In 2011, his first DTM season, Edoardo Mortara was “rookie of the year.” Since then, he has finished in the top five of the overall standings an amazing three times. After having had chances of clinching the title for a long time last season, the Italian is one of the candidates for the title again in 2016.
However, in view of the extreme competitiveness in the DTM, “Edo” is reluctant to be nailed down on a prediction. “My goal is the same every time: to have a good year – especially following a strong season like last year’s.” In 2015, Mortara even led the standings some of the time, only a muffed penultimate race weekend deprived him of the chance to clinch the title.
In his green-blue Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM, he is again competing for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. However, within the squad, Mortara switched to another side of the pits. In 2016, he is the new teammate of Mattias Ekström, the most successful Audi DTM driver of all time. “I can only profit from his experience,” Edo is convinced. “I get along well with Mattias and will no doubt learn some more things from him.”
Having to get used to a new race engineer for the third consecutive year in the DTM now is not a disadvantage in Mortara’s opinion. “I’ve known my new engineer, Nicola Palarchi, from last season. Obviously, there’ll be a learning curve for us in the beginning. But that’s not a problem.”
In the DTM, Mortara now drives car number “48.” “This number dates back to my days in karting and brought me good luck back then,” recalls Mortara, who is listed as an Italian entrant. Actually, there are other national colors that could be emblazoned on his Audi RS 5 DTM as well. Mortara was born in Geneva, Switzerland – as the son of a French mother and an Italian father. His father now lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. As Mortara spends a lot of time there as well, he frequently handles commitments for the local Audi importer.
Two years ago, the DTM star married his Spanish fiancée, Montserrat Retamal. Together with friends, Mortara runs a Japanese sushi restaurant in Geneva, his main place of residence. The Italian is particularly popular in Macau, China, as well, where he won the prestigious Formula 3 Grand Prix twice in succession and celebrated three other victories in the Audi R8 LMS. In the GT3 sports car, Mortara would like to be on the grid again in Macau this year.
However, his top priority in 2016 is again the DTM for which he has optimally prepared and whose new format he likes. “The decision to hold two races per weekend was definitely positive,” says the Audi driver. “I like the new format – and for the spectators the show has become more attractive as well.”
One of Mortara’s favorite tracks is the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg – and not only because that is where he celebrated two victories in the DTM. “Spielberg is one of the most beautiful facilities, set in fantastic natural scenery,” he says. “Plus, in addition to my successes, I had a number of great experiences there. For instance, I had the opportunity to fly as a passenger in a Red Bull aerobatics helicopter.”
Mortara has always had an interest in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft – and, obviously, in fast cars as well. Privately, like many of his driver colleagues, he drives an Audi RS 6 Avant. “As an Audi driver, I enjoy the privilege of being able to test all the models. The RS 6 is a really special one in the line-up, even though I can’t drive it flat-out in Switzerland.” That his job frequently takes him to Germany’s autobahns may offer some solace ...