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Mortara 'cruised' to Saturday victory

Edoardo MortaraEdoardo Mortara says he was on cruise control for much of the Macau Grand Prix qualification race after he took a comfortable win over his Signature team-mate Laurens Vanthoor.

Despite losing the lead briefly away from the line, Mortara was back in front as the cars headed through Lisboa - and he was unchallenged thereafter.

Although he found his lead getting chipped away by Vanthoor who had moved up to second on lap three, Mortara said he never felt truly threatened as he secured pole position for Sunday's main race.

"My start was really good, but at the same time [Valtteri] Bottas was side by side with me on the first straight," he said. "I saw Daniel [Abt] was overtaking him on the outside and we did the Mandarin Corner side-by-side.

"It was quite a long way to go like that but we are team-mates and I took care not to crash or to push him into the wall as that would compromise our race.

"After that, I was pretty safe. I was a bit pushed but nothing happened really and I just put the cruise control on and went away."

After Mortara built up a four-second lead in the early stages of the race, Vanthoor was able to bring the gap down to just more than two seconds in the closing stages but Mortara says he had not felt any risk.

"I felt pretty comfortable in front," said the Italian. "The team were keeping me informed of the gap, but it was difficult to hear on the radio what they were saying.

"I was trying to keep my laptime and maybe I slowed down a little bit too much and he was able to come at me. But it was pretty safe.

"However, this was just a qualification race so nothing important happened today. It was just important to finish in the top five. Tomorrow is the race that counts, and we will see what we can do."

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