Mercedes, Venturi allowed to start Diriyah E-Prix after Mortara crash

The four Mercedes-powered Formula E cars will be able to contest the second Diriyah E-Prix night race after being granted permission by the FIA stewards

Mercedes, Venturi allowed to start Diriyah E-Prix after Mortara crash

A rear-braking failsafe system failure occurred in addition to a initial front braking issue caused Venturi's Eduardo Mortara to crash.

The Swiss driver was taken in an ambulance to a local hospital following a car failure that meant he crashed heavily into the TecPro barriers in Saudi Arabia after a practice start.

This was "a result of brake failure" according to a Venturi statement, and meant the FIA withdrew both customer team cars and the works Mercedes from Diriyah E-Prix qualifying.

According to the FIA, "the competitor can not prove to the FIA technical delegate that the car is safe.

"Due to a brake failure at the end of free practice 3, one model of the Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 was involved in a significant accident.

"The brake system lost the front brake pressure and the pressure sensor was at 0.

"Both brake pedal travel sensors indicated that the brake pedal was fully pushed by the driver.

Mercedes has made an adjustment to the software, which has now been evaluated by the FIA - and the four cars are able to contest the second night race on the Riyadh Street Circuit.

Mercedes team principal James told Autosport: "It is a software issue, I can confirm that now.

"With regard to the fix, we are confident that we can make an adjustment to that software to change the parameter effectively to make sure the cars absolutely safe.

"What we need to do now is make sure the FIA is satisfied with that way forward."

James explained that a backup system should have come into effect when Mortara's car first suffered an issue with the front brakes, however this did not transpire.

He said: "There are two issues at stake here.

"One is the failure of the front brake system for whatever reason that might be.

"There is a backup system that, should the front system go into a failure mode, then a back-up system takes over.

"What we saw on Edo's car is that didn't happen.

"We are confident we know why that didn't happen and we know the steps needed to change that."

James also confirmed that this incident was "totally unrelated" to Nyck de Vries' Turn 1 crash in the Mexico City E-Prix last season, which occurred shortly after he had engaged Fanboost.

The cause of that crash was attributed to an individual team software issue and not to a specified component part.

Mortara has since returned to the paddock having been signed off to race - and Venturi Racing team principal Susie Wolff has stated it is his call to compete in the race, which takes place at 20:03 local time (17:03 GMT) if the car is ready.

Reserve driver Jake Hughes is ineligible owing to not taking part in a practice session.

shares
comments
Frijns: Zoom call with tech chief turned around Diriyah E-Prix fortunes
Previous article

Frijns: Zoom call with tech chief turned around Diriyah E-Prix fortunes

Next article

Diriyah FE II: Bird beats Frijns to secure victory in red-flagged race

Diriyah FE II: Bird beats Frijns to secure victory in red-flagged race
Load comments
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Plus

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself Plus

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race-winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Plus

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021