2019 DIRIYAH E-PRIX – FRIDAY
|Edoardo Mortara||Felipe Massa||ROKiT Venturi Racing|
|Championship||P8 [6 Points]||P12 [0 Points]||P6 [6 Points]|
Following a four-month break from competition, Formula E returned to the Riyadh Street Circuit for the opening round of the Season 6 campaign. The first of two back-to-back race days in Saudi Arabia started with encouraging signs for the team, as Edoardo Mortara and Felipe Massa demonstrated strong pace in practice and qualifying.
Performing their initial qualifying runs, Edo secured a firm place in the Super Pole shootout, while a small mistake in the first sector on his flying lap relegated Felipe to P17. Edo went on to produce a powerful lap in the pole position shootout, taking P4 on the final grid.
Both drivers secured flawless getaways for the start of the 45-minute + 1 lap race, with Edo maintaining P4 while Felipe overtook three cars to secure P14 at the end of Lap 1.
In what was a strategy-driven race, with the deployment of Attack Mode proving to be vital when navigating the field, Edo consistently maintained his place within the top 10, flirting with a spot on the podium in the early stages.
Locked in a close battle with Nyck de Vries and Alexander Sims at the end of the race, Edo eventually took P7 to secure six points for ROKiT Venturi Racing.
Felipe meanwhile ran narrowly outside of the points in a closely matched midfield fight, battling against Antonio Felix da Costa throughout the race.
A late Safety Car placed Felipe in a difficult position with energy management, with a 4kWh energy reduction [as per Formula E’s 2019/20 rules and regulations] making conservation critical. Holding off Lucas di Grassi, Felipe took P12 at the flag.
Susie Wolff, Team Principal: “It was intriguing to see the first race unfold. Attack Mode had a big impact today. I’m disappointed that we did not finish further up the order given our strong qualifying performance – but this is something that we will learn from. Felipe showed good pace today so it’s a shame we couldn’t convert it into a top 10 result. We’ll analyse today, start again tomorrow and push for more.”
Edoardo Mortara: “I think the race pace today was good. I made some mistakes out there and got pushed wide a couple of times. I missed an Attack Mode by accident but I recovered from there. It’s a bit of a shame – I think we should have done better, especially from where we started on the grid. We will try and improve on this result tomorrow.”
Felipe Massa: “After a difficult qualifying, I made a good start and managed to overtake a few cars on the first lap, which was positive. The track conditions made overtaking quite challenging. The dirt meant that it was a bit like racing in the wet and this completely changes the energy management – but I think the race was more or less ok. The pace was good but my mistake in qualifying had a huge impact on my race, so I will focus on improving that tomorrow. The beauty of Formula E is that anything can happen and I really hope that we come out even stronger tomorrow.”