Mortara scythed past eventual winner Pascal Wehrlein on lap eight with a tremendous run out of the Peraltada corner and diving past into Turn 1.
The Swiss driver then began to build a lead but came under fire from Jean-Eric Vergne in the middle portion of the race before getting leapfrogged by both Porsches as the German manufacturer began to stake its control over the race.
Porsche ensured the race would reach 40 laps, asking Wehrlein to increase his pace to ensure that he crossed the line for his 39th lap before the clock ticked down to zero.
Mortara says Venturi expected the contest to run to 40 laps but added the team was slow to respond to the Porsches out front.
“We were [expecting it], but we did revert to the extra lap strategy quite late compared to the others,” Mortara reflected. “They started early, and this is making quite big difference like in terms of energy.
“It was difficult because I don’t think that we had the right strategy right from the start.”
Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21, Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Andre Lotterer, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric
Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
Mortara also added that his battles with Vergne and Robin Frijns put him on a path to overconsuming energy, which ultimately left him unable to secure a result above fifth place.
With Mortara in the lead, Vergne pushed him hard, which ultimately put the Mercedes-powered car at a deficit in terms of energy consumption compared to the DS Techeetahs and the Porsches.
“It’s difficult because we spent a lot of energy and we were very vulnerable to our competitors towards the end,” Mortara explained. “They made me overconsume a lot, especially Robin the end. And, yeah, it was a difficult, struggling race, especially the last 10 laps.
“In the end, still to be P5 is not the worst thing. But we will have to do better in the next race.”
By virtue of finishing ahead in Mexico, Mortara has extended his championship lead to five points over Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries, who leapt up to sixth at the end following a slew of energy management issues for a number of cars in the top 10.