Polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) held the lead, fending off Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns in P2 as the field moved around the 19-turn, 3.385km street circuit of the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR in Rome.
Pushed from behind by ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing’s Oliver Rowland hit the barrier at Turn 7, causing the cars to fall back behind the British driver. Shortly after, Nissan e.dams’ Max Guenther crashed into the barrier at turn 11, taking out the Porsche Taycan Safety Car as his damaged race car was recovered.
With 35 minutes remaining on the clock, the race started with Vandoorne 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 to go, DS TECHEETAH’s Antonio Felix da Costa in fourth took to ATTACK MODE to use the extra power to close in on the top three.
At Turn 4, Frijns made his move on Vandoorne, passing the Mercedes driver on the inside of the corner to take the lead. On the next lap, both Mercedes drivers went into ATTACK MODE, allowing da Costa to move into second place, to close in on race leader Frijns.
With his ATTACK MODE used and Vandoorne still in the highest power mode, the Mercedes driver moved into second behind Frijns.
Despite battling for the lead early on, da Costa continued to drop down the order until a hit by Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis at Turn 4 put him further 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 Turns 3 and 4 to pass the Belgian driver and hold off the Mercedes driver in second.
With 14 minutes remaining on the clock, Vandoorne overtook Frijns on the uphill section between Turns 6 and 7 in a beautifully executed move using ATTACK MODE, to take the lead.
Despite starting third, de Vries seemed to be struggling, falling down the order. Back at the front, Jaguar’s Mitch Evans had broken through from ninth and, using the extra power of ATTACK MODE, made a successful move on Vandoorne and Frijns to take the lead.
Evans, a one-time winner in Rome, was out of the pack, leading by a comfortable margin. After the safety car came out early in the race, the race was extended by 5:15s of TAG Heuer added time.
After slipping, Vandoorne used his FANBOOST to climb back up the order and eventually dropped behind Evans in second. Now in added time, Evans held his own in front, followed by Vandoorne and DS TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne, who had moved up to third place.
Close together, Vergne led Frijns and Mortara in the battle for third place. Around the Obelisk, Frijns overtook Vergne to take third place with less than two minutes of added time.
In an all-out last lap fight, Evans held the lead over 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:
“This is my second win here, I feel great. To be honest we’ve had a rough start to the season, a lot of work has been done behind the scenes and the car was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t have asked for more. The team has done a great job, I want to thank everyone, let’s hope 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 the one I had today it makes life so much easier. I couldn’t believe it, especially when I was getting the energy, but you have to accept it when it comes. I’ve been on the receiving end a couple of times this year, so it was good to get my groove back. Hopefully this sets the stage for the rest of the Championship.”
ROBIN FRIJNS, ENVISION RACING, #4 said:
“I think I felt strong from the start, I had a lot of fun with Stoffel fighting basically the whole race. But then Mitch came and passed us so I didn’t have a lot of fun with him, but I’m happy we finished P2. Mitch and Jag they were too strong for us today. I think we have a good car but we just need to find that advantage. I’ve finished P2 the last four times or whatever! But it’s time for a win hopefully tomorrow.”
STOFFEL VANDOORNE, TEAM MERCEDES-EQ FORMULA E, #5 said:
“Yes it was [a fight], it was a tough race, really tough to manage the strategy, I think we lacked a little bit of pace compared to Mitch, he came, he went and we didn’t see him at all! But I had a lot of fun with Robin, a lot of strategy with ATTACK Mode trying to get ahead of each other. It was definitely a great battle, it got pretty heated at some points. But I’m 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.”