Steeped in tradition, few locations are more firmly etched into the soul of motor racing than Monaco. Thus fittingly, the Mediterranean principality will host the first European round of the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship this weekend, with Felix Rosenqvist returning to the seat of his Mahindra Racing M3Electro as the most hectic part of the campaign begins.
Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Buenos Aires and Mexico City: it’s been a world-wide baptism for Rosenqvist in Formula E. While the first four races have taken place over a six-month period, however, the Monaco ePrix will mark the start of a busier sequence of events on European soil which also includes imminent visits to Paris and Berlin.
Rosenqvist takes the promise of one podium finish, one pole position and two fastest laps into the Monaco meeting, as he prepares to realise a childhood dream by throwing a single-seater racer around the streets of Monte Carlo.
“The races are coming up fast in Formula E now, and I have a really good feeling heading into the summer,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We had a very positive test in Spain a few weeks ago, and the last race in Mexico City was the best we’ve had in terms of long-run performance. I’ve actually raced in Monaco once before – in karting back in 2006 – but this will be my first time in cars and I’m really excited about it.”
Adding to that excitement is the fact that Rosenqvist will be racing on his home streets this weekend, the Swede currently residing in Monaco.
“Monaco is my hometown now, so it’ll be special to race there this weekend for many reasons,” Rosenqvist concludes. “At least I should be able to find my way to the paddock! We know that we have a strong race package and everyone at Mahindra Racing is working so hard for us to get that first win. If we can do a good job in qualifying and start from the first couple of rows, then I think we have every chance of scoring a very strong result this weekend.”
The Monaco ePrix takes place on a 1.75 km track in the heart of the city, sporting the impressive Hercules port with its iconic fleet of luxury yachts as a striking backdrop. The Formula E venue includes parts of the world-famous Formula 1 circuit.
The race, which gets underway at 16.00 local time on Saturday, will run for 51 laps.
FIA Formula E Championship
Rd. 5 – Monaco ePrix
All times local (GMT+02:00)
Saturday 13 May
Free Practice 1: 08.00-08.45
Qualifying group lottery: 10.00
Free Practice 2: 10.30-11.00
Race: 16.00 (51 laps)
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
FIA Formula E Championship
After 4/12 races
1: Sébastien Buemi (SUI), 76 p.
2: Lucas di Grassi (BRA), 71 p.
3: Nicolas Prost (FRA), 46 p.
4: Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), 40 p.
5: Sam Bird (GBR), 33 p.
6: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 20 p.