"Could have competed for victory" - Rene Rast explains reasons for double setback at Formula E in Rome
Nil points were scored by McLaren at last weekend's Formula E Hankook Rome E-Prix. A number that, as so often in motorsport, is not enough to sum up a race weekend. Because even though neither Jake Hughes nor Rene Rast scored a top-10 result in the end, the pace seemed to be there to fight for podium places and race wins - like Norman Nato in the factory Nissan. Rene Rast was understandably frustrated after the race.
For the German DTM champion, a technical problem initially stood in the way on Saturday. After a good qualifying, the man from Minden had startet from 5th on the grid and had even worked his way up to a podium position when the red flag came out. After the restart he suddenly had to pit and dropped back. In the end, no points for Rast - despite "gigantic race pace."
"We had a software problem, which then led to the brake and regeneration not working in the end. Then we had to give up because the brake overheated. That was very unlucky, because up until then it looked really good. The car felt good, we were at a good energy level. Maybe we could have even fought for the podium with Mitch Evans," Rast told e-Formula.news.
Collisions for both McLaren drivers on Sunday
Although McLaren was able to solve the brake problem immediately following Saturday's race, Rast was also knocked out of Sunday's race through no fault of his own. After the collision between New Zealanders Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy, a tailback formed through the entire field and several drivers rear-ended each other.
"Everyone braked in front of me, and I arrived there at full speed - you don't stand a chance," Rast described the collision. He damaged his front wing, which slid under the car. "I drove straight to the pits with it, but because the safety car was only out for one lap, I was half a lap behind. There's nothing more you can do. We could have competed for victory yesterday and today, but somehow it's not meant to be at the moment. I don't know why it's not working."
Teammate Jake Hughes was also involved in the rear-end collision and dropped out of the points after changing the nose of his car. The Briton had not even been able to contest Saturday's race after a severe accident.
James: "Must break streak of poor results"
The British team had already gone without points in Jakarta and Portland. This also worries team principle Ian James: "The last few races have been particularly painful for the team - a series of brutal race weekends. Some we've been able to influence, some we haven't. But it remains the case that we are simply not achieving the results we are aiming for. Today's race in Rome continued that."
"We need to break this streak of poor results, so we have already shifted our focus to the season finale in London," James announced. The home E-Prix for McLaren is already on the agenda in just under a week and a half. There, the team would like to round off an all in all mixed first Formula E season with good results.