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Formula E double-header arrives at Misano Circuit. 

Formula E is set for a double dose of action in Italy this weekend. The series is set to take place at the Misano Circuit, in Rimini, for an exhilarating double-header racing weekend. Get ready for back-to-back races as the championship stages its sixth and seventh rounds following a competitive Tokyo Eprix.

While Formula E has held races in Italy since its inception, this marks the series’ inaugural visit to the Misano circuit, which is a stone’s throw from Imola’s iconic track used in Formula One (Emilia Romagna Grand Prix). 

Past Formula E races in Italy were held at the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR in Rome, known for being the longest circuit on the calendar.

The series continues its thrilling momentum following Maximilian Gunther’s victory for Maserati MSG in Japan, marking his first win of the season.

This means that five different winners, five different teams, and four different powertrains have claimed the top spot in the first five rounds of the series’ tenth season. Formula E spectators can only speculate on who will emerge victorious in the inaugural Misano E-Prix

Track overview

Misano frequently features on the MotoGP and WorldSBK calendars, as well as in endurance and sportscar racing, the Ferrari Challenge, the Formula 1 feeder series Formula 3, and the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters).

The 14-turn track runs to 3.381km clockwise, with infields at Turns 1, 2, 3, and 4 before returning to the track layout down towards what will be Turn 5 and the Turn 7 hairpin. 

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A high-speed straight follows into a sharp left-right at Turns 8 and 9 before another fast sprint around the complex at the back of the circuit before hooking back through Turn 14 onto the home straight. It’s a track that presents massive overtaking opportunities at rapid speeds. 

Aerial view of the Misano circuit, Rimini, Italy. Picture: Supplied

According to Motorsport Guides, the Misano circuit is part of Italy’s Motor Valley, famous for housing many major motorcycle and car manufacturers, including Ducati, Ferrari, Maserati, and Ducati (which competes in MotoGP championships). 

Conditions for Misano are set to be dry throughout the weekend, according to weather reports, creating sunny situations for Formula E. Another high-speed venue, Italy’s circuits have been favourable for Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans, who has experienced significant success as the driver with the most wins in Italy—four. 

2023’s Rome Eprix winner was Andretti’s Jake Dennis, who took a pole position to the chequered flag lead, beating Frenchman Norman Nato in second and British Sam Bird in third. 

The Misano circuit replaces Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR in the Italian leg of the championship, presenting a new opportunity for all eleven teams to vie for victory. 

Hometown Glory

This weekend marks a homecoming for the Maserati manufacturer and its drivers, Maximilian Gunther and Jehan Daruvala. Gunther heads to Italy off the back of his first win of the season back in the Tokyo Eprix. 

Gunther overtook Nissan’s Oliver Rowland on turn three in the 35th and final lap, staving off Rowland to the chequered flag. His teammate, Jehan Daruvala, ended his race in 17th place.  

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“Misano is the first purpose-built circuit we’ll be racing on this season, so it will be a great challenge to adapt ourselves to this style of track.

“The victory in Tokyo has been a great achievement; we feel good about our package, about the way we execute, and [we] look forward to continuing this momentum into the upcoming races here in front of the tifosi,” Guenther said. 

The Misano double-header is a big moment for Maserati MSG. Racing on home soil is a golden opportunity for them to showcase their technological prowess and vie for the championship title.

Maserati MSG head to the first of their two home races in Italy for the Misano E-prix. Picture: Supplied/Formula E

Despite their Tokyo victory, they remain hungry for more success. Maserati’s race package has consistently performed well across various circuits, and they approach Misano with determination.

“Looking at our performance in 2024, there’s a clear trend that indicates that we’ve been competitive at every circuit we’ve visited, and this gives us great confidence because it shows that our package has the performance and capability to be on the pace, regardless of the track or conditions,” said Cyril Blais, Chief Engineer, Maserati MSG Racing.

The championship so far…

Tag Heuer Porsche drivers Anthony Felix Da Costa (left) and Pascal Wehrlein (right) on the circuit for the Tokyo E-prix. Picture: Supplied/Formula E

The Japan E-Prix saw Pascal Wehrlein of Tag Heuer Porsche leading the standings on 63 points following his fourth place finish, ahead of Jaguar TCS Racing’s Nick Cassidy on 61 points and Nissan’s Rowland in third with 54 points. 

In the Manufacturers’ Championship standings, Jaguar leads with 100 points and a 17-point gap over second placed Porsche. 2023 Manufacturers’ champions, Envision Racing, are in eighth place with 41 points, as their drivers have struggled to finish at the front of the grid since the season started.

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Double-header race details

The Misano double-header starts on Friday, April 12, with the first practice session for the rookies and manufacturers’ reserve drivers. 

Active Formula E drivers return to their cars for the second free practice session on April 13, followed by qualifying on the same day at 12 p.m. CAT and the first Misano Eprix starting at 3 p.m. CAT.

The second Misano Eprix will happen on Sunday at the same time (3 p.m. CAT) after qualifying for the second session. 

By Mpho Rantao