Although Formula E racing is still very much in its infancy, all the ingredients are quickly coming into place: Rome has just volunteered itself as the first European city to host the electric-only circuit. It's just the second city to enlist for the league following Rio de Janeiro's move in August, but it gives the league a truly international reach as well as a fifth of the 10 urban racetracks it needs for the initial 2014 season. Additional cities are expected in the weeks ahead, and should quickly lead to a solidified race itinerary, the FIA says. Having Rome onside won't get cars to the starting line any sooner, but it may underscore Formula E's advantages in noise and pollution over gas-powered leagues -- when its cars can race around the Colosseum without creating a ruckus, other cities (and spectators) might just follow suit.
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Rome first European city to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship
The Italian city will host a race in 2014
On December 1st, at Campidoglio, the Mayor of Rome – Mr Gianni Alemanno, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) – Mr Jean Todt, Formula E Holdings CEO – Mr Alejandro Agag and Chairman of the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) Mr Angelo Sticchi Damiani, announced that Rome would be the first European city to host the FIA Formula E Championship in 2014.
Formula E Holdings has signed an agreement with the FIA to promote the new Formula E Championship, featuring Formula E cars powered exclusively by electric energy.
Jean Todt, FIA President, said: "It gives me great pleasure to be in Rome for this exciting announcement that the eternal city has expressed its firm interest to host a race in the Formula E 2014 championship calendar. The contrast between this innovative motorsport series and the rich ancient history of Rome is one I am sure the public and the media will be intrigued and enriched by."
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings said: "We are honored to have Rome on board as the first European city to host Formula E, since Italy is renowned for its motorsports passion, expertise and technical innovation. Clean urban mobility and sustainability are a priority for our Championship, and Formula E wants to become a showcase for these advances through an entertaining and all-inclusive spectacle. We are thankful to the Rome City Mayor and authorities for their enthusiastic welcome and support."
Rome becomes the second city in the world to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship following Rio di Janeiro's announcement in August this year. In total, the 2014 inaugural Championship will feature 10 urban races. FEH has already received interest from a large number of cities to host the 'E-Prix'. FEH will soon define the list of venues that will be proposed to the FIA for the first season. Further city announcements are expected in the coming weeks.
In November, McLaren announced it would design and build the powertrain for the first Formula E cars in consortium with Spark Racing Technology (SRT), a new company led by Frederic Vasseur. Formula E has declared itself as an 'open' championship. It has been working to encourage other car designers and constructors to build a Formula E car. The FIA technical regulations, to be published soon for the Championship, will ultimately set the framework for making such submissions possible. To ensure the availability of cars for the first year, FEH has ordered 42 cars from SRT for the 2014 Championship.