In motorsport, the highest of highs can easily be followed by the lowest of lows and in the blink of an eye, an entire situation can turn on its head.
In mere moments, everything can change, and for Edoardo Mortara, the run-up to Race 2 of the 2021 Diriyah E-Prix featured such a turn in which the unimaginable became a reality.
After taking P2 and silverware in Race 1 on Friday, the start to Saturday, at first, was nothing out of the ordinary for Edo.
Over the course of FP3, the Swiss-Italian racked up 22 laps en route to P6 in the timings, next lining up on the grid for a practice start in preparation for Race 2.
He accelerated from his grid spot before applying pressure to an unresponsive brake pedal, and what happened next put our weekend on hold.
“The crash was caused by a brake failure, and unfortunately, that technical problem sent me directly into the wall at the end of practice,” explained Edo, recounting his accident on the Riyadh Street Circuit.
“It’s not something that’s nice to experience, and nor would I want anyone to experience it. You’re essentially a passenger in your own car and there is nothing you can do about it.
“I was in a lot of pain immediately but in an accident, your adrenaline is so high that it helps to control and calm your pain.”
Following the collision at Turn 18, Edo was immediately extracted from his car and taken to hospital for precautionary assessments, in-line with FIA safety regulations.
After undergoing checks, Edo was deemed fit to race later that same afternoon and returned to the track with the intention of contesting Race 2.
“At the hospital, I felt very stiff,” he continued. “The pain was caused by pulled ligaments and bruises on my muscles but I was very glad that I didn’t have any serious injuries.
“Knowing that, I pushed to start the second race of the weekend but unfortunately, the team wasn’t able to repair the car in time.”
Since leaving Diriyah and returning to his Geneva home, Edo has been recovering, and after a period of rest and recuperation, is excited to get back behind the wheel as Formula E returns to Rome.
“I was limited as to what I could do to recover – I just had to rest. I saw a physiotherapist pretty much every day for two weeks to try and speed up the healing process but there’s very little you can actively do.
“I’m still feeling a little bit of pain now but I’m very excited to get back to the track and go racing again in Rome which is my home event as a Swiss-Italian
“It feels like Diriyah was a long time ago now but we have shown that we have potential and I can’t wait to see how we perform in Rounds 3 and 4.
“The new configuration of the Rome track looks great – it has a good mix of corners which, on paper, makes it a potentially fantastic circuit. It’s going to be mega.”