GP2 »

Mortara delighted with opening round success


Edoardo Mortara admits that he feared having his maiden GP2 Series victory taken away from him as he spotted Barcelona feature race winner Romain Grosjean homing in on his Arden entry.

The Italian lined up third on the grid following sixth place in Saturday's race, and made a great start to beat polesitter - and new GP2 Asia Series champion - Kamui Kobayashi and fellow front row starter Geido van der Garde into the first corner. Once ahead, he had few rivals, but knew that Grosjean - who had worked his way through from the outside of row four - had the potential to end his dream.

Despite coming under pressure, however, Mortara kept his nerve and produced a mature performance that belied his limited GP2 experience to eventually take the chequered flag by 1.251secs, netting the bonus point for fastest lap along the way to slot into second place in the standings behind Grosjean.

"When I got into parc ferme, I could not believe I did it," Mortara admitted, "It was a tough race. When you are leading, and I've been in this position other times, it is always difficult. I knew that the easiest way for me to win was to make a gap between first and second, but I also had to look after my tyres.

"Kobayashi didn't get a great start, but van der Garde made a good start like me and we were side-by-side [before] I really attacked on the brakes at the first corner and got the lead. Then, when I saw Grosjean in my mirrors, I thought 'sh*t, now it's going to be difficult'. I thought I maybe had a ten per cent chance to beat him because he's been the fastest guy all weekend but, if I pushed like crazy, I could create a gap.

"I put in my best laps of the race and saw that I could hold him. I made one stupid mistake in the chicane that allowed him to get close, but that was the only mistake I made in the race. For him to come back was then difficult. When you follow somebody very closely you can destroy your tyres and that's what happened to him in the end."

Mortara had already opened his 'summer series' account in race one, improving six positions on his grid slot to finishing in sixth place, despite having been forced off the road at the second corner and actually having to make up more ground. The combination of an early pit-stop, a succession of quick laps and some inspired overtaking moves saw 'Edo' sitting well within the points after all the pit-stops had played out, but still had to battle both Lucas di Grassi and Pastor Maldonado before the flag.

"The start was not so bad and, when I arrived at the first corner I braked early and wanted to accelerate, but I got squeezed in the second corner and went too wide and hit the dust," he revealed, "I exited on the Astroturf, jumped in the air, but was able to continue with no damage.

"I pushed like hell and over the next few laps I made a lot of overtaking moves, and the team called me in for an early pit-stop that allowed me to finish where I did. The team did an incredible job and I pushed like crazy, but I knew we had good pace because I could sometimes see Grosjean and started catching him, which was a good sign.

"The last laps were really difficult because we made an early pit-stop and the tyres were pretty much destroyed at the end -it was a difficult situation. di Grassi was even slower than me and I think he had a problem with his brakes, locking up, but I couldn't really overtake him because I couldn't do the last corner flat and he could. Each time he would pull out a bit on the straight and I couldn't get close. Then Maldonado got past me, and passed di Grassi, which allowed me to take di Grassi too."

Despite his success, however, Mortara knows that there are still areas that he can work on in coming rounds.

"We showed we have good pace, and it's a great result, but we have to keep our feet on the ground," he insisted, "I need to improve my qualifying and continue to work with the team. They did a really brilliant job this weekend. The car was competitive all weekend and I'm really happy because it was an incredible result for the first race. Now we just have to qualify better and do a better first lap because I think we have the pace. We showed that today, and I'm sure it will come. I think Grosjean is a step above the others, and we're not frontrunners yet, but I think we will be this season."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Arden star Edoardo Mortara celebrates GP2 Series sprint race victory in 2009
Nabil Jeffri - Arden International [credit: GP2 Media]
Jack Aitken, Arden, GP3 [Credit: Jack Aitken PR]
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 29 November 2015. The red flag caused by the crash involving Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), Norman Nato (FRA, Arden International), Nicolas Latifi (CAN, MP Motorsport), Daniel de Jong (NLD, Trident), Sean Gelael (INA, Carlin). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 28 November 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) & Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) & Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) leads Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) at the start Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Antonio Fuoco (ITA, Carlin) leads Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) leads Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.. Saturday 10 October 2015. Top three qualifiers, Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Alex Fontana (SUI, Status Grand Prix) leads Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport), Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP), Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International), Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) passes Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.