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Mortara: Software issue behind Formula E Tokyo energy overuse 15m from line

Edoardo Mortara says that his disqualification from the Tokyo E-Prix due to overconsuming on energy was caused by “a problem with the software” just 15 metres from the finish line.

Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M9Electro

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The Mahindra driver had his best race of the season during Formula E’s inaugural visit to Japan this weekend after qualifying an impressive third.

Having taken second off the line from eventual race winner Maximilian Guenther, Mortara gradually slipped back in the pack but still crossed the line in sixth to register his and the team’s first points of the season.

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But the Swiss driver was disqualified after stewards found that “the total energy used was over the maximum of 32kWh”.

“Unfortunately across the start/finish line we had a problem with the software with some power overuse,” Mortara told Autosport.

“Normally we should have a power derating once you have achieved the full battery capacity, and that function didn’t work very well and we ended up overconsuming.

“I think it was 15 metres before the start/finish line, so it wouldn’t have changed anything [to the result].

“But it’s still our fault, the rules are the same for everyone and I think that disqualification is, I have to say, kind of deserved.

“We take it on the chin, but we need to make these things better.”

Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing

Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The tight, twisty confines of the street circuit used in Tokyo meant overtaking opportunities were few and far between, aiding Mortara’s attempts to stay towards the front of the field.

But an overall slow race pace meant the pack was bunched for the entirety of the 35-lap contest, putting Mortara at risk of losing places when activating both Attack Modes.

“It was a difficult day. I was really trying to stay with the leading cars and we are struggling with efficiency during the races and we have to be quite creative in order to make sure that we can score some good points,” added Mortara.

“Unfortunately it was extremely difficult because [Oliver] Rowland at the front decided to not really push and so it basically kept the pack very compact and these are the worst races for us – we’re very vulnerable against our competitors, but I still think we did a pretty good race.”

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Mortara’s team-mate Nyck de Vries endured another difficult race after starting a season-best 12th, before contact in the race after slowing for an incident ahead forced him into retirement.

“It didn’t quite work out for me today, I got tangled up in a collision, but that happens when you’re in that area of the grid, and on these super tight tracks,” said de Vries.

“Hopefully we can continue the positive trend forward and score points in the near future.”

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