Edoardo Mortara 'over the moon' with maiden Formula E victory
Edoardo Mortara has stated that he is "over the moon" after taking his maiden victory in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship at last weekend's Hong Kong E-Prix, inheriting first place following the penalisation of Sam Bird.
The Venturi Formula E driver joined the all-electric single seater series in 2017 for the start of Season Four and enjoyed success from the outset, taking second place in only his second race start after throwing away what seemed to be a slam-dunk race win in an over-ambitious attempt to take fastest lap.
Racing in Hong Kong for the first time since his spin at Turn 2 which cost him his maiden win in Formula E in Season Four, Mortara demonstrated that his pace on the street circuit was not just a one-off occasion, with the Swiss-Italian racer qualifying in third on the grid, starting from sixth after being handed a three-place grid penalty following an overspeed under red flag conditions at the end of Group Two qualifying.
Having a difficult start from the third row, Mortara dropped to seventh at the end of the first lap after being overtaken by Bird before fighting his way through the field, overtaking Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Rowland and Gary Paffett to move into the top four before a driveshaft failure for Stoffel Vandoorne promoted Mortara into third.
In the penultimate lap of the race, the second-placed Bird made contact with DS Techeetah's Andre Lotterer who was leading, rubbing the front wing of his Envision Virgin car against the German's right-rear tyre which ultimately punctured as a result.
With Bird taking first place under false pretences having caused Lotterer to drop out of the points as a result of the incident, post-race, it was decided that the Briton would be handed a five-second time penalty which this ultimately handing Mortara the win in what was Formula E's 50th E-Prix.
“The result is fantastic! Fourth in Santiago, third in Mexico, now my first victory in Hong Kong! I’m so proud and finding out that I had won was an incredible feeling for me," said Mortara post-race after becoming the fifth different winner of the 2018/19 campaign.
"The race was awesome and I've had a wonderful weekend - historically racing in Asia brings me so much luck - honestly, I’m over the moon and I couldn’t be happier.
"The team have done a brilliant job, they put in all the hours and pull out all the stops - this result is a tribute to their hard work. We started from quite far back this season but the guys are doing such an amazing job and improving race by race.
"This result is for them - I know that it will motivate them even more and I can’t wait to get back out on the track,” he added.
While Mortara taking first marked his maiden win, it was also a team first for Venturi, with Monegasque marque finally taking its first victory in the fully-electric championship after coming close to the top step of the podium on multiple occasions, including the series' first ever race back in Beijing in 2014.
By inheriting the win, Mortara has moved into fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 52 points, one point behind both Sam Bird and Jerome d'Ambrosio who are currently locked on 53 points while the driver himself is tied on points with Season Three champion di Grassi.
Combining Mortara's recent run of points with the efforts of Felipe Massa, who completed the top five in Hong Kong in the second VFE05 car, Venturi sits in fourth in the Teams' Standings with 66 points, 30 points adrift of Envision Virgin Racing who currently lead.
The 2018/19 Formula E campaign will continue on March 23 for the inaugural Sanya E-Prix.