Edoardo Mortara was ecstatic after taking his second victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season on Saturday, with the Swiss driver appearing to have the first race of the Berlin E-Prix under control from start to finish.
The ROKiT Venturi Racing driver had started the day in the right way by taking his first Formula E pole position at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, and he converted that into the victory despite the pack being close behind for much of the race.
Mortara used his two attack modes to good use, utilising them later than his rivals to ensure he was able to fight back to the front, and he was never outside the top three, ultimately closing out the win by 1.782 seconds from DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne.
“I think we can be very happy about how we executed the race today,” said Mortara. “It was amazing to take my first pole position in qualifying, especially after coming close to it quite a few times this season.
“Because energy consumption is quite high in Berlin, it is always difficult to lead because it allows the guys behind to under consume with the slipstream. For that reason, it was mega that we were able to keep the lead for the entire time and be able to build a gap so we could take both Attack Modes without losing too much track position.
“Coming off the back of two DNFs, it was important to have a good result this weekend and I hope we can be strong again tomorrow.”
Vergne made one move for the lead late in the race, but it did not work, and the delay the Frenchman had from the failed overtake meant Mortara was able to escape and take it relatively easy to the chequered flag.
Mortara said he had anticipated the move and was able to remain in front after Vergne ran wide, and once back ahead, he knew another attack was unlikely before the end.
“You have to ask him [Vergne] about what happened at the end!” said Mortara. “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 couldn’t 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.”
“A puncture in Lap 2 finished our race early” – Lucas di Grassi
Team-mate Lucas di Grassi was hoping to climb up the field after a disappointing Qualifying left him thirteenth on the grid, but an early puncture put paid to his chances of points.
Di Grassi believed he had the pace to fight for the top five in Berlin, but the Brazilian was forced to pit for a replacement tyre, leaving him well off the back of the pack, and without any safety cars, it left him unable to recover.
“Qualifying was very tight today and we didn’t improve on the second run,” said di Grassi. “Starting from thirteenth we knew we had good pace to finish top five.
“Unfortunately a puncture in Lap 2 finished our race early and we had to retire. We fight back tomorrow.”