Monday, June 24, 2024

Stoffel Vandoorne Feeling ‘Pretty Optimistic’ for ‘Most Intense’ Race of the Year

Reigning World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne returns to the venue where he claimed his only victory during his title-winning campaign this weekend, the iconic Circuit de Monaco.

This weekend’s ninth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the famous Monaco E-Prix, a race which Vandoorne states as being the “most intense” of the season. After enduring a challenging start to life in Gen3 and at DS Penske, the Belgian has been showing significant progress over recent rounds; however, his title defence is all but over.

He was unfortunate to only score four points last time out in Berlin, with Vandoorne having been taken out of the first of two races in the German capital after being hit by Dan Ticktum, a collision the Briton was penalised for.

Despite the disappointment, he enters Monaco feeling “pretty optimistic” and hopeful of a good result at the race he refers to as “home”, where a win could bring his season to life.

“I am really looking forward to Monaco, as I consider it my home race. It is a unique and demanding track, dominated by slow and medium-speed corners. It is certainly the most intense circuit which demands 100% concentration and focus.I am pretty optimistic, I have seen great progress in the last few races, the Team keeps working and improving. The car has showed a strong pace so we’ll continue to work hard as we head into the race weekend.”

“It is always something very special to drive these legendary streets” – Jean-Éric Vergne

On the other side of the DS Penske garage, Jean-Éric Vergne is targeting a big weekend in Monaco after returning to the podium in Berlin, with the Frenchman being very much in title contention.

After finishing third in the second race in Berlin, the two-time Formula E Champion heads to Monaco third in the Drivers’ Championship and just nineteen points behind Pascal Wehrlein, with eight races remaining. It means that should things go his way, Vergne could leave Monaco as the new championship leader; however, that is somewhat unlikely.

Like his team-mate, Vergne is a former Monaco E-Prix winner, with the thirty-three year-old having been victorious at The Principality back in Season Five. He also claimed a podium in Monaco as recently as last season, perhaps making him an early favourite for the rostrum.

Monaco certainly marks a great opportunity for Vergne to build some momentum, which will be key as the season enters its second half this weekend. Looking ahead to the action, Vergne can’t wait to get out onto the “legendary streets”, with it always being a “very special” feeling.

“Monaco is an iconic race for all the drivers, it is always something very special to drive through these legendary streets! I have amazing memories here and I definitely want to create new ones with DS PENSKE. Each race is a new beginning, a new chance to take a maximum of points and I cannot wait to hit the track this Saturday!”

Credit: Sam Bagnall courtesy of FIA Formula E