LONDON: The ROKiT Venturi Racing Team are pinpointing a strong weekend at the penultimate round of the Formula E world championship season in London on Saturday and Sunday.
The UK capital is hosting rounds 12 and 13 before the championship concludes in Berlin in August.
By swapping the former host venue of Battersea Park for the ExCeL, the arena becomes Formula E’s newest track and the 2.252-kilometre long venue boasts a handful of firsts for the championship making it one of the most unique racing circuits in the world.
Susie Wolff, ROKiT team principal, believes the new track will pose a stiff challenge for all the drivers and teams.
“As the penultimate race weekend of the season, the London E-Prix is of crucial importance - scoring well at the ExCeL will be essential to set up August’s finale in Berlin,” she said. “In New York, we saw once again just how fast things can change in Formula E and we still have plenty of work to do to achieve the performances that we know we’re capable of.
“London is going to be very challenging for the drivers, not only due to the varying surface grip levels inside the venue versus outside, but also the height variations of the track especially the down hill section at the start - which I’m sure will make it very interesting for the fans to watch.
“As with any new circuit, completing consistent running throughout practice will be important to establish a performance baseline and hopefully, we can be in the mix and threaten for big points,” she added.
ROKiT Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara, who is currently fourth in the Driver’s Championship standings and nine points behind leader Sam Bird, is hoping to put a bad performance in the previous round in New York behind him.
“New York wasn’t a great weekend for me but I’m looking forward to getting back out on track and I’m excited to race on the ExCeL circuit for the first time,” he said. “As always consistency will be the key during our practice session and I’m preparing myself to face the usual challenges posed by qualifying in Group 1.
“If we can qualify well, I’m confident that we’ll be able to finish well if we focus on our own race, at this late stage in the title fight, scoring points consistently is the most important thing,” he added.
Norman Nato, on the other side of the ROKiT Venturi garage and Formula E rookie, is relishing the chance to test himself against the best on a new circuit.
“Racing on a circuit that is new for everyone should level the playing field and as a rookie, it will hopefully be a big equalizer because I won’t be playing catch up,” he said. “The ExCeL track looks very technical but also very fast and I think it will produce some good racing action for the fans.
“Over the past few races, we have shown that we have the pace as a team and if we’re able to improve in qualifying, I’m confident that we can challenge the top five and score some big points, and I can’t wait to get back into the car and get the weekend underway.”
Featuring 22 corners, the ExCeL circuit is not only the most complex on the Season 7 calendar but also the most technical in the history of Formula E, with no other track featuring this number of turns.