"Best result achieved that was possible" - Vergne maximizes DS potential, Vandoorne success overdue
Jean-Eric Vergne was once again on the podium after Sunday's Formula E race in Berlin-Tempelhof. In the process, he got the most out of his DS drive. With solid points, the Frenchman maintained third place in the world championship. His teammate Stoffel Vandoorne also impressed on Saturday with strong pace, but is still waiting for a deserved moment of success.
After Vandoorne was already on pole position in Sao Paulo, but in the race victim of the strong slipstream effect, things initially looked good for him on Saturday as well. Starting from 3rd on the grid, the reigning Formula E champion was always fighting at the front and certainly had the potential to lift his first trophy of the season. Then he went out without any fault due to an accident with Dan Ticktum.
"It was good to confirm our pace (from Sao Paulo)," Vandoorne said. "With third on the grid, we were in a good position to hope for another good result. At the beginning of the race everything went well. Then I had bad luck with the second attack mode: shortly after I activated it, the safety car came out - so it was impossible to take full advantage of it."
"And then there was that incident...," Vandoorne alludes to the launch by Ticktum, annoyed. "It's frustrating because there was a great opportunity today to score some important points." Instead, he came away empty-handed on Saturday.
Sunday, the Belgian didn't fare quite as well - even compared to his teammate Vergne. "The car felt a little less competitive than yesterday. I struggled a bit more to be efficient and get an energy advantage. I kind of knew it wasn't my race, so I just tried to stay out of trouble. In the end it was P8 and another difficult race." Vandoorne certainly deserved a win - his form curve has been pointing steeply upwards of late.
Vergne maintains WDC rank 3: "Need more wins"
It went better for Vergne. On a rather unremarkable Saturday, the double champion collected important points as seventh - although he experienced a "really complicated race". "I was hit several times and even skidded once. That caused me to drop back to 19th place before I was able to work my way back up to seventh. At the end of the day, though, I'm pretty happy to have finished in such an eventful race."
In the second Berlin race on Sunday, Vergne stepped it up a notch. Despite strong rivals such as Mitch Evans and Antonio Felix da Costa behind him, he brought home third place and thus stood on the podium for the 33rd time in his career. In the WRC, Vergne overtook Jake Dennis at the Berlin E-Prix and now also ranks 3rd in the championship - just 19 points behind leader Pascal Wehrlein.
With a lot of routine and strong pace, Vergne is getting the most out of a vehicle so far this season. Because in terms of efficiency, the four vehicles from Porsche and Jaguar actually seem to have slight advantages. Vergne knows this too and is correspondingly satisfied with his race weekend in Tempelhof.
"We had a very good day today - a very good qualifying and a good race," he says. "We achieved the best result that was possible. I'm very happy with this result and the podium, but I will keep working hard because we need more wins."
Jay Penske: "Strategy decisions were spot on"
Team boss Jay Penske is also pleased with his drivers, saying, "They drove very intelligent races and the strategy decisions were spot on. JEV fought in the top 5 throughout the race and finished a very respectable third place in the end. I am very proud of the performance and look forward to Monaco with the goal of getting both of our drivers on the podium."
Formula E's guest appearance in the principality is scheduled for May 6.