Prince Albert with Princess Charlene watch Venturi Score in the Monaco E-Prix as Mercedes takes the Laurels
The Monaco E-Prix has firmly established itself as a star twin of the Monaco Grand Prix. The E-Prix carries on its shoulders the future of the new electric car generation just as the Grand Prix continues to thrill for all motor racing enthusiasts. Don’t miss the big Grand Prix day on Sunday May 29th. Also known as FE, Formula E is organized under the aegis of the International Automobile Federation. Only single-seaters fitted with an electric motor are permitted.
Of course the E-Prix means we have to get familiar with new racing features such as “Attack Mode” where drivers can suddenly deploy an extra whopping 40 horse-power (30KW). It is a race-winning strategy incurred at great risk requiring the driver to change his line of driving. Nothing less than disastrous loss of position and time or blistering success results. And the E-Prix race length is 45 minutes plus 1 lap instead of the regular Grand Prix 78 laps.
What is major news for the E-Prix in 2022 is that for the first time the race ran on the exact same iconic track as the Grand Prix following the 2021 success at running the race on the GP track with just minor modifications.
The famous Monaco circuit has hosted races around the Principality ever since 1929 and for the first time in the world’s premier electric racing series, the cars are competing on the full layout of the world’s most iconic street circuit. Which means the whirr of electric cars were heard through the famous tunnel and iconic corners including Saint Devote, Casino Square and the Grand Hotel hairpin – nineteen bends in all, and a 3.337 kilometer track. In total, nearly two-thirds of the circuit – exposed the rest of the year to “classic” Monegasque road traffic – had been given new asphalt for the E-Prix.
And what a wonderful public appearance by the Royal Couple and their children in the Prince’s lodge at the race. All the more reason to celebrate with Princess Charlene accompanying Prince Albert for her first public appearance in 2022.
And Monegasques instead of cheering for Charles Leclerc (which they will be doing later this month) have in the E-Prix their home team and e-stars Lucas DiGrassi and Edoardo Mortara at Venturi to cheer for. ROKiT Venturi Racing is 4th in the constructors’ standings, with 78 points, against 94 for the leader, Mercedes-Benz EQ. And Lucas DiGrassi and Edoardo Mortara start the race in 9th and 5th place respectively in the Formula E world championship.”Venturi Formula E”, created and based in Monaco, unfortunately had a disappointing last race, in Rome, the weekend of April 9 and 10, 2022.
ROKiT Venturi Racing has typically always been in the hunt. It has made history with the number of its top 10 finishes and its best Monaco E-Prix finish to date was Felipe Massa who finished on the podium in 2019.
Hello Monaco’s Editor in Chief was there to cheer on the racers including Lucas di Grassi of ROKiT Venturi Racing who enthused: “Monaco is ROKiT Venturi Racing’s home race, it’s the biggest race in Formula E and it’s the most iconic circuit in motorsport. I’m going to be giving it my all to make the team and our supporters proud. So far this season we have shown strong pace in every race and we have the performance to fight for a place on the podium.”
And they are off ….!
It was a strong start for Evans on pole in the Jaguar who held the lead through the race’s first third, setting the pace having kept fellow front-row starter Pascal Wehrlein for Porsche at bay. The other frontrunners kept their ammunition dry saving electricity in the early stages. Wehrlein always looked threatening and Evans was lucky to shake him off on one potential attack at the chicane.
When a number of drivers elected to expend their first “attack mode” the race came up for grabs. Jean-Eric Vergne for DS-Techeetah was the first among the front runners to take the 250kW power mode.
Thus, the DS Techeetah was in position to assume the lead but Wehrlein’s Porsche then moved past him. Pole-sitter Evans began to struggle compared to the competition, now disadvantaged with respect to energy available and lost his footing to Vandoorne, who had “attack mode” in his pocket. Meanwhile Wehrlein took the lead from Vergne, who then suffered badly in his next attack mode attempt – his wide line at Casino Square letting Vandoorne and Evans pass. Wehrlein then had his own problems his slowing Porsche peeling off into the service road.
Vandoorne in the Mercedes was able to to pick up attack mode with no loss in position on lap 19 when Lotterer’s Porsche headed into the barrier prompting the arrival of the safety car.
With the race resuming on lap 21, Soffel Vandoorne’s Mercedes hardly had to look back and, although Evans in the Jaguar was able reduce the gap of three seconds, Vandoorne crossed the line to claim victory – and the lead in the championship. Evans overcame his earlier energy issues to build a two-second lead over Vergne and take a satisfying second-place finish.
Vergne completed the podium following his earlier stint in the lead.
Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi who was looking promising for a place in the Top Five finishers was eventually undone by Antonio Felix da Costa employing his second “Attack Mode”. Nevertheless Lucas arrived an impressive 6th earning an important 8 points increasing Venturi’s extraordinary record of top ten finishes – and something for Monegasques and HelloMonaco to celebrate. Edoardo Mortara was also on course for points before a problem forced the Venturi driver to pit and retire from the race.
1: Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes EQ
2: Mitch Evans
Jaguar TCS Racing
6: Lucas Di Grassi
ROKiT Venturi Racing
All that left Stoffel Vandoorne on the top of the podium with Monaco’s Charles Leclerc looking on. Stoffel is six points clear atop the Drivers’ standings, and Mercedes-EQ 15 points ahead of DS Techeetah in the Teams’ running.
Big new names are lining up for Monaco’s E-Зrix in 2023 if recently published developments come to full fruition. The Maserati trident emblem is in the press as poised to run from Venturi’s base in Monaco.
Venturi’s competitiveness, its productive relationship and its location close to Italy were among the key advantages that appear to have given the potential for this deal with Maserati.