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Formula E

Mortara dubs team-mate di Grassi ‘the butcher of Formula E’

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Edoardo Mortara described his own Venturi team-mate Lucas di Grassi as “the butcher of Formula E” after contact between the pair terminated Mortara’s impressive Monaco E-Prix drive.

Mortara was left furious after the incident, which occurred on the exit of the tunnel and punctured one of his rear Michelin tyres.

The Italo-Swiss driver had performed a strong race, rising from 16th on the grid to fight with di Grassi for what was then seventh position.

“I had a close encounter with the butcher of Formula E,” said a clearly unhappy Mortara immediately after the race.

Edoardo Mortara Venturi Monaco Formula E

“My team-mate Lucas di Grassi put me out. He caused us to have a puncture and we had to retire because of that.

“Until then it was going very well. We were very quick, coming from P16 to P6 in Monaco where it’s difficult to overtake so I was pretty happy about everything.

“And then he did the things that honestly are hard for me to understand, but it is what it is.”

Di Grassi was not made available for comment after the race as he was required to attend the required random doping control immediately following the event.

The incident, which occurred with seven laps of the race remaining, was not investigated by the stewards and no TV footage of it was broadcast.

Di Grassi, who went on to finish in sixth position, has faced regular criticism for incidents and contacts throughout a Formula E career in which he has completed all 89 races held in the series so far.

Venturi team principal Jerome d’Ambrosio told The Race that he had yet to see footage of the incident and was reserving judgement until a full investigation is held into the contact that lost Mortara a decent haul of points.

“It’s important for us that these things will be treated and sorted internally,” said D’Ambrosio.

“Obviously, every driver feels they’re right and they’re in the right when they jump out of the car.

Edoardo Mortara Venturi Monaco Formula E

“Until you see data and footage, for us it’s impossible to even understand really in-depth, what exactly happened.

“From our perspective it was just unacceptable.

“You can’t have your two cars collide on track. We’ve seen it many times in racing, but it’s something that is fundamentally wrong because of all the work and sweat and tears that goes into making these cars fast.

“I’m talking about the mechanics’ works, the engineering, the engineers’ work, and that one point when they collide with one another, and we lose points as a result – it’s just a question of being disrespectful to that work that the team has put in.

“But again, it’s something that we need to address internally, and we will do so internally.”

D’Ambrosio said he the incident was especially galling because until that point Venturi had executed a strong race at its home event.

Lucas di Grassi Monaco Formula E

“We were having a fantastic race which is what makes it even more frustrating.

“Lucas was in a podium-fighting position until the safety car, so timing was unfortunate, nothing we could have done and at that time as well [he was] taking his attack mode.

“We can be very happy with the work that the team has done this weekend.”

Mortara’s non-score in Monaco was the second consecutive E-Prix he has suffered damage that has signalled the end of his race.

He was in a similarly good position in the second Rome E-Prix when he was hit by Antonio Felix da Costa – who received a penalty for the transgression.

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