PUNTA DEL ESTE E-PRIX: VENTURI IN THE POINTS
Punta Del Este, 18th March 2018
The VENTURI Formula E team ended the first half of the season with another points finish for one of its drivers, as Maro ENGEL placed 10th in the Punta del Este E-Prix (Uruguay).
NEW CHASSIS AFTER SHAKEDOWN
In the Friday’s shakedown session, Edoardo MORTARA sustained damage to his chassis. For safety reasons it had to be replaced, and in the space of just six hours, the VENTURI Formula E team mechanics rebuilt Edoardo’s car around a new chassis, without breaking curfew regulations.
Edoardo MORTARA then used free practice on Saturday to fine-tune his new ride in preparation for qualifying and the race itself. His teammate Maro ENGEL experienced braking issues in the first session, and continued the day with two new discs.
QUALIFYING: SATISFACTION AND FRUSTRATION
Maro ENGEL was drawn in the first and most difficult of the qualifying groups, eventually finishing 2nd, just behind reigning champion Lucas DI GRASSI (AUDI SPORT).
Meanwhile, Edoardo MORTARA – having started at a good pace – was forced to abandon his flying lap after the session was interrupted. When qualifying eventually restarted, having spent several minutes stationary, car n°4 was no longer in the right condition to post a time.
At the end of qualifying, Maro ENGEL was 9th, with Edoardo MORTARA 16th.
1 PLUS POINT
Following penalties for other cars, ENGEL started from 8th place on the grid, with MORTARA in 13th.
On lap nine, Edoardo MORTARA made a mistake that resulted in damage to his car, but stayed out on the track. A lap later, ENGEL edged past Sébastien BUEMI (RENAULT e-DAMS) into 7th position. With his car now very difficult to handle, MORTARA opted to make his swap four laps early. The decision meant he would have to do four laps more than planned with the new car, so the Swiss driver’s aim was clear: to manage his energy in order to make the chequered flag. Edoardo re-joined the race in 18th place, and went on to finish in 17th.
At the halfway point and lying in 9th place, Maro ENGEL switched to his second car. For eight laps, the Monegasque resident had José-Maria LOPEZ and Jérôme D’AMBROSIO (DRAGON RACING) in his mirrors. Both eventually managed to pass him, having the luxury of an extra lap of available energy, and ENGEL crossed the finishing line in 10th place.
“We got into the points, it’s true, but we were hoping to pick up more after doing well in qualifying. We’re not happy with our energy management. We’ll get back to work and hope to do better in Rome”, Maro ENGEL, VENTURI Formula E team driver.
“We were unlucky in qualifying. We could have been in the top 10. In the race, we didn’t have the right pace. We’ll ask ourselves the right questions and make sure we’re well prepared for the rest of the championship”, Edoardo MORTARA, VENTURI Formula E team driver.
VENTURI Formula E team ends its tour of Latin America in 7th place in the overall standings. The next race on the ABB Formula E championship calendar will take place on the streets of Rome on the 14th of April.
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