Rome poised to join Formula E calendar

Rome poised to join Formula E calendar
By AutoSport

20/04/2017 at 18:17Updated

Rome is poised to join the Formula E calendar for next season after the local authority cleared a major hurdle.

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The Italian capital's local assembly agreed unanimously on Thursday to approve the permits to host a race in the residential and business district EUR.

This included the consideration of a track Formula E has already conducted a feasibility study for.

Formula E stakeholders need to discuss the addition of the race to the schedule before it is made official, and the track would need FIA homologation, but the hope is a Rome ePrix will be on the 2017/18 calendar.

A race in Rome has been sought after for a long time - it was named on the inaugural 2014/15 Formula E schedule as early as 2012.

It was launched with then-development driver Lucas di Grassi driving the Formulec-built Formula E prototype on roads surrounding the Colosseum.

The approval from the city is valid for five years.

Series CEO Alejandro Agag said: "The prospect of Rome hosting an ePrix is an exciting one - especially as that's where the first concept of the original Formula E car ran on the streets past the Colosseum only five years ago.

"We are grateful to the city of Rome to grant the required permits, and now we are one step closer to bringing electric street racing to the capital of Italy - a country with strong culture and deep roots in motorsport.

"We are continuing to assess the possible inclusion of Rome on next year's calendar in spring 2018, and I'm sure Rome can assert itself as a flagship event along with the likes of Hong Kong, Paris and New York."

The original plan for a Rome race fell through after Ignazio Marino became mayor of the city. He was succeeded by Virginia Raggi last June.

There are currently no Italian drivers racing in Formula E. Vitantonio Liuzzi should have contested the 2015/16 season but the Trulli team folded after missing the first two rounds.

Jarno Trulli was the last Italian to start a Formula E race; the 2014/15 season finale in London.