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Rome Friday Notebook

Sam Smith’s notebook from before race day at the Formula E Rome E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

***Teams will head straight from Rome on Sunday to the second manufacturer group test for the next second-generation car at Calafat next week. The test will have a similar format to the Monteblanco test last month with running on Tuesday and Thursday either side of a non-running working day on Wednesday.

***NIO has confirmed to e-racing365 that it will debut its Season Five car at the Calafat test. The Chinese team elected to skip the Monteblanco test but will utilize both days on its new car with further details on the new package expected after the runs.

***Audi and DS were the leaders in completing the most mileage at Monteblanco with Audi completing at least one race distance simulation.

***The new Michelin tires which were initially said by some drivers to be very similar to the existing product has been contradicted by some engineers in the paddock. “[The tires] have a little more grip and it’s more of a traditional race tire with a softer compound so I think there will be more degradation in the future,” one leading engineer told e-racing365.

***The tire is also predicted to be better in qualifying with more initial peak in performance. At present the drivers have to be careful not to overheat the rubber in qualifying. Some engineers and team principals are concerned that this will eradicate the unpredictability of the qualifying and Super Pole sessions and open the possibility for more structured grids in terms of order.

***Mitch Evans will get his first taste of the new car at Calafat next week. The Kiwi will conduct both running days for Panasonic Jaguar Racing.

***Mahindra will have both Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld at hand for the test. The team’s occasional test driver Sam Dejonghe was on site in Rome this week and may conduct some of the testing with the new car later this year.

***Among the VIP guests at the Rome E-Prix tomorrow will be Italian soccer legend Francesco Totti and award-winning actor Sienna Miller as well as Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella.

***Significant guests at the track today included former Le Mans winners Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro, as well as Luigi di Maio, leader of the Italian Five Star Movement political party.

***Gian Paolo Dallara made a rare public appearance at the track. The 81-year-old is the founder and owner of the Dallara Automobili S.p.A. design and manufacturing giant which has built all of the Formula E chassis since the series’ inception.

***The FIA Rome Smart Cities forum took place today with key note speakers including FIA President Jean Todt, Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi and Angelo Sticchi Damiani, President of the Italian federation ASI. Among the subjects covered in the presentations was how Formula E technology is assisting in the challenges and opportunities in urban mobility.

***The Rome E-Prix marks Jaguar Racing’s title partner Panasonic’s 100th anniversary and bespoke ‘lightbulb’ 100th anniversary logos (below) adorn the Jaguar I-TYPE IIs of Nelson Piquet and Mitch Evans this weekend.

***Nelson Piquet Jr. has received a suspended three-place grid penalty for completing more than six laps in shakedown earlier. The Jaguar driver will be forced to serve the penalty if this happens again before the end of the season.

***Free Practice 1 and 2 will be streamed live on the series’ Facebook page and YouTube channel with English commentary and no geographical restrictions, as was shakedown this afternoon.

***FP1 will get underway at 8 a.m. local time tomorrow ahead of FP2 at 10:30 a.m. and qualifying at 12 p.m. The inaugural Rome E-Prix will take the green flag shortly after 4 p.m.

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report

Photo: Jaguar

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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