Mortara and Di Grassi keep up good momentum for ROKiT Venturi in second Berlin E-Prix
LONDON: ROKiT Venturi soared to back-to-back podiums at the 2022 Berlin E-Prix on Sunday, with Edoardo Mortara taking second place in Race Two after starting from pole position.
After his victory in the first race of the weekend double-header, the Monegasque team continued to show promise on Sunday morning by topping both practice sessions in the German capital.
Mortara and teammate Lucas di Grassi carried this momentum forward into qualifying and both drivers advanced from their respective groups to contest the duel stages.
In the Quarter-Finals, Di Grassi lost out to Nyck de Vries by only 0.270 seconds to qualify sixth while, by beating Nick Cassidy, Mortara faced the Dutchman in the second Semi-Final.
By defeating the Mercedes-EQ driver, then cemented his place in the Final and vanquished another Dutchman Robin Frijns by 0.498 seconds to secure a second consecutive pole position and three points.
At the start of the race, Mortara successfully defended from fellow front row starter Frijns but slipped to second following a diving move from De Vries into Turn One.
Di Grassi, meanwhile, made steady progress from the third row by immediately moving into the top five, overtaking Antonio Felix da Costa.
As the race progressed and strategy evolved, ROKiT’s Swiss-Italian driver regained the lead and Di Grassi moved into third when De Vries and André Lotterer and Frijns activated Attack Mode with 34 minutes remaining.
In favor of the overcut strategy, however, the duo fell to fifth and sixth upon activating their sole Attack Mode of the E-Prix in the 16th minute.
With a power advantage over all other drivers ahead, the ROKiT drivers carved through the field, clearing Lotterer, Stoffel Vandoorne and da Costa to hold second and third on the road.
Despite posting the fastest lap of the race, Mortara was unable to close in on and pass De Vries but secured second place when the chequered flag waved in the German capital.
In the closing moments, Brazilian Di Grassi lost track position to Vandoorne and finished fourth overall to score 12 points.
The second-placed finish on Sunday, following his race win on Saturday, puts Mortara into second in the World Drivers’ Championship while, by scoring a total of 62 points in one weekend, ROKiT Venturi Racing moved to second in the Teams’ Standings, now holding 148 points from eight races.
“This weekend has been phenomenal and I’m extremely proud of the entire team for what we have been able to achieve, team principal Jerome D’Ambrosio said.
“One win, two podiums, two pole positions, two fastest laps and 62 points from two races is an incredible achievement and in a championship as close and competitive as Formula E, is one that doesn’t happen very often at all,” he added.
“Today’s race was more difficult in comparison to yesterday’s, Mortara said. “Both the ambient and track temperatures were much higher and this meant that there was more management to do, both for the energy and the tyresm and Nyck’s pace was very strong today and realistically, I think he was just out of reach for us.”
And Di Grassi was disspointed to miss out on a podium finish so late in the race.
“It was frustrating to miss out on the podium today, especially so close to the finish, but overall, I’m happy with this result. After yesterday it was clear that we had the pace to be at the front and we made the most in qualifying to start inside the top eight,” he said.
Formula E’s Season 8 campaign will resume on June 4 for the inaugural Jakarta E-Prix in Indonesia.
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