Rome will host a Grand Prix race in 2014 with electric-powered Formula 1 racing cars, as part of the new global “Formula E” championship being launched that year.
The four-km route outlined for the race is between Caracalla, Circus Maximus and the Colosseum, and organisers hope the starting point – yet to be finalised – will be from Via delle Terme di Caracalla in the direction of the centre.
The electric cars emit almost zero emissions, are far-less noisy than the current machines and are powered by lithium-iron batteries. The fully-powered car can run for just 25 minutes, meaning drivers must change vehicles roughly half way through the Formula E race. However despite the car’s environmentally-friendly credentials, it is still capable of considerable speed – up to 220km per hour, or 0-60km in three seconds.
Rome is the only Italian city guaranteed for inclusion in the 2014 calendar of the world championship which will see the participation of other international cities such as Paris, London, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro and Miami.
The Rome race will be presented on 1 December by the city’s mayor Gianni Alemanno together with Jean Todt, the president of motorsport’s world governing body Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA); Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, a consortium led by Spanish billionaire Enrique Banuelos; and Brazilian racing driver Lucas Di Grassi.
The Formula E championship in 2014 will involve ten teams and 20 drivers, and is aiming to draw competitors from traditional F1 teams, electric car companies and global brands.