Diriyah FE: Mercedes, Venturi stopped from qualifying after Mortara crash

Mercedes and Venturi Racing have not been allowed to take part in Formula E qualifying for the Diriyah E-Prix while the FIA investigates Edoardo Mortara's practice crash

Diriyah FE: Mercedes, Venturi stopped from qualifying after Mortara crash

Mortara set the sixth-quickest time in free practice three ahead of the second night race on the Riyadh Street Circuit but suffered a heavy crash after the 45-minute session had finished.

He completed his practice start alongside Mercedes' race one winner Nyck de Vries on the grid before, what appeared to be, a car failure left the Swiss racer unable to slow for Turn 18.

His car carried straight on at high speed and buried itself in the TecPro barrier.

Mortara was taken by ambulance, escorted by both Venturi and Mercedes personnel, to a local hospital for a precautionary assessment.

Both Venturi Racing team staff and a spokesperson for the FIA confirmed to Autosport that Mortara was conscious, talking and could move his fingers and toes.

With the Venturi Racing team a powertrain customer of Mercedes, the FIA have stopped both teams from taking part in qualifying until the nature of the failure has been resolved.

A Venturi statement read: "Initial evaluations suggest that the accident was a result of brake failure. The team will continue to investigate this thoroughly ahead of qualifying and race sessions."

Mercedes team principal Ian James confirmed that the engineers were looking into the braking system.

"After anything like that, you need to make sure it won't happen to the other cars, which are effectively identical. We've not proved yet that it is the case.

Clearly it's the right decision from the FIA. The engineers are working hard to make sure we can put all that relevant information together to get us back in the game again.

"We're well underway of knowing which area to look at. I think we know what the failure was but we need to make sure it can't happen on other cars.

The incident appeared similar in nature to the free practice crash that required former Audi driver Daniel Abt to be airlifted to hospital in Mexico City.

That shunt was attributed to an error occurring after Abt deployed fanboost, which meant his rear axle did not slow the car on the approach to Turn 9 and he registered a 20-G impact.

Abt posted on social media: "Really hope Edo is fine.

"Looked just like my crash in Mexico.

"FIA has to make sure Formula E cars can't accelerate by themselves.

"Super dangerous."

Venturi Racing team principal Susie Wolff has said it is Mortara's choice whether to contest the race or not.

"That's Edo's car and if Edo's fit to drive he will be taking part in the race.

"It will be his decision."

Although FIA Formula 3 race winner Jake Hughes was recently signed by the team as a reserve driver, he did not take part in a practice session and so is ineligible to take the seat.

shares
comments
Diriyah FE: Frijns beats de Vries to top spot in Saturday practice
Previous article

Diriyah FE: Frijns beats de Vries to top spot in Saturday practice

Next article

Diriyah FE II: Frijns beats Sette Camara to maiden pole for race two

Diriyah FE II: Frijns beats Sette Camara to maiden pole for race two
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Plus

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner Plus

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Brit

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Plus

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Plus

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity Plus

Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity

Although now well into his 24th consecutive season in racing, Andre Lotterer has no intention of winding his career down. Here he talks to Autosport about his and Porsche's continued progress in Formula E, his love for racing in Japan, and recalls his sole Formula 1 outing - and considers what's next in his lengthy career

Formula E
Apr 27, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Plus

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022