Formula E Berlin E-Prix Race 1: Mortara converts maiden Pole into victory

(Photo by Sam Bagnall / LAT Images)

ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara converted his first-ever Formula E Pole Position into a second win of the season which lifts the Swiss-Italian into title contention.

Having failed to finish in the past two races, Mortara controlled the race to perfection despite the relentless pressure from the drivers behind.

Mortara navigated his way through the championship’s new qualifying system with the closest duels seen to date. The Semi-Final duel between Mahindra’s Alexander Sims and Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne saw the two drivers set the same exact time.

With the benefit of completing the lap first, Sims continued on while a frustrated Vergne vented over the rule. After the first sector split, Motara trailed the Mahindra driver but managed to gain back the time over the final two sectors to pull off a spectacular Pole Position.

Holding the lead of the race as the lights went out, Mortara started to maintain his energy as the drivers behind started to make moves. The Tag Heuer Porsche drivers of Pascal Wehrlein and Andre Lotterer were firmly in the mix early on and both made impressive moves to get ahead of Sims.

Suffering slightly poor qualifying performances, championship leader Mercedes EQ Stoffel Vandoorne and Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans made progress from the lower end of the top ten.

The very tactical race oddly did not see the appearance of the Safety Car as drivers aimed to reach the chequered flag in order to gain as much knowledge ahead of the second race tomorrow.

As the drivers went through the “Attack Mode” phase, the top six drivers, mainly consisting of Mortara, Vandoorne, Vergne, Lottere, Evans and Wehrlein, kept in a tight formation.

As the race entered its final stages, Vergne, who had used his Fanboost to launch a diving move on Vandoorne for second, had closed up to Mortara with only a handful of laps to go.

The Venturi driver anticipated a move from the Frenchman so preempted a defensive line into the second-last corner which caught Vergne off-guard. This left him vulnerable to an attack from Vandoorne and Lottere behind.

With no close threat from behind, Mortara scampered off into the distance – building a 1.7 second gap when he crossed the line. Despite hounding Vergne over the course of the final lap, Vandoorne had to settle for third with the Techeetah driver claiming a third successive podium.

Mortara’s win moves the Venturi driver into fourth in the championship – 19 points adrift of Vandoorne who, on 96 points, still tops the standings albeit three points ahead of Vergne.

Evans’ run of three consecutive podium finishes came to an end as the Kiwi finished fifth however the Jaguar driver still occupies third in the standings with 82 points.

Wehrlein took sixth which meant that both Porsche’s finished comfortably within the points while Jaguar’s Sam Bird, DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa, Sims and Reigning Champion Nyck de Vries rounded out the top ten.

The drivers will once again race around the Tempelhof Airport Circuit however, the next race will be run anti-clockwise.

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