Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jean-Éric Vergne ‘to keep pushing hard’ after Berlin podium

Two-time Formula E Champion Jean-Éric Vergne is very much in the title hunt after an impressive showing at the Berlin E-Prix double-header, with the highlight of his weekend having been a podium in the second race.

After entering Berlin twenty-six points behind Pascal Wehrlein in the Drivers’ Championship, Vergne is now just nineteen points behind the German driver, after back-to-back points finishes at the Tempelhof Airport Circuit. Vergne finished Saturday’s race in seventh after making up some places from tenth on the grid, in what was one of the most chaotic races in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Sunday went much better for the DS Penske driver right from qualifying, with Vergne having made it to the Semi-Finals of the duels, where he was unfortunately beaten. Despite this, fourth on the grid was still an excellent place to be starting from, especially as it was predicted to be another mad race. The race was again crazy; however, Vergne showed his experience by putting in a really smart drive, to claim the final spot on the rostrum.

Vergne can certainly take plenty of positives away from the German capital and can enter the second half of the season feeling happy with his year so far, although, he recognises that he must “keep pushing hard”.

“Overall, it’s been a good weekend. We’ve had a very good day today. A very good qualifying, good race, and good execution. The car I had was great and we managed the best results that we could. I’m very happy with this result and this podium but I’m going to keep pushing hard because we need more wins. Overall, it’s been a good weekend and I’m happy. Let’s keep pushing.”

“I just tried to stay out of trouble” – Stoffel Vandoorne

Credit: Sam Bloxham courtesy of FIA Formula E

For Stoffel Vandoorne it was another frustrating weekend, which somewhat sums up his title defence so far. The Belgian qualified third on Saturday after showing really strong pace, with the reigning World Champion having seemingly gained some confidence after claiming pole in São Paulo.

His opening race of the weekend was disastrous, though, after being taken out by Dan Ticktum at Turn Three. Vandoorne was forced into the wall on the outside of the corner exit, with Ticktum having appeared to have been completely unaware that the DS Penske driver was alongside him. The crash caused significant damage to his car, which gave the mechanics a mammoth task ahead of Sunday.

The team did excellently to repair the car in time for Sunday; however, Vandoorne wasn’t able to qualify as well ahead of the second race, with him having only managed ninth in what was a wet session. After being taken out on Saturday, his main focus on Sunday was to simply bring the car home in the points and “stay out of trouble”, something he successfully did on his way to finishing eighth.

Overall, it was a disappointing weekend for Vandoorne but through no fault of his own, with him having shown pace on Saturday which could’ve claimed him a podium.

“Another difficult race,” admitted Vandoorne on Sunday. “First of all, a wet qualifying which was not easy with the tyres and what to do. Qualified P9 which was not ideal, but still a reasonable position to go racing. The race was dry so I kind of knew that it was going to be a chaotic one again and similar to yesterday where no one wanted to lead. It turned out that way, however I think the car felt a little bit less competitive than yesterday.

“I struggled a little bit more to be efficient and to get an energy advantage. I kind of knew it wasn’t my race, let’s say, so I just tried to stay out of trouble. P8 in the end.”