Rome Added as Second City in Formula E’s Inaugural 2014 Season

Posted on December 4, 2012 11:25 AM by Rob Williams

A second locale for the inaugural all-electric Formula E Championship in 2014 has finally been announced: Rome. Alongside the announcement of the Championship itself this past August, Rio di Janeiro was announced as the first location – leaving us with 8 more to to discover over the course of the next month or so.

Unlike Formula 1, Formula E races are restricted to street circuits, making some races such as Albert Park in Australia or Monte Carlo in Monaco likely contenders. There doesn’t seem to be an official list of cities that have applied for consideration, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t see Germany and the UK also appear on the final list. Could we also see the US? It’d be nice – especially given the semi-heightened awareness of Formula racing thanks to the Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix held in Austin last month.

Formula E - Rome

We’re very much in the early stages of Formula E, where many of the rules don’t even seem to be entirely clear. However, it is evident that many things will be strikingly different – and we’re not just talking about moving from gas-guzzlers to all-electric engines. Formula E Holdings, the overlord of Formula E, itself purchased 42 McLaren-infused “Spark” cars that will be distributed to the teams – 4 per, with the other two to be used for other activities. Teams will however be able to build their own cars, adhering to the FEH’s stringent guidelines, which we’ll likely see occur if the Championship becomes successful.

While few specifics are known at this point, what I do know is that Formula E is going to be interesting for a variety of reasons. Noise-level sure sits near the top of the list!

  • JD Kane

    I’m a little ambivalent about this, to be honest.

    On the one hand, I’m a nut for good auto racing. I love the action, the skill level of the drivers, the incredible engineering standards, of high-level international motorsports. The locales where the races take place (especially when it’s an international racing series) is also a draw. It’ll be interesting what Formula E can deliver along these fronts.

    On the other hand, a big part of the allure of auto racing is not just the sights of the cars, but the sounds they make as well. I’m one of those people who thinks and feels that there are few sounds as musical as a normally-aspirated (relatively) small-displacement V12 going up and down its rev range. Electric cars most likely won’t have this part of the recipe.

    As a technical challenge, though, Formula E promises to be very interesting. I’m keen to see it take root and maybe grow into something viable.

    • Rob Williams

      I’m with you. If you haven’t seen any videos shot with the test car yet, I recommend you check them out:

      Honestly, the sound is nothing short of brutal. I’m not sure if it’s just the microphone making it sound worse or what, but I could not endure listening to THAT for an entire race.

      Aside from that, I’m looking forward to seeing where the league goes. I’m iffy about it, but hard to discredit it so early in the game.

  • Jamie Fletcher

    Formula E is long overdue. The advances made as a result of motorsport has helped drive the technology found in consumer cars. Things like turbos, superchargers, aerodynamics, disc brakes, materials used, tire treads – it all trickles down. Take all that research capacity and point it towards electric vehicles, who knows what will come of it.

    • Rob Williams

      Yup, that’s for sure. Electric vehicles are going to be a big part of our future, so any way to speed up the progression is fine by me.

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