After a tense, action-packed race under the Moroccan sun, we hear from ROKiT Venturi Racing’s race winner Edoardo Mortara, Antonio Felix da Costa of DS TECHEETAH and Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans on today’s tactical battle, how the championship fight is shaping up and their expectations for the trip to New York City on 16 & 17 July.
Edoardo Mortara, ROKiT Venturi Racing
"I was extremely surprised to be able to stay at the front so much during the race, especially because we know that in Formula E, when when you're staying behind in the slipstream, it helps you to manage battery temperatures, energy and probably your tyres a bit better. I was quite surprised that we were able to actually to stay in front – it means that we had a really good pace.
"The team had a plan, a strategy for this difficult race weekend, and we executed it very well, so I'm extremely happy about this race win. It looked very, very difficult after FP2 – we had a lot of breaking issues – but we managed to turn this thing around and be extremely competitive in quali and then in the race.
"The plan is always pretty much the same in every Formula E race – you want to lose as little time as you can fighting against the others. Basically, you have to adapt your race in context of what the others are doing. For example, with the ATTACK MODEs, I could see that Oliver Rowland (Mahindra Racing) was attacking and being quite aggressive, racing with everyone, and I was able to lead the race and create a gap when he was fighting with Antonio (Felix da Costa). That was extremely helpful for the remainder of the race – I was able to save a little bit of energy there and also get a little gap. It’s extremely difficult, then, for the others to close – they have to probably ask more of their tyres and use more battery energy.
“The championship is very long. We still have six races to go, and after Puebla last year I was also leading. I think this season is very, very different when compared to last year, with the qualifying format being completely different. I think that the championship leaders have the chance now every race weekend to challenge at the front regularly, and this is what we're doing. As you can see, you always find yourself battling with the same guys, pretty much weekend after weekend, so it's going to be up to us to do a good job for the next six race weekends. The road is still very, very long.
“I'll be honest, New York has never been really good for us, but there were a few tracks this year where we actually managed to be a lot better than last. I'm actually really looking forward to New York and London, to see if we’ve really understood what the problems were in the last few years, in order to perform well there. Obviously, it’s surreal to race in New York. It's always a very nice feeling, so I really hope that we can be competitive there.”
Antonio Felix da Costa, DS TECHEETAH
“[Finishing on the podium] feels good. We worked hard with the team before coming here and we thought we had enough control to believe we could win. I think, ultimately, Edo and Venturi had a little bit more than us – my race was a little bit compromised with a few things here and there. With Rowland hitting me, I almost lost the car there, which gave Edo a breather to go to ATTACK MODE and get back in front, along with the switch of positions with JEV, so we always kept giving him a bit of a breather to control his race the way you want to.
“I would have said let's switch with JEV a little bit later, maybe let me challenge Edo, and then if it doesn't work out we can swap, but I don't know. I need to look at the numbers and all the strategy plans – the team obviously has a lot more information than I do in the car, so I had to trust them, and I did. I'll go back and have a look at that.
“In the end, I was just trying to keep him honest, keep making the race hard for him and see if we could pull a rabbit out of the hat, but I knew it was going to be hard. It's been a few races since I was on the podium, but there have been a few good results for me lately, so it's good to start building momentum to the end of the season.
“Marrakesh worked for us, but it also worked well for a couple of other teams. Even though Edo and Venturi have the same car as Stoffel [Vandoorne] and [Nyck] de Vries, in the end, you still need to do a good job. I think the strength of our team is that we're never bad – there’s no track that we get really compromised with performance. We haven't been dominating anywhere, but we seem pretty strong everywhere, and that's what you need for a championship fight. Obviously, Edo and Venturi have been doing that, so there’s a big fight shaping up between these two guys [Mortara and Mitch Evans], JEV and Stoffel [Vandoorne] for the last few races.
“[New York] is just an amazing city to go to, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there and exploring the city a little bit. When you're racing with that backdrop, it's just a cool feeling. It's been a good track for me lately, with a couple of podiums in the last few years, so we'll see.”
Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing
“To be honest, the start was a bit compromised. I think Pascal [Wehrlein] was suffering with some sort of issue, and he was defending me really aggressively – dangerously, I would say. I've never experienced that before. I lost a lot of ground to the top guys, so once I cleared him I had to use a bit of tyre and a little bit of energy to catch up.
“I got myself back in the mix, which was good, but I just felt on the back foot slightly with the car balance, because I felt like my tyre life was a bit compromised. I was sort of hanging on towards the end, managing a little bit of battery temperature – the team guided me really well with that. I was sort of settled for fourth, and then obviously JEV ran into issues, so I sniffed a bit of blood, and obviously wanted to capitalise on that.
“All in all, it was a strong race today. We just lacked a little bit compared to these guys over one lap and in the race, but it was good enough to clinch another podium, so big points, and that’s really key. We always continue to work on things and make things better. I think over one lap this year, we've not been the best, but we've been strong and able to position ourselves in a good place.
“Historically, New York's been good for us, so I think we should be good, but honestly, these guys, they operate at a very high level. Every time I get a good result they seem to as well, so to catch up is not easy. We're going to have to be on our A-game to keep in the championship fight, but I have full confidence in the package I've got and the team, so we’ll keep at it.
“Last year [in New York], we should have finished one-two, and I decided to hit the wall, so I owe the team a podium there! I'm looking forward to it, but there's no guarantees – we really struggled in Mexico City this year, for example, and I won there previously, so we're going to have to do our homework and make sure we've got things set up well, so we can be competitive.”
Published on 3rd July 2022