It was a disappointing end to the race weekend for the VENTURI Formula E team as Rome played host to an action-packed seventh round of the 2018-2019 Formula E Championship in front of sell-out grandstands. Despite positive results during the two morning practice sessions and strong qualifying performances from both drivers, neither VENTURI VFE-05 made it to the finish line in the Italian capital with both cars suffering transmission failures.
Confident qualifying performances placed Swiss-Italian VENTURI driver Edoardo MORTARA 7th on the starting grid shortly followed by his Brazilian team mate, Felipe MASSA, in 9th.
“I think we’re pretty clear on what the problem was but we need to perform further analysis before we can say for sure. It’s a shame, because I think that we had a lot of pace today. I had contact with [Oliver] Rowland – I was trying to overtake and he closed the door quite late. It was normal racing – nothing happened, really, but in trying to overtake him, I had to brake really hard, really late, and at that point something mechanical broke. I had an amazing Qualifying, I pretty much extracted everything we had in the car, so I felt it was a good lap and I really enjoyed it. Then in the race, I was managing the energy better than the others around me and also had more pace, so this is really encouraging for me because in Sanya we struggled with that. We can take away some positives from this race, we have obviously made the right adjustments, so that’s progress. When you know you have race pace, it feels better. Now it’s time to fully confirm and rectify the problem before we head to Paris in two weeks.” – Edoardo MORTARA, VENTURI Formula E Team driver
Despite avoiding a multiple-car collision at the beginning of the E-Prix and demonstrating clear race pace, transmission issues ended the race prematurely for both drivers with MORTARA out on lap 8 following contact with NISSAN E-DAMS driver, Oliver ROWLAND, during an overtaking manoeuvre and MASSA out on lap 11 with a transmission failure.
“It’s so frustrating, because we were right there with our performance during the race. I was seventh until the point that I had a problem with the car and then, unfortunately, a big problem for the team. I think both cars suffered the same issue and it’s the second time I experienced problems today. So it was a really, really disappointing day. I would say our car was not too bad in the race. We could have achieved some championship points today but unfortunately, in the end, it’s zero points for the team. I want to thank the fans for their incredible support, it was amazing for me to be back racing in front of the Italian fans.” – Felipe MASSA, VENTURI Formula E Team driver
Prior to the incidents both cars were running well with the two VENTURI drivers confident of points finishes. The team will return to their Monaco HQ completely determined to resolve the reliability issues ahead of the Paris E-Prix on April 27th.
“The result today is very disappointing for the team – but now we need to work on finding a solution ahead of Paris. There’s no point focusing on the fact that we lost good points today when we had such good pace – it’s about finding the solution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It was a solid Qualifying from both drivers and the pace looked strong at the start of the race, so it was looking encouraging until the failures. It’s very important that we learn from the weekend and come back stronger in two weeks.” – Susie WOLFF, VENTURI Formula E Team Principal