Maserati MSG Racing took to the streets of the Italian capital over the weekend at the 2023 Hankook Rome E-Prix double-header, the first time the Italian brand competed at home at the highest level of single-seater motorsport since 1957 - having won three on the spin between 1930-32 in Rome with founder Ernesto Maserati behind the wheel.
To celebrate, Maserati placed three EVs front and centre of an illumination projected onto the exterior of the Palazzo dei Congressi, which is located on the 3.385km Circuito Cittadino dell'EUR.
The GranTurismo Folgore, which leads the charge for the automaker’s road car division, combined with their first all-electric SUV - the Maserati Grecale Folgore - and the Masertati Tipo Folgore GEN3 represent the Trident's electric future.
The images projected from sunset and into the night before Saturday's race included key moments of Maserati’s racing history and included the first racing car to bear the Trident logo - the Tipo 26 - which debuted at the Targa Florio in 1926 as it won first place with Alfieri Maserati at the wheel - culminating Maserati's new era and return to racing in Formula E.
'Nothing's more electrifying than flying the Italian flag on home soil'
“This is our first year in Formula E,” says Giovanni Sgro, head of Maserati Corse. “Italy is our home and we were born on-track. We’re the only Italian manufacturer in Formula E and it’s been an exciting year for us, our first since returning to world class motorsport.
“Formula E is a natural choice for us in terms of credibility on track and heading back to our roots but also in terms of our electric future. By 2025 we will have a fully electric range and by 2030, Maserati will be exclusively electric.
“In Rome we showcased the GranTurismo Folgore. We were inspired by our competition in Formula E and technology transfer is a key part of that inspiration. What we see on track is what our customers and clients will see in our cars. Software has the most immediate impact – we’re able to analyse and tap into it and the insight of our drivers pushing the Tipo Folgore to its limits on the racetrack. It’s a big advantage to be able to count on.
“We wanted to show our past, our heritage as well as our present and future. You can see the progress we’ve made over the century – we started in 1914 and our history is a long one, with multiple championships won. It’s a story of innovation over 110 years of history and we’re excited to see where the next 110 takes us.
“Rome will be a moment we’ll never forget. We all want success and podiums but to be here in our capital city in Italy with the car bearing the Italian flag, is an incredible feeling. There’s no place like home and racing in front of our fans and an Italian crowd is special - we all talk about how electrifying this sport is and there’s nothing more electrifying than that.”
Maximilian Guenther managed to seal a podium at the last for Maserati MSG Racing in Round 13, with a dramatic last corner pass on Sunday's race winner Jake Dennis in the Porsche-powered Avalanche Andretti. That marked the first for the Trident on home soil since its last visit to Italy in 1957, with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio sealing a podium at Monza that year.
Race 1 was marred by a big shunt involving the other Maserati driver, Edoardo Mortara. A rapid rebuild took place overnight to ensure the team would field both cars in Sunday's race, with pace and performance looking good. That quick turnaround proved well worth it, as Mortara secured his best finish of the season with fourth in Round 14 - some achievement off the back of that Saturday crash.
"It’s testament to the championship, with such strong safety procedures and the car itself," said Team Principal James Rossiter. "We were obviously super grateful Edo (Mortara) came out okay – as well as Sam and the rest of the drivers. There’s nothing worse as a racing driver when you’re stationary in the middle of the track on a blind corner.
"There was a lot of damage to the cars but they’re repairable and we’re feeling grateful everyone in the paddock was safe yesterday.
"It was still a lot of work and it took the guys until about 01:30am – it was all hands on deck, it’s a massive process. It was a big challenge but we have an amazing group of people and we did what we had to do to get it done."