A difficult end to the 2018-19 Formula E season which triggered publicly vented frustration from Edoardo Mortara was understandable, according to the driver’s team principal Susie Wolff.
Mortara took a breakthrough first-ever victory for Venturi Racing at Hong Kong in March but then went through a run of eight races without scoring a point.
Reliability issues and several incidents ensured that Mortara went from fourth in the standings to 14th at season’s end which triggered a frustrated rant at the final race in New York City.
On retiring from the final race Mortara said over the team radio: “I mean I want to finish and go on vacation and forget this s*** season.”
Wolff says that she sympathized with the Italo-Swiss driver after a disappointing end to the last campaign but said that there were reasons why it occurred.
“I think the frustration was warranted because at times last season the car wasn’t easy to drive, he [Mortara] made a couple of errors going for moves that were a bit too ambitious but I think fundamentally he’d shown his pace in Formula E,” Wolff told e-racing365.
“Unfortunately we weren’t developing throughout the season because we had made the decision towards the beginning of the season to switch powertrain which meant the focus wasn’t fully on development and I think that is why we tailed off.
“He now has a slightly different team around him which I think will benefit him and I also think the consistency in moving to the Mercedes powertrain and what that will bring will also be helpful to all of us.”
Wolff hasn’t discounted early frustrations this season but has highlighted Mortara as having the potential to revel in more overt energy consumption races in 2019-20.
“I think we will have our teething issues initially as it is a big challenge for a new manufacturer to come in when most of the others have been up and running already for a season,” she said.
“But I think fundamentally we have a stronger foundation for this season and I still think Formula E will be very open and the qualifying format won’t allow it to be any different.
“I do think we are going to see more races around energy consumption which wasn’t the case last season and this is one of Edo’s strengths so I am intrigued to see how it unfolds in the first few races.”