Edoardo Mortara is feeling optimistic about the potential of the Venturi team in season five following improvements to the car, but remains coy on where it might be in the pecking order when they arrive in Saudi Arabia.
Mortara endured a mixed bag of a debut season last year, where he narrowly missed out on a maiden victory in only his second race, but only scored points on three other occasions en route to P13 in the standings.
Having experienced both the Gen1 and Gen2 cars, the Swiss-Italian doesn’t see many differences other than the increases in power and grip.
“It’s quite similar, you just have a bit more power in qualifying and the race,” said Mortara. “In general driving this car is roughly the same, the tyres have a bit more grip but they also suffer from a bit more degradation.
“It’s definitely nicer to drive as you have more power and grip and more strategy work.”
The Gen2 car also introduces the halo device to Formula E, which became the centre of controversy when implemented in Formula 1 and Formula 2.
Reports more recently have been favourable, and Mortara believes the halo is a good addition to the cars and hasn’t experienced any problems with visibility.
“I don’t think it’s making any difference, you hardly notice it so they’ve done a good job on that. The visibility is roughly the same, but you actually forget about the halo after some laps. It brings more safety, so it’s definitely positive and I’m in favour of that.”
Despite being optimistic on the potential of the VFE05, the 31-year-old refused to be drawn on how the team might fare in Saudi Arabia, but acknowledged the work being put into improving the car.
“It’s difficult to set objectives, we don’t know where we stand against our competitors. I hope that we are competitive but you can never be sure, we will see in Riyadh where we stand. We improved the car a lot and we understand the issues we had last year, will it be enough to be more competitive? We don’t know yet.”
Mortara finished by praising his new team-mate Felipe Massa and sees a positive working relationship between the Brazilian and himself.
“He’s obviously a big name from Formula 1 and a great guy, I get along with him pretty well and is obviously a very fast driver. You learn a lot from these kind of drivers.
“For him it’s his first year and he has a lot to learn, so it’s sort of a win-win situation. We get along really well, this is the most important thing.”