In what looked to be another sure victory for Mercedes-EQ and the reigning champion Nyck de Vries, it was Mercedes-powered ROKiT Venturi Racing who ended up dominating the second round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Diriyah with a one-three finish. After the race, we caught up with race winner Edoardo Mortara and his new teammate Lucas di Grassi on their double podium.
"What a day and what a weekend! Especially after my mistake in Qualifying on the first day.
"What a mega race and what a mega result for the team. I'll take that. I'm very glad to bring that win to the team and a one-three - it's amazing.
"It was a very strategic race and very difficult for the nerves because I didn't have a lot of energy, as did the other people around me, so they were playing a strategic game - trying to attack me and trying to make me consume [energy]. I just tried to keep my head cool and it worked.
"I was basically fighting with everyone. I was trying to manage the gap to make it big enough because, on the back straight, Lucas and Robin were quicker than me. It was for sure an eventful race but in the end I'm glad we managed to win this one.
"It's great to be leading the Championship but it's only the second race out of 16 rounds, so it's pretty early in the season. But I'm very happy that Lucas and I are scoring good points for the team - it's very important to have a good start to the season, especially with the new rules in this Championship.
"But let's see now how we get on in Mexico City."
"I started P4 and I stayed in P4. Then, with ATTACK MODE, I managed to go all the way to P1, passing Nyck.
"Then I had two minutes less ATTACK MODE than Edo, when he came back, so I let him by and I was following him trying to conserve energy and recover some energy back. I had 1% more energy than Robin, who was attacking us, and he made a move just before the Safety Car came out.
"Plus Edo crashed into the wall in front of me, twice! So we were a bit lucky as well - it was an interesting race. This one-three is not mine and Edo's job - it's a whole team job, so thank you everyone for trusting me to be part of the team."
"Coming to a different team, a different software, a different everything, I need to get used to half of the functions - you need to understand what they do to the car and you cannot just practice that on a simulator.
"The car was mega - it shows that we're here to win and we're super competitive. We are in the beginning of the Championship and the team is competitive. This season, you need to score every race because of the new Qualifying format - you don't get any advantage by not being at the top [of the Championship], so I think we've started it in the right way and I'm pretty confident going into Mexico."
If one thing is sure after the showdown in Saudi, it's that the Mercedes package has proved itself as the powertrain to beat this season. Over the two races, the German manufacturer's package was underneath four of the six podium sitters. Only Andretti Formula E (Jake Dennis, P3 in Round 1) and Envision Racing (Robin Frijns, P2 in Round 2) got a look in otherwise.
Weather Mercedes' domination will continue unchallenged remains to be seen. But if Formula E's wildly unpredictable form is anything to go by, the series will give way to many new challengers and championship contenders as the season progresses. Stay tuned as the competition heats up in Mexico City on February 12.
Published on 29th January 2022