DS drivers Vergne & Vandoorne aim for return to Formula E glory: "Just don't want to lose any more!"
After a gruelling Formula E year in 2023, Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne hope to be back fighting for the top ranks in the electric racing series next season. To do so, the duo will "have to double all the work" to catch up to their rivals.
No other duo of drivers can look back on as many successes in Formula E as that of DS Penske. With Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne set to contest their second year together in black and gold in 2024, the team hopes to find its way past the top Jaguar and Porsche-powered Formula E teams. But the challenges are as great as ever ahead of the new year.
This is due in particular to the development restrictions in the electric racing series: Powertrain packages are homologated for two years at a time and after that can only be modified on the software side. Formula E is currently in the middle of its first Gen3 cycle, which is why Vergne and Vandoorne will compete in 2024 with powertrains of the same design as last year.
"We have tough competition that certainly didn't go on holiday doing nothing," Vergne told e-Formula.news. "The top teams will be even stronger next season. So we have to double all the work if we want to catch and beat them."
Vergne: "Hate losing more than I like winning!"
The Frenchman was downbeat after last season's final race, even describing the London E-Prix as a "humiliation". Apart from his victory in Hyderabad, Vergne hardly shone in other races in 2023. "I cannot say I'm happy with last season. Winning two championships and quite a few podiums and victories in Formula E, to be struggling like we did last year is not something pleasant."
"But it is what it is: We have a huge amount of work and already started (with it) a long time ago to improve the car. We know the areas we have to improve. Are we going to be able to fix all the issues that we found? Only the results will tell."
Vergne does not lose motivation despite DS' "underdog" role, as he says himself. On the contrary: "I hate losing much more than I like winning. I just don't want to lose anymore. That's my motivation."
Vandoorne wants to fight for titles again: "Interesting things in the pipeline"
Vergne's team-mate, Stoffel Vandoorne, also admits in an interview with e-Formula.news: "Last season was very tough and not something I want to live through again. When things are tough, it's easy to point the finger at others. But that's not what we're here for: We are here to progress and move forward."
"There are some interesting things in the pipeline that might not have an immediate result, but I am very confident that we can get back to where we belong and compete for wins and championships."
The new season kicks off in Mexico City on 13 January. The successful duo from DS Penske will then be able to show whether their work over the past few months has paid off.