Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara had a difficult race day in Paris, finishing 13th following a collision with José María López – having shown the potential for much more.
The Swiss-Italian racer started 19th on the grid after being hampered by brake issues in qualifying, but made up two places on the first lap and had worked his way up to 15th place by the middle of the first stint.
After this he maintained position, saving energy and looking to pit later than his rivals in order to gain an advantage in the second part of the race.
“Clearly when you’re starting from the back, you need to have another strategy. We were able to save a lot of energy by going at the same pace, so it was good!” explained the Venturi driver as he spoke after the race.
This strategy worked perfectly – Mortara was able to make his mandatory car change later than any other driver, as he managed to get three laps more out of his battery than the race leaders. His pit stop was the fifth quickest of any driver too, so he rejoined the race full of optimism, running in 11th place.
On the 28th lap as he tried to pass Dragon’s López and move up into the points, however, Mortara would see his chances of a strong result go up in smoke.
“Coming out of turn nine, I think he (López) had a problem in terms of power, maybe he hit his pit limiter, so he was losing quite a lot of speed, and I was coming from behind with quite a lot more speed.
“I was trying to go on the left, and I stayed flat, braked late, and I could see that he was trying to stay there. And to be honest with you, there was no space anymore.
“So as soon as I turned in, I looked in the mirror, he was still there, and I thought ‘OK let’s try to leave him room’. I knew that it could be potentially bad, but he just ran into me and put me into the wall.”
Following this incident, Mortara dropped down to 13th place – and was unable to make up any more positions as he finished the race in the French capital three places outside the points-paying positions.
When asked what result was possible given his strong strategy, the Geneva native suggested that a points finish was very much on the cards.
“It’s difficult to say, but once I past López I would have had Turvey ahead of me with maybe 10% less energy, then Rosenqvist was next.
“If I had passed Turvey – which I think was possible as I had a lot more energy and was on a different pace to him – then I guess I would have caught Felix and then… I don’t know!”
Turning to the driving standards in the series in general, Mortara made it very clear where he stands.
“I think it’s becoming a classic standard in Formula E, it seems it’s possible to run people into the wall and escape with no penalties. I think that it’s really bad. You see these things only in Formula E! This guy (López) changed lines five times on the straight when you’re only allowed to change once.
“It’s an FIA rule, it’s also clearly said in the drivers’ briefing. It is something that should be very clear for everyone, but it seems that here it’s not.”
Mortara will now miss the next round in Berlin due to clashing DTM commitments – he will be replaced at the Monegasque squad by French driver Tom Dillmann.
Additional reporting by Jack Amey.