Mercedes EQ, together with their customer team Venturi Racing, have both been cleared to race in this evening’s second race in Diriyah, following an investigation into the bizarre high-speed crash suffered by Edoardo Mortara in free practice earlier today.
Following a routine practice start at the end of the session, Mortara accelerated away but went straight on at the first corner, crashing hard into the Tecpro barrier and appearing not to decelerate prior to the impact
Mortara, who delivered a starring performance to take P2 in yesterday’s race, had to be removed from the car and was taken to hospital for precautionary checks. He was later confirmed fit to race, however, his team were unable to repair his car in time so he will now not take the start.
Following Mortara’s shunt, the FIA excluded his team Venturi, and their powertrain supplier Mercedes from taking part in qualifying pending a proper investigation into the cause of the crash.
It was later revealed by the FIA that front brake failure was the cause of the impact, with Mercedes confirming via a team statement that a software issue prevented the rear brakes from being activated as a fail safe.
As confirmed by the FIA, Mortara’s front brake system had lost pressure, however, the investigation indicated that the Venturi driver was hard on the brakes at full pressure prior to the impact.
As a result of Mercedes and Venturi’s exclusion from qualifying, the three remaining cars will start today’s race at the back of the grid.
Update 16:53 GMT –