Pope Francis blesses Formula E car ahead of Rome ePrix

Pope Francis blessed the Formula E car ahead of the Rome ePrix. Formula E

Ahead of this weekend's inaugural Formula E race in Rome, Pope Francis conducted a private Apostolic Blessing at his residence in Santa Matra.

The Pope welcomed many of the series' drivers and team personnel to the Vatican City before attending the papal audience.

Pope Francis blessed Formula E's current car ahead of the seventh round of the 2017/18 season. Former Toro Rosso Formula One driver Jean-Eric Vergne leads the drivers' championship, 30 points clear of Felix Rosenqvist. The Pope also had the chance to meet some stars still affiliated with the series, such as former Le Mans winner and Toyota F1 driver Allan McNish, who is Audi Sport's team principal.

Earlier this week, it was announced that 2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg would give Formula E's 'Gen2' car its public debut ahead of the German ePrix at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit.

The 'Gen2' car will be introduced for the season's fifth campaign, which starts towards the end of 2018. Formula E is continuing to expand its grid and will welcome reigning F1 champions Mercedes for the 2019/20 season.