His Holiness Pope Francis welcomed Formula E drivers to the Eternal City for the first-ever E-Prix in Rome on April 14.

Pope Francis welcomed the drivers competing in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship to his residence in Santa Marta ahead of the first-ever E-Prix on the streets of Rome. Alongside Founder & CEO of Formula E Alejandro Agag – as well as Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) President Angelo Sticchi Damiani – the drivers, team representatives and the official championship car were given a private Apostolic Blessing before attending the papal audience.

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Actress Sienna Miller also brought some additional stardust to this historic day in Rome. The Hollywood star added her name to the roster of A-listers attending Formula E races this season after Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom celebrated Bloom’s 40th at the Marrakesh E-Prix and Kylie Minogue joined the party in Santiago.

Miller was taken for a spin around the race track at top speed in the BMW i8 Qualcomm safety car by Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

Miller wasn’t the only celeb in attendance, there was royalty too – the Duchess of York and Prince Albert of Monaco also attended alongside actress Michelle Yeoh and Tess Daly.

The 36-year-old soaked in the festival atmosphere in the motorsport mad capital of Italy as she chatted with teams, drivers and fans at the track and insisted the unique racing on the city streets had left her a Formula E convert.

“This is the first time that I’ve ever been at a Formula E event and it has been really exciting. It’s great to see cars racing in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and fantastic that something so fun can also be helping to make a difference to the world we live in, said Miller.

Celebrities were given a tour of the Venturi Formula E garage alongside Prince Albert where they met with Venturi drivers Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel to learn about the cars and the importance of the technology. 

Formula E is more than just a race to be the best – it’s a competitive platform to test and develop road relevant technologies, helping refine the design and functionality of electric vehicle components and speeding-up the transition to clean transportation on a global scale.

For this season, more manufacturers have joined the electric revolution with reigning champion Lucas di Grassi looking to defend his title for the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team. More big-name manufacturers have also committed to race in Formula E – including BMW and Nissan in tandem with a new-look car and batter. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche plan to join next year.

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