MARRAKESH E-PRIX: FRUSTRATION FOR THE VENTURI FORMULA E TEAM
Marrakech, January 13th, 2018
Monaco’s VENTURI Formula E team had a difficult day in the third race of the championship in Marrakesh (Morocco), as an incident in the latter stages put paid to any hopes of a points finish.
The first practice session was hampered by an electronic engine management issue, which meant none of the four cars were able to deliver full power. The VENTURI Formula E team’s engineers were able to resolve the problem in time for the second practice session.
MIXED QUALIFYING FORTUNES
Maro ENGEL qualified in 14th, some way short of the position that he and the team had been hoping for, largely due to the earlier disruption to free practice (see above).
Edoardo MORTARA saw his chances of posting a good time slip away as qualifying went on. After having to restart his car, Edoardo then ended up in the run-off zone, before being forced to slow down for a yellow flag on his final lap. The Italo-Swiss driver eventually qualified in 20th place.
PERFORMANCE AND FRUSTRATION
As early as the third lap, the VENTURI Formula E team drivers showed that they were still very much in contention. Having started in 14th, Maro ENGEL worked his way up the field to 8th, in the space of just 16 laps. Meanwhile, Edoardo MORTARA also shone. On re-joining the circuit with his second car, he crossed the line in 9th, having made up no fewer than 11 places in the first half of the race.
Both VENTURI Formula E team drivers maintained their charge in the second half, continuing to gain places and demonstrating once again that the Monegasque car has the pace and efficiency.
With two laps to go, Maro ENGEL was 7th and Edoardo MORTARA 8th, but the duo then found themselves caught up in a hugely frustrating sequence of events. Edoardo, just behind Maro, was surprised by a double overtaking manoeuvre involving his teammate and Nick HEIDFELD. He collided with the wall and was forced to abandon the race (final standing : 17th), while Maro ENGEL picked up a penalty for causing a collision in his duel with the German driver and finished at the 13th position.
“I’m disappointed because we had a good race and it was a fine comeback. On lap 31, Nick was overtaking me and I left him enough room, then passed him again immediately, but he didn’t leave me any room. He squeezed me against the wall, we touched, and it caused him to spin. I don’t understand the penalty. He took his driving line as if I wasn’t there. I did everything I could to avoid it”, Maro ENGEL, VENTURI Formula E team driver
FULL STEAM AHEAD
The VENTURI Formula E team leaves Marrakesh lying 5th in the overall standings. Edoardo MORTARA is also 5th in the driver’s standings, with Maro ENGEL in 14th. The next race is in Santiago (Chile) on 3 February.