ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara insists he is not thinking about a maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship title despite sitting 11 points clear at the top of the drivers’ standings.
The Swiss-Italian driver will return to the track this weekend in New York City for Rounds 11 and 12 of the world’s premier all-electric series off the back of a victory in Marrakesh last time out.
That win was Mortara’s third this term and means the 35-year-old leads the pack heading into the business end of the season with just six races to go.
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Mortara is also looking to secure his fifth consecutive podium this weekend which, if successful, will see him follow in the footsteps of ROKiT Venturi teammate Lucas di Grassi and DS TECHEETAH’s Antonio Felix da Costa to become just the third driver to do so in Formula E.
His recent rich run of form has put Mortara at the front of a four-driver shoot-out for the title which also includes Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH), Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) and Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing). Just 15 points separate the top four drivers.
But speaking ahead of the race, Mortara refused to be drawn into speculation about his title chances due to the unpredictable nature of Formula E, which he describes as the most challenging racing format he has done.
“I don’t really want to think too much about that [winning the Championship]”, he said. “We have to be very focused on the next six races, do whatever we can with results and then we will see.
“The other day I was looking back at where we were standing after Monaco, and we were quite far from the leaders, but quickly we managed to turn this bad moment around.
“The opposite could also happen when maybe you're having a good moment, and then if you relax a little bit too much you start not doing what you should, then it could be that you end up having a bad weekend and find yourself chasing the others again.
“It [Formula E] is the most challenging Championship I've ever done. But this year, what is pretty incredible is that the four of us in front in the Championship have got a pretty good points scoring average. If you think about the rules that we have in Formula E, it shows that we’re really doing a very good job.”
Mortara will be looking to maintain that consistency into the weekend’s double-header at the Brooklyn Street Circuit, however it is a track that he has historically struggled on.
He had been leading the Drivers’ Championship last season heading into the New York City E-Prix, but an error with the steering wheel saw Mortara fall down the grid in qualifying and finish the race pointless.
“It was a very difficult race weekend for us,” he continued. “I had a problem so I could not turn on my full power mode for the qualifying and so I qualified last I think. And then it was a struggle to overtake people. It was a race to forget.
“The entire weekend we were not really showing a great level of competitiveness, but I really hope that this year it is going to be different.
“I think that the engineers and the team have worked a lot to understand what didn't work last year. I hope we show this year that we can also be competitive there, and that will also help us prepare for the other events in London and Seoul.”
The 35-year-old though remains positive heading into the weekend for what is one of Formula E’s most iconic street races in Red Hook, Brooklyn across the river from the Manhattan skyline.
New York City does not feature on next season’s calendar and there is uncertainty when Formula E will return to the Big Apple, which only adds to the intrigue for this weekend.
“I think that it's a fantastic event,” Mortara said. “It's a fantastic opportunity for Formula E to come to race in New York. It's a very prestigious city and to have the chance to race there, it is truly amazing.
“I think that in general the races there are always quite fun to watch. Because of the track characteristics you get really long straights, so it tends to give good race shows because it's quite easy actually to overtake.”
And every point this weekend is to play for with just six races and three cities remaining as the all-electric racing series approaches a dramatic conclusion.
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The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s most extensive calendar to date continues in New York City this Saturday 16 July & Sunday 17 July live on Eurosport 1 with coverage from 18:00 BST.
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