After a dramatic crash on the startline of the Season 7 final decimated ROKiT Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara's chances of his first ABB FIA Formula E World Championship title in Berlin, the Swiss driver was forced to round off the season with a third-place finish overall. Now back for more in Season 8, alongside his new teammate Lucas di Grassi, Mortara is looking to take his title challenge to the next level. We catch up with him ahead of the double-header season opener in Diriyah on January 28 & 29.
"The big disappointment came because I didn't really get the chance to fight for for the title in the in the final race," says Mortara. "I don't know where I would have been able to finish the race but I feel that I would have been quite competitive."
SEASON 8 is here! All the teams and drivers set to compete in 2021/22
Since Mortara first stormed onto the Formula E scene in 2017 with a podium on his debut race weekend in Hong Kong, the Swiss man has proved to be one of the series most skilful operators, especially when it comes to challenging street circuits. Pulling out another sterling performance in Hong Kong the following season (2018/2019), Mortara ended up on the top step of the podium and secured the team's maiden win.
Since then - and after a strong Season 7, which saw him come within touching distance of the drivers' title - the Swiss driver has cemented his reputation as Venturi's frontman. Until now, that is.
For Season 8, the team has recruited seasoned Formula E driver and former Champion Lucas di Grassi, who will partner Mortara and no doubt challenge his authority as the team's leading light.
"Obviously, we've been fighting each other on track for the last four or five years now in Formula E but it's a pleasure to have him here," adds Mortara. Despite the addition of a proven champion to the team, Mortara is just as confident about his chances this season.
"For season eight, I'm looking to step it up," he reveals. "Our performance in testing was very promising and I felt very comfortable and confident in the car in Valencia. Combining this with the pace that we showed in Season 7, I think we are in an encouraging position.
"Last season we were fortunate to stand on the podium and this year for sure I want to emulate that result - we’ll try our best to start the season in the right way. Consistency will be crucial in 2022.
"Diriyah is such a special event - it's very unique. Going to Saudi Arabia and racing at night, and the track is mega. I really like it. It's a mix of medium and fast corners, so it's very challenging because you have to go very, very close to the walls."
With the testing and tight city street circuit playing to Mortara's strengths this weekend, the championship hopeful will be looking to make an early impression as he and 21 rivals all jostle for three podium places in the historic city of Diriyah on January 28 and 29.
While the Swiss driver remains confident about his newly recruited ex-Audi teammate, expect sparks to fly between the pairing as they go head-to-head on the streets of Saudi Arabia.
TUNE IN: Where and how to watch every minute of Season 8