2019 Diriyah E-Prix – Saturday
More points and a P4 finish for ROKiT Venturi Racing at the Diriyah double header
Edoardo Mortara Felipe Massa ROKiT Venturi Racing
Practice 1 P13 P14
Practice 2 P8 P16
Qualifying P4 P18
Race P7 P12
Championship P7 [18 Points] P20 [0 Points] P7 [18 Points]
The 2019/20 campaign continued on Saturday in Diriyah, with the team aiming to build upon a positive first race of Season 6 the day before. Learning from the experience of Race 1, Edoardo Mortara and Felipe Massa showcased impressive speed during the early stages of final practice – setting the pace in P1 and P3 after the opening runs.
Completing their qualifying runs, Edo secured P8 on the grid with Felipe P16 – the latter eventually promoted to P15 on the grid after a penalty for Jean-Eric Vergne. Another strong start for both drivers saw Edo advance to P7, while Felipe moved up to P13 by the end of the opening lap.
After encountering an issue when activating Attack Mode, Edo was overtaken by Maximilian Gunther and Stoffel Vandoorne. But the Swiss driver bounced back in typical fashion – staying in the fight for the final podium position throughout the race to take P5 at the chequered flag. A penalty for Maximilian Gunther left a final result of P4 for Edo adding 12 valuable points to the team championship tally.
Following his strong start, Felipe continued to advance through the field – running as high as P7 amidst a number of incidents including two Safety Car periods and one Full Course Yellow phase – before a pair of penalties halted his progress. The Brazilian would eventually claim P18 in the final classification.
Susie Wolff, Team Principal: “This was another positive race for us. It was a shame that Edo had issues with Attack Mode activation, ultimately, these issues cost him a podium today. After a great start to the race, it was heart-breaking for Felipe with a simple mistake removing our chances of a double top-eight finish. But we have a good package so it’s an encouraging start to the season for us. We will learn from this weekend and come back stronger in Santiago.”
Edoardo Mortara: “We did a better race today and I think the entire weekend has been positive. We finished in fourth place which is really good. For the second time in a row we had a problem with Attack Mode. I’m not sure if I made a mistake or if it was a system issue – we need to investigate it. With seventh yesterday and more good points today, the car seems really competitive and I’m comfortable with it. I have a very good team around me, so that really makes me feel positive and optimistic for the future. Today, once again, they did a really good job. We know that we need to extract more performance from the car – but we have a long season ahead and I’m confident that we will be able to do that.”
Felipe Massa: “We made a strong start to today’s race and had good pace, getting the right energy in the car. I was in seventh when I got a message on the radio to say that I had a penalty for being out of position on the grid. I could not believe it and my race got worse from there. Our pace at this stage of the season is very encouraging though and I look forward to racing in Santiago.”