RIYADH: It took 54 races for Edoardo Mortara to clinch his first pole position in Formula E.
And then he got two in two days, helping him secure a win and second-place finish for ROKiT Venturi Racing in the Berlin E-Prix double-header last month.
Heading into the first-ever Jakarta E-Prix on Saturday, Mortara sits second in Season 8 of the all-electric series, with 99 points, behind leader Stoffel Vandoorne of Mercedes-EQ with 111.
Mortara described his weekend in Berlin as “fantastic”.
He said: “It’s not often you have these kind of weekends as a driver and I’m obviously very satisfied and very happy with what happened.
“I can only tell you that I think we managed to squeeze pretty much all the performance out of the car.
“We had a strategy in qualifying and we executed the plan very well. And I think my laps were also quite good, without big mistakes. I was very happy, very happy with the results,” added the Swiss driver.
Heading into the Berlin E-Prix, the 35-year-old Mortara was fifth overall and 32 points behind Vandoorne. Both teams’ cars – with ROKiT Venturi Racing also having a Mercedes engine – ended up finishing a successful weekend.
He said: “On Sunday I think both Mercedes teams showed well, so obviously we can say the powertrain worked very well in Berlin. But the amount of work that went into it shouldn’t be underestimated. also been done by both teams on the set-up, on the handling, on all those things.
“I think for sure the powertrain was a big key to our success. But it’s also all the work that has been done by the team. So I would say 50-50.
After the success in Germany, did Mortara think he was finally getting the most consistency out of the car?
“Not really, actually. We had very strong weekends in Riyadh and Berlin. And we seemed to have a little more trouble in Rome and Monaco. I think there were reasons why we struggled in Rome, not least because we didn’t have the right tire strategies in qualifying. And so, in two of the three qualifyings, we couldn’t really qualify well, because of that.
“So now it’s up to us to try to make fewer mistakes. Personally, I also sometimes have to do a better job in qualifying, extract all the performance from the car and then I guess we can find more consistency,” he added.
This season, Lucas di Grassi – one of Formula E’s biggest names – joined ROKiT Venturi, and while Mortara acknowledged the wealth of experience and expertise the Brazilian driver had brought, he argued that the team’s overall improvement was due to other factors as well.
“Obviously he brought a good amount of knowledge and experience from his previous years in Formula E. But as you could see last year in Berlin we were also very, very strong. say, there was no Lucas last year.
“So both are true. He brought us knowledge, some experience. But the team had already shown that they were extremely competitive in Berlin and could win races very well.
While Mortara noted that Season 8 had been full of ups and downs for him and the team, he pointed out that overall he had done a good job extracting the most out of the car with help. of his team.
He said: “It’s hard in Formula E to be consistent. And if you only check the results, you can definitely define it as an inconsistent season. But I feel like I’ve done a good job so far, in terms of extracting the best from what I had.
“And the results also come from the whole package, the team, the car and the driver. And so sometimes when you’re not performing, it’s not just the driver’s fault. We have to be more consistent, as I said before, and minimize mistakes and then I’m sure we’ll be there more often.
Mortara added that his success in Berlin was not only due to the circuit but also to the fact that ROKiT Venturi proved to be versatile on different tracks.
“I think so far I’ve shown in Formula E that I can win on normal circuits, or I can be fast at least on normal circuits, and on street circuits. So no, I don’t think not that I can only be competitive in Berlin.
“We were strong in Riyadh and if you check we were starting from the back in Rome and Monaco we were extremely strong. In Monaco I was starting 16th I believe and I was already in the top 6 on a track where normally it is very difficult to overtake.
“Same for Rome. In the first race we started from 13th place, and we came back to sixth, after the penalty, seventh. So far we have been competitive in all races, in fact,” Mortara said. .
He was now looking forward to racing on the Jakarta International E-Prix circuit for the first time and was delighted that the Formula E calendar would expand to places like India from next year.
“I am extremely happy that we are going to Jakarta. It’s fantastic to go visit and learn more about these countries that are ultimately quite far from home.
“I’ve never been to India, and Formula E really gives me the chance to learn more about other countries, more about other cultures, and I’m really excited about that,” he said. added.