Gladiators in the Eternal City: Tech forecast for Rome E-Prix
Posted on: 12 April, 2018
The second half of the season resumes this weekend and what a season it is turning out to be. Currently second in the table, we are keen to close the gap at the top of the standings in Rome. Ahead of the race, Chief Engineer Vinit Patel talks about the challenges and race conditions for the Rome E-Prix.
As the European leg of the championship starts, it’s good to be closer to home for obvious reasons, and going to Rome is really exciting. We’re quite excited by how they’ve designed this track, it’s in a very unique part of the city with some wide boulevards, undulation changes, and even going under a highway and back up! We’re looking forward to the challenge.
We can’t hide our disappointment at how our last 2 races turned out especially with reliability issues because this is normally our strength. We’ve got some new things in place to make our car more robust for the rest of the season so we’re being as positive as possible. We were able to score some points and recover from some poor qualifying positions after both our drivers made unfortunate errors in qualifying so that’s not too bad. There is still a gap to be closed to Techeetah for both Felix and Mahindra.
However, halfway through the season I’m very proud to say that we’re second in the championship and I’m sure the rest of the team and everyone in the sport will see us as a contender for the outright win in 6 races' time!
The Rome track is quite long and has a few high speed corners and flat out sections and will definitely be cooler than the previous few races, but we’re still evaluating our simulations to see how thermally limited we will be. We tend to have more full course yellows and safety cars at city circuits and that throws the thermal game back into contention. As you race with faster pace needing to coast less you thermally limit yourself more. It’s not something that can be dismissed but everyone in the paddock will be well aware of this.
The track surface itself is going to be very much like Santiago, low and changeable grip all over the place, surface features like camber in the crown of the road, and much less grip when compared to a place like Punta which was relatively high grip and smooth. It’s going to be challenging, and hard on the car, but more in line with our standards.
It’s going to be challenging, and hard on the car, but more in line with our standards.
With the fabulous food and hospitality that beckons, the high to slow speed and technical sections, the underpass, the chicane near the pit entry and of course that tight hairpin, we feel that it’s a track that’s going to really suit our car, drivers, and appetites. Given that it should be a nice and wide track at most points, it should make for quite the entertaining race!
Don’t forget to catch us in action in the Rome E-Prix on 14 April 2018 at 14:00 UTC.