Formula E – Mortara produces Moroccan magic in Marrakech to lead the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship standings

Formula E – Mortara produces Moroccan magic in Marrakech to lead the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship standings

Edoardo Mortara won round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as he mastered the streets of Marrakech in spectacular fashion to seal his third victory of the season for ROKiT Venturi Racing, and with it the championship lead.

Swiss driver Edoardo Mortara is the fit man for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship as ROKiT Venturi Racing driver has been on the podium in the last three races and has come to Morocco with a title campaign in mind ( July 2nd). With Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne qualifying in a modest 20e – Mortara and the other protagonists of the title had to harvest the opportunity in the red city. After qualifying, Mortara had to line up in the middle of a DS TECHEETAH sandwich, ahead of fellow title challenger Jean-Éric Vergne, but behind poleman António Félix da Costa who was looking for his first podium of the season.

As the race turned green on the Moulay El Hassan circuit, it was to be an incident with no opening of a few corners, as the drivers fought for position around the 2.9 kilometer circuit. Battery health was expected to be the most important factor in the race, with a mix of conservative energy recovery and calculated front foot attacks important for a solid result in the African sun.

A good start from the first three made them scurry away quickly. With the top three gone, Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Oliver Rowland (Mahindra Racing) had to go on the offensive, quickly eliminating Tag Heuer Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein.

The temperature-conscious DS TECHEETAH rolled the dice first, with the gold and black cars activating Attack mode six minutes into the race, while the batteries were in a cooler, more operational performance window. Mortara mirrored the move and continued the status quo of the top three after the first attack mode.

Less than five minutes later, Da Costa scored his second use to place second. Behind him a chasing pack were all eager to fight for positions in the opening phase of the race. Oliver Rowland, Mitch Evans and now Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) were on the attack in the early stages – in contrast to the DS TECHEETAH machines which aimed for performance in the final stages.

As Da Costa swept through the turn three activation zone for the second time, Mortara brought the hammer down as he needed to pull a 1.5 second gap if he was to have any chance of holding onto his lead. Within a few laps he had his head down and when he had to take the widest line in the activation zone, the ROKiT Venturi Racing rider had enough to hold his position and with three minutes of attack mode in his pocket, he was able to pull out a tampon.

Rowland was on a mission behind, using his attack mode to jump Evans and Dennis in the first phase, but the early aggression was to be his downfall, as the British driver in the second half of the race had to recover 2% of worth the battery usage on those before it.

As the race entered the second half, a synchronized DS TECHCHEETAH pass in the first corner of Da Costa on Evans and Vergne on Rowland allowed the Sino-French team to enter the boxes in the hunt for Mortara and the victory of the race. Vergne had played the patient game in the first half before pulling back the wick in the second, following his teammate ahead of Evans and into third.

It was now a three-horse race for victory with the DS TECHEETAH field chasing the only ROKiT Venturi Racing car. Da Costa tried to close but was aware of his battery level, and with 11 minutes to go the team’s strategy saw a change, allowing title hopeful Vergne to overtake Da Costa. In response, Mortara used his Fan Boost, firing a few vital extra tenths off a charging Vergne. Despite his efforts, Vergne could not cope with a fully fit Mortara and DS TECHEETAH switched cars five minutes later. Da Costa, while third, was able to unlock more pace and was let go. The tactic was to push the Venturi through all sectors every lap in the final dash to the flag. Similar on energy, it was a straight fight between Mortara and Da Costa.

Mortara had a response to Da Costa’s every move and was able to roll and recover energy in the tighter, more limited passing spots and had the pace to defend on the faster sections. Mortara as the clock struck zero took the checkered flag, and with it his third victory of the season. The solid form of the Venturi drivers sees him jump to the top of the standings by an 11-point margin. Da Costa, who finished behind Mortara, will be disappointed with the missed opportunity, but will be pleased with his first podium of the season, and with it vital team points.

Vergne, who had almost settled for third, saw Evans detour his outside on the final lap to steal the final podium spot.

Lucas Di Grassi in sister machine ROKiT Venturi Racing enjoyed locking horns with rivals on their way to fifth place, including an incredible pass over Dennis while defending Nyck De Vries in his Mercedes EQ which would round out the top six.

Dennis, who has seen an improvement from his recent form, finished seventh ahead of outgoing championship leader Vandoorne, who had worked his way up to eighth ahead of Sam Bird. Oliver Rowland, had shown plenty of promise early on, but had to save a lot of energy in the final quarter of the race after his tough antics – crossing the line tenth.

The next stage of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will take to the streets of New York for rounds 11 and 12 of the series. The Big Apple will host a double-header Billboard blockbuster on July 16 and 17.

EDOARDO MORTARA, ROKiT VENTURI RACING, #48 said:

“I have to admit that after free practice 2 we had a lot of problems with the brakes and I didn’t think I could turn it around, but I have an amazing team behind me and they’ve already done an amazing job. in quality.” Then during the race they had a plan, they had a strategy, we executed it and it was perfect. You guys are putting a lot of pressure on you. I was trying to be smart, I was trying to manage. There was a lot to manage today, the tires obviously, but also the temperature of the batteries, the energy. It was very difficult. I had a few issues with the car today, I was a little lonely let’s say, but we got it done and I’m extremely happy.”

ANTÓNIO FÉLIX DA COSTA, DS TECHEETAH, #13 said:

“Well, we had a good game plan. It seemed that Edo had a small advantage over us. I tried to remain modest until the end. Other things like the start and middle of the race compromised my finish. I’m here, I’m happy, it’s great to be back in Marrakech. I’ve always had good races here, even when I crashed out of the lead towards the end of a race. Amazing work for everyone here again. First podium of the season for me. It was difficult. It was difficult to break through the wall. The team has been great in picking me up and still believing in me. That’s great and thank you for giving me a great car today. We tried. In the end, it looked like JEV didn’t quite have it and it compromised my run a bit, but that’s part of the game. I wear the team badge and that’s how it is.

MITCH EVANS, JAGUAR TCS RACING, #9 said:

“It was difficult to manage, they threw everything at us: battery management, thermal but also energy. Obviously fighting with the other guys, I lost some ground at the start, but then I picked up. The team guided me very well today. It was hard to manage but we got there. Another podium, lots of points, another trophy – I’m happy. Obviously, you have a rough strategy and you have to play with your instincts a bit. To be honest I settled for fourth and then JEV was struggling to handle something towards the end so I got to pick him in the end and it’s all credit to the guys for having me very well guided.

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