lost victory in São Paulo.

How do the championships look?

Going into the sixth and seventh rounds of Season 10, it is Wehrlein at the top of the drivers' championship on 63 points, just two points ahead of Cassidy in second who lost the lead in Tokyo. A further seven points adrift is Rowland, whilst Dennis and Evans are close behind.

In the teams' championship, Jaguar remain as the side to catch but Porsche are eating into their advantage. Jaguar's lead ahead of Tokyo was 35 points; however, ahead of Misano their lead is now just 17 points. Andretti are in third.

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