Rome E-Prix – Motorcycle racing legend Max Biaggi described the Formula E car as “special” and said that it exceeded his expectations.
Biaggi, who won two World Superbike championships in 2010 and 2012 and battled Valentino Rossi for MotoGP titles in the early 2000s, drove the Spark-Renault SRT-01e demo car ahead of Saturday’s Rome E-Prix.
“It was cool,” he said, “The feeling I got is really special because you go around this track, there is no permanent track, so it’s a rough track and up and down, bumping.
“When you use the brake, you feel the car wants to understeer, then you lock the front tyre. But the power is good. I didn’t expect so much power, because without sound you just feel the push and this makes you think ‘Am I going fast?’ and then you see the wall, and it tells you you’re going fast!
“It’s very special. It’s like going through a tunnel, because of the walls on the side. You feel the speed, you don’t hear the sound but the speed is there.”
Rome will become the 18th different city to host a Formula E race on Saturday, with the 2.86km layout receiving praise from the drivers.
“[The circuit] is not bad, I was expecting something more dramatic, remembering the track that was around the city. But this one is well-made,” Biaggi said.
“There’s some bumps, of course. The tyre is of course not a slick tyre, the one I’m used to, but you’ve still got good grip. I was thinking maybe dirty track, but the grip is not bad.”