F3 » 10 November 2008
Euro: Mortara hails `08 campaign.
Edoardo Mortara has pronounced himself happy with his performance in this year's Formula 3 Euroseries, despite his initial title charge faltering towards the end of the season.
A consistent run of results in the first few races, including a superb win at Pau, gave Mortara a comfortable championship lead heading into the second-half of the season, but a lacklustre run of form would eventually see him fall behind eventual title winner Nico Hulkenberg.
Nonetheless, the Italian staved off several drivers to emerge from the 2008 season as a runner-up and, more importantly, as the best placed Volkswagen-backed driver.
Given this was Volkswagen's first full season in the series, Mortara admits he is not dwelling on the mid-season lull that ultimately cost them what would have been a surprise title win.
“Our F3 Euroseries season was a big success,” he said. “I have to say that it was something of an emotional journey: we had some very strong results at the beginning of the year, then a slight dip in the mid-season that we had to fight back from.
“Luckily we were able to dig deep and we had a strong end to the season, which enabled us to secure second place in the F3 Euroseries: a tremendous result for what was only Volkswagen's first full season in the championship.”
Part of the problem for Mortara was his qualifying form, one which meant he started inside the top ten in just two of the final six races.
“One area we needed to work on was getting straight on the pace in qualifying, but this is something that we had addressed by the end of the year. I also learnt more about how to deal with traffic as I sometimes found myself right in the middle of the pack. It's been a very good learning experience.”
Looking ahead to next season, Mortara admits his options are open. While he hasn't ruled out another season in Formula 3, he admits he would like to graduate to GP2 having already taken part in post-season testing.
He also hints at another direction, which could include DTM. Indeed, Volkswagen are thought to be keen to follow Mercedes' lead in promoting younger drivers into the Audi fold, a move that has benefited Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta in the past.
“There are a few options that I am looking at, but we're in no rush to make a decision. Of course it would be nice to step up a category, maybe towards GP2, but Formula 3 is so competitive that it could also be good for me to have another season there. Or even to try something completely different in order to increase my overall experience. Let's just wait and see…”
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