Formula E - Mortara mounts title bid with victory in Berlin | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula E - Mortara mounts title bid with victory in Berlin

14.05.22

ROKiT Venturi Racing driver Edoardo Mortara took a lights to flag victory in Round 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to move himself up the championship order.

Edoardo Mortara dominated the opening race of the weekend today (14 May) at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, taking a convincing win on the former aerodrome venue. The ROKiT Venturi star sealed his second win of the season and with it, vaulted his way up the championship table, with the Italian Swiss racer nestling himself into fourth in the standings.

Mortara began the weekend by clinching pole position in dramatic fashion earlier in the day. In a head-to-head shootout with Alexander Sims, Mortara made a mistake early in the lap, but dug deep to reel in the British driver – passing him to pole by the smallest of margins. Into the race, the ROKiT Venturi driver was the man to beat in the 40-lap contest, as he led for the majority of race and played a strategic masterstroke to strengthen his superiority.

After the first cycle of Attack Mode, the Venturi star dictated the pace at the front of the field. It was only when he opted for his second and final Attack Mode he dropped into the clutches of championship protagonists Jean-Éric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) and Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ). However, his late utilisation of the extra power enabled him to repass his opponents with ease and charge to spare, as he escaped into the distance – claiming the first victory in the Berlin double-header this weekend.

Behind Mortara it was to be a more chaotic affair, with the remaining podium positions being occupied by several drivers throughout the race. DS TECHEETAH’s Jean-Éric Vergne began the round in fourth position behind teammate Antonio Félix da Costa, with the pair showing their previous Tempelhof form, as they hunted in a pack to work their way up the order – putting themselves in second and third in the opening chapter of the race. Vergne dropped down the order following the first set of Attack Modes, but showed why he is a multiple champion, as he got his elbows out with textbook overtakes, coupled with a perfectly timed second Attack Mode and Fan Boost enabled him to be in the mix for the podium positions towards the end of the race – passing Vandoorne into second place. The Frenchman tried every trick in the book in his attempt to seal his first win of the year, including a late lunge on Mortara in the closing stages –  but to no avail.  Second would see Vergne chalk-up his fourth podium this season and reduce the gap to the championship leader to just three points.

Stoffel Vandoorne came into the German double-header on the crest a wave following his E-Prix victory in Monaco last time out. The championship leader didn’t get his weekend off to the best of starts – qualifying in eighth position. From the moment the lights went out, the Belgian’s weekend only looked to be going backwards as he was shuffled down the pack to as low as 12th.  In Mercedes’ home race, Vandoorne looked to make amends with an inspired Attack Mode call, leading him to climb the order into the top six before some scything overtaking manoeuvres pushed him higher – into second overall. The Mercedes driver could do nothing about the late Fan Boost lunge from Vergne and played the calculating game as he conserved energy in the final laps to guarantee himself the final place on the rostrum.

Tag Heuer Porsche driver André Lotterer was in the thick of the podium scramble, but didn’t quite have the speed of the front runners on the 2.35km venue. Using the Attack Mode early in the window allowed the German to keep pace with the top three and forced the hand of the drivers around him, but ultimately was left vulnerable when the emerging front-three utilised their extra power. The on-form driver coming into Berlin was Mitch Evans driving for Jaguar TCS Racing. Following two wins and a second, the New Zealander like Vandoorne had to make progress up the grid to keep his title ambitions burning following a drop down to the back-end of the top-ten. As the pace and the tyre life of others faded, Evans produced a spirited drive, including a last lap overtake on da Costa to move him up to fifth.  

Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) like teammate Lotterer struggled with the overall race pace and despite helping his teammate up the order with some clever Attack Mode team work, the German was always going to be on the back-foot as he was the first of the front runners to activate the Attack mode on both occasions. Despite tyre degradation, Wehrlein recorded the fastest lap and rounded out the top-six ahead of Jaguar TCS Racing driver Sam Bird in seventh and Antonio Félix da Costa in eighth.  

Alexander Sims who qualified second, struggled with a stomach virus and dropped down the order to nineth as the long race prevailed. Completing the top-ten was Mercedes EQ driver and defending Formula E Champion Nyck De Vries who crossed the line tenth after an event-free race.

The 2021/22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season will continue with round eight of the all-electric series returning to Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit tomorrow (15 May). A reverse in the circuit layout tomorrow will provide another challenge for the drivers and teams at the half way point in the season.

 

EDOARDO MORTARA, ROKiT VENTURI RACING, #48 said: "What a day. After the qualifying we were already very happy, but this race was amazing, very stressful because there were different strategies that I had to defend. In the end everything went alright, and I'm very happy.

 

"You have to ask him [Vergne] about what happened at the end! He tried to overtake me but I was kind of anticipating it, but luckily for me he couldn't really stop at the apex of the corner, and I could pass him straight away, and I knew that he had spent a lot of energy so it would be difficult for him to pass me again.

 

"The good thing about Formula E is you need to constantly change your strategy, obviously you have a plan at the beginning of the race but nothing goes according to plan and you always need to adapt, as the others are trying to destabilise you, but in the end everything worked out very well for us."

 

JEAN-ÉRIC VERGNE, DS TECHEETAH, #25 said: "It was a busy race. Lots happened and I am happy with second, I tried to give it a go to Edo but I think his mirror was working quite well so he saw me coming. I still had to try, I was not just going to sit behind and be happy with second so I had to try something. It was quite tight with Stoffel, so first my target was to win then I had pressure from behind so I had to watch out for Stoffel. But I am happy with second, another podium and more points - hopefully we can finally win a race this year. But other than that okay.

 

"The pace of the car was good, it was better in the middle part of the race than at the end, maybe in the middle part I could have gained more time more advantage. But its okay, we are going to learn from this race and move on until tomorrow."

 

STOFFEL VANDOORNE, MERCEDES-EQ FORMULA E TEAM, #5 said: "I am not going to lie I'm a bit surprised [to be on the podium]. I did not have the best opening lap, I lost so many places I was probably down in P12 at one point. But I kept my cool, felt immediately there was pace in the car, so I could really use that today and get efficient overtaking done. The team did well with the strategy, I managed to execute it, and recover my poor performance in lap one."