Poleman Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) held onto the lead, fending off Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns in P2 as the pack moved around the 19-turn, 3.385km Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR street circuit in Rome.
Nudged from behind by ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing’s Oliver Rowland hit the barrier on Turn 7, causing cars to back up behind the British driver. Shortly after, Nissan e.dams’ Max Guenther crashed into the barrier on Turn 11, bringing the Porsche Taycan Safety Car out while his stricken race car was recovered.
With 35 minutes left on the clock, racing commenced with Vandoorne out in front leading Frijns and Mercedes-EQ Nyck de Vries. Sandwiched between the Mercedes-EQ drivers, Robin Frijns was fighting for the lead, biding his time to make a move on Vandoorne.
With 29 minutes remaining, DS TECHEETAH’s Antonio Felix da Costa in fourth took ATTACK MODE to use the extra power to close in on the top three.
Down into Turn 4, Frijns made his move on Vandoorne, pulling past the Mercedes driver on the inside of the turn to take the lead. The following lap, both Mercedes drivers took ATTACK MODE – allowing da Costa to move into second – to close in on race leader Frijns.
With his ATTACK MODE used and Vandoorne still in the higher power mode, the Mercedes driver slipped into second behind Frijns.
Despite contending for the lead early on, da Costa continued to slip down the order before a knock from Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis on Turn 4 set him further back behind the British driver and Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans.
Back at the front, Vandoorne and Frijns continued to trade places with Frijns using his ATTACK MODE between Turn 3 and 4 to pass the Belgian driver and hold the Mercedes driver at bay in second.
With 14 minutes left on the clock, Vandoorne blasted past Frijns on the uphill section between Turn 6 and 7 in a beautifully-executed move using ATTACK MODE, to take the lead.
Despite starting in third, de Vries appeared to be struggling, slipping down the order. Back at the front, Jaguar’s Mitch Evans had made his way up from ninth and – using extra power from ATTACK MODE – made a successful move on Vandoorne and Frijns to take the lead.
Evans – a one-time winner in Rome – was clear of the pack, out in front by a comfortable margin. After the Safety Car outing earlier in the race, the race was extended by 5m15s of TAG Heuer Added Time.
After slipping down, Vandoorne used his FANBOOST to climb back up the order, eventually settling behind Evans in second. Now into added time, Evans held firm at the front, followed by Vandoorne and DS TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne who’d made his way into third.
Close together Vergne led Frijns and Mortara in the battle for third. Around the Obelisk, Frijns passed Vergne to take third with less than two minutes of added time left. In a flat-out fight on the final lap, Evans held the lead on Frijns and Vandoorne in third. Round 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place tomorrow in Rome.
MITCH EVANS, JAGUAR TCS RACING, #9 said:
“It is my second win here, I’m feeling great. We have had a tough start to the season to be honest, there has been a lot of work gone in behind the scenes, and the car was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t have asked for anymore. The team has done a great job, I want to say a huge thanks to everyone, let’s hope for the same for the rest of the season.
“I love this city, I love the track, it really suits my driving style and when you have a car like I had today it makes life a lot easier. I couldn’t quite believe it, especially when I was getting the energy, but you have to take it when it comes. I have been on the receiving end of it a couple of times this year, so it was nice to get the pace back. Hopefully this sets the scene for the rest of the Championship.”
ROBIN FRIJNS, ENVISION RACING, #4 said:
“I think I felt strong from the beginning, I had great fun with Stoffel fighting basically the whole race. But then Mitch came and overtook us, so I didn’t have much fun with him, but I am happy I finished P2. Mitch and Jag were too strong for us today. I think we have a good car but we just need to find that edge. I have been finishing in P2 the last four times or whatever! But its time for a victory hopefully tomorrow.”
STOFFEL VANDOORNE, MERCEDES-EQ FORMULA E TEAM, #5 said:
“Yeah it was [a fight], it was a tough race out there – really difficult to manage the strategy – I think we lacked a bit of pace compared to Mitch, he came by, took off and we didn’t see him at all! But I had great fun with Robin, a lot of strategy with the ATTACK Mode trying to overtake each other. It was definitely a big battle out there, got quite heated at some points. But I am happy to finish on the podium today, on a day when things are a bit more difficult. It’s a good consolidation and a good result.”