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GP Week : Issue 175
GPWEEK: First of all, I was wondering if you could tell me – what are you up to in Shanghai this weekend? How did your race go? EDOARDO MORTARA: I was racing in the Audi R8 LMS Cup for Audi. Audi China invited me to the race; it was the season finale for the championship and it went pretty well. There were two races, and I won them both. Fantastic! Does this follow on from your work with Audi in DTM? Yes. Last week you were in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One Young Drivers’ Test. What was that like? It was the same week, actually – I flew directly from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai. You must be exhausted. What was it like, then, getting behind the wheel of the E20? It was a brilliant experience, a fantastic experience for me. It was my first time behind the wheel of a Formula One car, my first time in Abu Dhabi, and my first time with the Pirelli tyres, so there was a lot to discover. It was pretty different to driving a DTM car, because Formula One cars are a lot lighter, probably half of the weight of a DTM car. Also, there’s double the power. So it was quite different, but I enjoyed it. For the first lap I was a little bit lost behind the steering wheel – there was quite a lot to do – but then I got up to speed. You relaxed into it. It must have been a lot to learn. What’s the difference like in downforce between a DTM car and an F1 car? Can you feel a difference? We get good downforce in a DTM car, but in Formula One you get even more downforce. But the main difference is in the weight – you can feel quite a lot of difference in the corners, especially in the slow corners. A Formula One car is quite light in slow corners, but it’s good pretty good traction, pretty good grip, and fantastic braking. It was quite an experience, then? And the Abu Dhabi facilities are amazing – it’s quite a remarkable circuit. Yes, it’s wonderful. To get the chance to have my first Formula One test there? It was a brilliant experience. And have you been at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend? Yes. That must be fun in a GT car, with the really long straights. Do you get a good top speed down there? We didn’t use the full GP circuit – only two corners were missing, but we were using the big straight. It was nice, actually, to drive there. I know that lots of drivers aren’t talking about what their plans are for next season; are you able to tell me what you’re doing next year? I don’t know, actually. For next year I’ll probably... Things are going pretty well for me with Audi, and if I get the chance to stay there then we will see what the programme is. You’ve gone from 9th to 5th in the DTM championship with Audi over the past two years. Do you want to carry on in DTM until you take the crown? I don’t know. It would be great to win the DTM championship, but obviously you need to have the whole package if you are going to win such a difficult competition. We’ll see – maybe next year will be even better than this year, and I’ll have a better chance. So you can add a few more wins to your tally. You won twice last season, didn’t you? Yes, sure – it would be fantastic! What was it like standing on the podium at the Red Bull Ring for your first DTM win? Officially, yes. It was my first official DTM win because I had another one last year, in an exhibition event in Munich. Obviously it was not the first race win for me, but it was great to win the race. I’ve asked about your plans for next season. What have you got coming up for the rest of this year? Are you doing any more exhibition races, or are you slowing down for the winter to focus on training? I have a race in Macau next weekend, in a GT category, with an R8, so an Audi. Then I will probably have testing for the next DTM season. Good luck in Macau – it’s a great circuit. I’ve won there three times in the past three years. Fantastic, so it’s a good circuit for you. Have fun in Macau next week. 5 MINUTES WITH EDOARDO MORTARA The DTM star speaks to Kate Walker following his first ever taste of an F1 car, with Lotus 19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: