ROKIT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara took victory from pole in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s Berlin E-Prix to pull himself back into a title race that looks to be rapidly heating up.
The Swiss driver finished runner up in the Drivers’ Championship last year and, following two frustrating DNFs in a row, took his second victory of the season to move up to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Mortara held off a spirited effort from two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne who pushed him all the way until a great defensive move on an attempted overtake pushed the Frenchman back and allowed Mortara to romp home.
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DS TECHEETAH’s Vergne settled for second place ahead of the Drivers’ Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne who took third for Mercedes-EQ. The result left Vandoorne still top but just three points ahead of Vergne and 11 ahead of Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans while Moratara moved up to fourth, a further five points back.
And following a seamless qualifying period, Mortara admitted a feisty challenge from Vergne had seen the team change their race strategy on the fly.
"What a day,” said Mortara. “After the qualifying we were already very happy, but this race was amazing, very stressful because there were different strategies that I had to defend. In the end everything went alright, and I'm very happy.
"You have to ask him [Vergne] about what happened at the end. He tried to overtake me but I was kind of anticipating it, but luckily for me he couldn't really stop at the apex of the corner, and I couldn't pass him straight away, and I knew that he had spent a lot of energy so it would be difficult for him to pass me again.
"The good thing about Formula E is you need to constantly change your strategy, obviously you have a plan at the beginning of the race but nothing goes according to plan and you always need to adapt, as the others are trying to destabilise you, but in the end everything worked out very well for us."
The chasing pack were headlined by an inter-team battle among TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team pair, André Lotterer and Pascal Wehrlein and Evans who fought it out for much of the race with the wily Lotterer finishing fourth ahead of Evans and Wehrlein.
Evan’s team-mate Sam Bird ended his pointless run to take seventh with the Brit hoping this can kick-start the second half of the season and see him continue his record of winning an E-Prix in every Formula E season.
Reigning champion Nyck de Vries was unable to halt his poor run of form since winning the opening race of the season as he finished 10th and now finds himself seventh in the Championship and a formidable 56 points behind team-mate Vandoorne.
The second race of the 2022 Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix takes place tomorrow from the Berlin Tempelhof Circuit to mark the midpoint in the 16-race season, the biggest-ever race calendar in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Mortara takes Berlin E-Prix spoils to reinvigorate championship push
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You can watch Round 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship live from the Berlin Tempelof Circuit on discovery+ and Eurosport 2 from 13:30 tomorrow, May 15
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