Edoardo Mortara looked set to take Venturi’s first-ever Formula E race win, in their 36th contested race, before a spin at Turn 2 with just two laps to go saw him demoted to third.
Although it is likely, following a scrutineering enquiry that excluded Daniel Abt, that he has been promoted to second – matching Venturi’s best-ever finish – Mortara seemed inconsolable after the race. The Mercedes driver, who competes in DTM and is a Formula 1 sim driver, as well as a seven-time Macau Grand Prix winner across both the F3 and GT categories, blamed himself for pushing too hard during the race.
Mortara gained a front-row start after Jaguar’s Mitch Evans was excluded from Super Pole classification due to excess energy usage, then the race lead after Felix Rosenqvist spun himself around at turn one. Mortara led the race for 42 laps, in control and ahead of Daniel Abt in second place.
Of his dominant streak, Formula E race weekend rookie Mortara said “I don’t want to sound too arrogant – we are facing really tough competitors and touch opponents, top level. But today for some reason the car, myself, it was all working incredibly well and it was very easy for me to achieve my energy targets and I was pretty much 100% on them, to have a little bit of margin at the end of my stints to be able to pull a gap.”
The Venturi team have struggled over Season 3 – and seem to have made a significant step forward in Season 4, especially with the signing of Mortara. A second-place finish for Mortara today, alongside a seventhplace for Engel today and Mortara’s own seventh-place finish yesterday means the Monagasque team have equalled their points total (30) for the entire of Season 3 in just two races.
Nevertheless, Mortara seemed inconsolable over his error in losing the lead, which he said was because he tried to go for Fastest Lap as well. Visibly distressed as he talked, he said “It’s… difficult to find the words actually, after a race like that. It’s tough to swallow actually, today. We had the pace, we were managing the race from the beginning to the end – I was pretty much 100% all through the race, to keep the gap with Daniel and I was choosing when to push.
“I guess that at some point I wanted too much and I made a stupid mistake. Sometimes you just have to admit it. I was probably overconfident and looking for too much, I should have gone just for the win. Sometimes a tiny mistake can have some big consequences and today it did. Nevertheless, we showed that we had an incredible car, incredible pace, especially during the race. We knew that we could have that kind of pace and the others maybe were not fully trusting on that but we showed everybody today that they can expect a strong Venturi team this year. I hope in the next race I will cool myself a little bit more in the last laps.”