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Talking
to Mr Macau

Talking to Mr Macau 01

British Formula 1 hero Graham Hill – who captured a remarkable five wins around the streets of Monte Carlo in the 1960s – eventually came to be known as ‘Mr Monaco’, on account of an almost instinctive affinity with the place that even he couldn’t quite explain.

But there’s another driver who has made an even more challenging street track his very own, triumphing again at Macau recently despite a 30-kilogram weight penalty on his Pirelli-equipped Mercedes GT3 in the main race.

Meet Edoardo Mortara, who joined Mercedes from Audi at the start of the season and has proved to be a phenomenon in every category he has raced in, from karting to the DTM. The 30-year-old Swiss Italian is now a true Macau master, having taken a remarkable seven wins at Macau after dominating the entire FIA GT World Cup weekend – with wins in both the qualifying and the main race.

It wasn’t easy win though. On the first corner of the first lap of the main race, he actually hit the barrier while trying to open a gap, but luckily, he simply bounced off it and was able to continue with very little time lost. Then there were two safety car periods that wiped out his lead. In the end, he finished only half a second ahead of Audi star Robin Frijns…

Edoardo, should we call you 'Mr Macau' now? Was your seventh win just as satisfying as the others?
“It's always something special to win here. I don't really want to compare results, because each was incredibly beautiful at the time. This year's win was also very special in its own way. It was the first time I've won in Macau for Mercedes, which makes me very happy. After a relatively problematic season in the DTM, I was looking forward to Macau all the more, as I've already had so many successes here in the past. The fact that the outcome was the World Cup title is just fantastic.” 

How hard did you have to push?
“I’ve been in front of races a few times now and I was trying to push without taking many risks. We had great pace but we weren’t 100%. That was key; because if you’re always 100% in Macau, you end up crashing: guaranteed. You can’t go over the limit, instead you have to understand where you are quick and where the others are quick and work with that. Last year I qualified on pole in Macau but couldn’t convert it to a win, so it felt really important for me to win this year. Same goes for Mercedes, they didn’t win last year either, so now we did it together and that feels really nice.”

Talking to Mr Macau 02

Macau again lived up to its reputation. A massive pile-up in the qualifying race turned the Grand Prix on its head, just like last year... 
“The race in Macau is always spectacular. In Saturday's qualifying race, we were lucky that we were starting from the front and were not involved in the mass collision. It’s almost inevitable that accidents are going to happen here often, as the smallest mistake is punished. But the circuit through the city with the narrow sections, and the high speed on the straights is incredible and I really enjoy it. I have to thank the whole team, because the set-up was just perfect over the whole weekend. But all the same, it was not easy, as the conditions in the main race were very changeable with a drying track. I almost spun off on the first corner because I was pushing so hard to put some distance between myself and my closest pursuers. But at the end of the day, we won, and I'm really happy about that.” 

Talking to Mr Macau 03

So, you celebrated accordingly? 
“First, we attended the official award ceremony, and then we moved on to a nightclub. There was a big end-of-term party for the whole team. Everyone really deserved that after such a strenuous week and we celebrated well into the night. But I won't go into too many details - what happens in Macau stays in Macau!”

And which other dreams do you have left now?
“You know, I’m not actually a dreamer? I prefer to go and do things!”

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