FIA Formula E: Rome to host next two races of 2020-21 season, live on the BBC

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport

The 2020-21 Formula E season moves on to Rome this weekend with two races in the Italian capital - and you can watch the action live on the BBC.

After a double-header in Saudi Arabia in February to begin the campaign, the third race will be staged on Saturday, followed by the fourth on Sunday.

Dutch driver Nyck de Vries leads the championship, while Britain's Sam Bird, who won the second race, is second.

Bird, who now drives for Jaguar Racing, won in Rome for Virgin Racing in 2018.

"Both my team-mate Mitch Evans and I have won in Rome in previous seasons and everyone at Jaguar Racing is working hard to achieve more success," said Bird, the only driver to have won a race in every Formula E campaign.

"It was fantastic to get my first win for Jaguar and I was a bit emotional.

"It was a big move and a big step moving away from Envision Virgin Racing to join Jaguar Racing [at the end of last season], but they've welcomed me with open arms and taught me new things - I'm thrilled to deliver this win."

The all-electric races feature 24 drivers from 12 teams and there have been five different champions in six seasons, with De Vries becoming the 18th different race winner when he won the first E-Prix of the year.

Saturday's race will be shown live on BBC Two, the BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website from 14:45 BST, while Sunday's race will be broadcast on Red Button, iPlayer, and the BBC Sport website from 11:30.

Coverage of the qualifying sessions will also be on the BBC digital platforms from 10:45 on Saturday and 07:45 on Sunday.

'A bit more of a dramatic ending than I was hoping'

There are seven British drivers in Formula E this season and Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn will be able to take part in Rome after being involved in a dramatic crash in Saudi Arabia when, after colliding with Evans, his car went airborne, flipped upside down and slid along the track.

"It was a little bit more of a dramatic ending than I was hoping I would have, but I'm 100% fine, no injuries at all," said Lynn.

"I would like to say a big thank you to my team Mahindra, [governing body] the FIA and Formula E for making sure the car I'm driving is extremely safe.

"It's now about getting ready for Rome and we want to maximise this really fast Mahindra car we've been given and am looking forward to getting going again."

This will be the third year Formula E has raced on the streets of Rome, although it will be behind closed doors and the 19-turn 3.385km track, which has been altered, becomes the second longest circuit in the history of the series.

How they stand in the championship after two races

  1. Nick de Vries (Netherlands, Mercedes-EQ) 32 points
  2. Sam Bird (Great Britain, Jaguar Racing) 25 points
  3. Robin Frijns (Netherlands, Envision Virgin Racing) 22 points
  4. Edoardo Mortara (Switzerland, Rokit Venturi Racing) 18 points
  5. Antonio Felix da Costa (Portugal, DS Techeetah) 15 points
  6. Mitch Evans (New Zealand, Jaguar Racing) 15 points

Where will the other races be held in 2021?

The full 2021 calendar is still to be completed, but after the two races in Italy, another two will be held in Valencia, Spain (24 and 25 April), with scheduled events in Monaco (8 May), Marrakesh, (22 May), and two in Santiago, Chile (5 and 6 June), with organisers hoping for additional races.

Once again, fans will be able to help their favourite driver with 'fanboost' as drivers benefit from a boost of power during the race if they are one of five who get the most votes.

Also, 'attack mode' brings a unique tactical aspect to the racing as each driver must drive over sensors to gain a power advantage for a few laps and this can prove the difference between victory or failure.

How to follow live on the BBC

This is the third Formula E season to be shown across BBC TV and online services, including Red Button, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

Qualifying for Saturday's race will be on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website from 10:45-12:15 BST, with live coverage of the E-Prix on BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer and the website from 14:45-16:15.

On Sunday, qualifying will be held from 07:45-09:15 and shown on iPlayer, Red Button and the website, with the race on the same platforms from 11:30-13:30.

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