13th April 2018
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads to Rome, Italy, this Saturday for the first European round of the 2017/18 season and for the first-ever Rome ePrix.
BMW works driver Tom Blomqvist returns to the cockpit of his MS&AD Andretti car this Saturday after a month-long break from the championship. During his time away, Blomqvist jumped behind the wheel of the BMW iFE.18 in Maisach, Germany, last Tuesday and completed the roll-out for the ‘Gen2’ car, which BMW will be using for the works entry in Season 5 of Formula E.
“After the pretty hectic first couple of races, it feels like we’ve been on a big break. This week I had the privilege of driving the first metres in the new BMW iFE.18 – a great moment for everyone involved in this project.”
Despite taking points on his debut race with MS&AD Andretti, Tom has just missed out on points in the past two races but showed there is excellent pace in the Andretti ATEC-003 and has proven the car’s efficiency at race pace.
“I am definitely very keen to be back behind the wheel of the MS&AD Andretti car. We’ve been trying to keep our heads down and improve on all the weaknesses that we’ve uncovered over the first couple of races. We have proven at times that the car and the package have been able to get some results but it has been a bit inconsistent so we are trying to understand all of that and learn from the areas we haven’t been as good in.”
As the Rome ePrix is the first electric motor race ever held in the city, the brand-new circuit will be a trial for the team and driver. Most of the turns are tight, but the fast, sweeping turns three/four and seven/eight will challenge drivers and their set up. The race will start on the tree-lined Via Cristoforo Columbo, speed around the towering Obelisco di Marconi and sweep past the iconic Colosseo Quadrato, on the second longest track of the season: 2.84km. Tom will be looking to return to the points paying positions this weekend at this brand-new event in Rome, a situation Tom feels may play into hands.
“I think it’s going to be a big weekend with the inaugural Rome ePrix. It’s such a historical city, which I think is big for us, for Formula E and for everyone. I’m really looking forward to racing on the streets of Rome. This should help us put together a decent weekend in Rome. This is a new track for everyone which is good for me because I haven’t been to any of the tracks.”
Saturday’s track action gets underway with free practice 1 and 2 at 08:00 (Local) and 10:30 respectively. Qualifying follows at 12:00, with the super pole shootout starting at 12:45. The Rome ePrix gets started at 16:00.