Practice 1 // P6
Practice 2 // P23
Qualifying // P17
Race // DNF
Championship // P8 [30 points]
Practice 1 // P19
Practice 2 // P10
Qualifying // P8
Race // DNF
Championship // P22 [1 point]
ROKiT Venturi Racing
Championship // P9 [31 points]
In a historic race for Formula E, ROKiT Venturi Racing returned to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the first time since pre-season testing to contest the first part of the inaugural Valencia E-Prix.
Racing in Spain – and on a purpose-built circuit – for the very first time, a promising 75-minute practice window preceded qualifying for the fifth race of the 2020/21 campaign.
From Groups 2 and 4, drivers Edoardo Mortara and Norman Nato secured P17 and P8 on the grid, with the latter Frenchman narrowly missing out on a place inside the Super Pole shootout.
Due to various penalties, the pair lined up in P6 and P16 for the race as, moments before lights out, a sudden downpour created completely unpredictable track conditions.
After starting behind the safety car, both Norman and Edo successfully made inroads during the opening phase of the 45-minute + 1 lap event.
Avoiding an accident between Andre Lotterer and Sebastien Buemi, Norman soon progressed to P5 while Edo closed in on the fight for the final points-paying positions.
Running as high as P8, Edo’s race came to an early end when, with five-minutes remaining, the Swiss-Italian was struck by Porsche’s Andre Lotterer in Turn 1.
This left Norman as ROKiT Venturi Racing’s sole runner as a late safety car – the fifth of the race – set up a final sprint to the line.
In the face of constant strategy recalculations, Norman, alongside much of the field, hit critical levels of usable energy in the closing stages and was ultimately unable to take the chequered flag.
“In such unpredictable conditions on a circuit that was always going to be heavy on energy consumption, we raced into a complete unknown as a championship today. Both Edo and Norman performed well over the first half of the race but with five safety car periods, the race strategy was constantly changing and in the end, it was as much luck as strategy for those who managed to save enough energy to finish. In Formula E, the margins are very fine and we need to scrutinise our data overnight to understand exactly what happened today.”
“A difficult qualifying session meant that we had a lot to do in the race, but in conditions like today, it was just about survival – I couldn’t see anything. I was able to make good progress over the first half of the race to run inside the points but then a small mistake cost me a lot of time. With about five-minutes to go, I was hit by Lotterer in Turn 1 and that meant that I had to retire. The race was extremely difficult and the energy management was chaotic. We keep fighting though and there are more points on offer tomorrow.”
“Today was a challenging day. My performance in qualifying was good and we were very close to making it into Super Pole again. When it started to rain before the race, I knew that it would be tricky and the visibility was very poor. At the start, I had a fight with both of the Porsche drivers and ran as high as P5 but the final stages were very difficult and we’re still looking into what happened. After the final energy reduction at the end of the last safety car, like the majority of the field, we didn’t have enough usable energy to take the chequered flag which is very frustrating. In unpredictable races like this, there are so many opportunities that can be taken to score a result so in the end, I’m very disappointed. For sure, I could have done a better job on my energy management and we have a lot of data to analyse tonight but fortunately, we get to race again tomorrow.”