VENTURI FORMULA E TEAM SUFFERS IN THE SANTIAGO SUN
Santiago, 3 February 2018
The Chilean stage of the ABB Formula E Championship was not a happy one for the VENTURI Formula E team, but did provide some valuable lessons for the future.
MIXED FORTUNES IN FREE PRACTICE SESSIONS
The two VENTURI drivers were in the top five for much of the first free practice session. In the final minutes, however, Maro ENGEL hit a wall and sustained damage to the left wing of his car, dropping back to 18th place. His teammate, Edoardo MORTARA, ended the session in 8th. In the second practice session, as the team continued to prepare for the qualifying round, Maro and Edoardo finished with the 7th and 18th quickest times respectively.
It was a jarring day for the drivers on a particularly bumpy track, but there was no shortage of ups and downs for the whole team in qualifying. Edoardo MORTARA established a good rhythm but a mistake saw him qualify in 17th place, while Maro ENGEL took 11th spot on the starting grid. A top ten berth would have been a possibility, had the German driver not briefly let go of the wheel after running over a big bump on the track.
On the opening lap, the VENTURI Formula E team drivers found themselves caught up in a pack of cars jostling for position on a track that is very narrow in places, with both suffering collisions. Edoardo MORTARA managed to negotiate the mayhem and moved up two places immediately. Maro ENGEL was less fortunate, however, as Oliver TURVEY (NIO) made contact with the German’s car, causing damage to his front suspension.
“The team put a very good car on the track. I had a good start. When I found myself on the outside of Oliver TURVEY, he sent me into the wall. There are no words to describe how I feel about it. With a damaged suspension, I couldn’t properly defend against the overtaking attempt by Félix ROSENQVIST (MAHINDRA), which was also “borderline”. I went into the wall again – this time for good. It’s disappointing because the team deserved a lot better. The car is capable of taking points in every race.”, Maro ENGEL, VENTURI Formula E team driver.
When the race restarted after a safety car deployment, Edoardo MORTARA worked his way up to 13th, while carefully managing his battery temperature in the 30° C Santiago heat. The Italo-Swiss driver was also having trouble with his brakes and regen system. The race was tough on the car, providing valuable lessons for the team’s engineers. Edoardo eventually crossed the finishing line in 13th place.
BACK TO LATIN AMERICA
The VENTURI Formula E team will return to Latin America in a month’s time for the Mexico City E-Prix on 3 March 2018, where it will be looking to get things back on track.