FE | Rome E-Prix 2022 | Exclusive Interview with Stoffel Vandoorne: Rome circuit is “probably my favourite” as “it’s really in the streets”
During the Rome E-Prix, Motorlat.com interviewed in exclusive Mercedes-EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne and talked about several topics, from what he likes about Rome to how it was to have it again as a back-to-back and more.
The Formula E has finally come back to the Eternal City, making it more modern thanks to its electrical power. Motorlat.com had the chance to meet Mercedes-EQ Formula E team driver Stoffel Vandoorne and to have an exclusive interview with him. Among the topics, we had the chance to see what he likes about Rome and if he prefers a back-to-back or a single race and if it feels stressful to come back to racing after a two-month stop, considering that it’s the start of the season yet.
We’re here in Rome, you already told Motorlat.com you like this track. Why is it so special?
“Well, for me is, you know, one of my favourites for sure, probably my favourite actually, for many reasons as it’s you know one of the longest circuits that we have in Formula E and it feels like it’s a proper street circuit as well, you know it’s not like a really intermediate, it’s really in the streets and lot of elevation change, a lot of things going on during the lap so it’s quite challenging to put the lap together so that’s what I like about it.”
For a second, we thought that it could be rainy so we could have had wet races. Would you have liked it or do you prefer the dry ones?
“Probably it’s better dry. I mean, I like the rain a lot, it suits me and something I can do well. I think for racing in Formula E and maybe we spend too much time behind the Safety Car, so I think for a good race it’s better be dry.”
You are coming back to races after a very long stop, almost two months. How is it to come back after this long pause for a back-to-back? Do you think it can be challenging, considering that the new season has just began?
“Nah, I think it will be okay. You know, it feels very long for sure, but once you get back in the car, you’ll never forget about it. So, after you get back on track you feel normal again and now it’s just the part of the season that it is getting off, now we’re Rome, and then Monaco and next a few other races that will be coming up quickly and will be busy until the end of the year now. Finally, it’s good to be back and I’m just looking forward to be racing again.”
Monaco is almost your home race. Are you preparing something special for it?
“Not necessarily, I mean yeah, it’s kind of a home race for many of us, because many of us are living there and it’s just, it’s quite special and strange when you wake up on race day when suddenly all the roads are closed and you have all the roads for yourself to race there so it’s a special feeling and you know, Monaco is a special race everyone wants to win that one, it’s a target for anybody. Let’s see what we can do, last year we didn’t have a good race for Mercedes, so hopefully this year we will be a little bit more competitive.”
Have you changed something in particular to make it better this time?
“At the moment we are focusing on Rome so, I think for us Rome has historically been a good race, I had my first podium, then I had the last year’s pole position and victory so it’s been a good event but there is no guarantee, the competition is very high and lots of things can change but we could be in good shape.”
This back-to-back came quite suddenly. In the beginning it should have been only one race in Rome this season. Do you prefer the energy of a back-to-back or do you think it could have been better to focus on just one event?
“It depends a little bit. I’m quite happy to have a back-to-back now, I think we needed it because we were meant to have a China race in-between and we kind of replace it, we had two races. For example, last year I was happy to have two races, you know, because I had pole in the first race and then we had a crash in Race 1, but then in the second race I managed to win it, so last year it was good to have two races. When you do well in the first race, sometimes it’s nice to only have one race because then you can at least enjoy it a little bit more but if you have two, on the next day, immediately you need to refocus and trying and do it all again.”
Are you confident to try and win it again? Do you think you can do it?
“I believe I definitely can. I feel very confident around this circuit, I know we have a strong car, but we also have to be realistic and realize that the competition is very strong and that they will be there as well. We can’t just assume that we’re going to be good. We just need to work hard and make sure we execute well.”
Last time out in Rome… 🏆🍾☺️ pic.twitter.com/lDaDvIMT2s— Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team (@MercedesEQFE) April 8, 2022
This year you have met an old acquaintance of yours, Antonio Giovinazzi. How is it to have him here as well?
“Well, I mean, it’s nice for him. For sure this must be a special race, you know, as an Italian and to know to have a home race so it’s always a special feeling but yeah, I mean, we haven’t really been racing against each other, you know, with their car, we’re kind of the opposite sides of the grid.”