Vandoorne disappointed after contact in 100th DS race: "We really deserved to be on the podium"
"Our 100th race did not go quite as we had hoped," was the simple conclusion drawn by DS Performance boss Eugenio Franzetti after Sunday's Formula E race in Jakarta. DS Penske scored a total of 24 points on their special weekend - but 22 of them had already been scored on Saturday. In the 100th race, however, both drivers sustained damage on their cars.
It has been a long time since the DS Automobiles brand entered Formula E. In the second season 2015/16 and in the two following years, DS was initially involved as a partner of Virgin Racing and celebrated their first successes, especially with Sam Bird. At the start of the Gen2 era, the French manufacturer partnered with Techeetah. A very successful period followed, with a number of victories and a total of four championship titles.
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At the start of the Gen3 era before the current season, DS teamed up with the Penske team. So far, Jean-Eric Vergne has scored a race win for the new affiliation, while Stoffel Vandoorne has contributed a pole position. However, the reigning world champion is still waiting for a podium result. In the 100th race on Sunday of the Jakarta E-Prix, it wasn't to be either. For a long time, it looked good for the Belgian.
Vandoorne: "Lost confidence in the brakes towards the end of the race"
After 4th place the previous day, Vandoorne was also within reach of a podium position for a long time on Sunday - despite an intermittent failure of his radio connection to the team. However, he damaged the suspension of his DS E-Tense FE 23 when it came into contact with another car, and he subsequently dropped back successively, ultimately finishing in 9th place.
"I had a good start and activated Attack Mode at the right moments," Vandoorne said, looking back on his race. "Towards the end of the race, I lost confidence in the brakes due to a suspension problem caused by contact with another car. I was never able to fully regain that confidence."
Nevertheless, he said, he gave it his all to finish in the points. "I managed to do that and scored two points for ninth place," the world champion said. "I think that we really deserved to be on the podium. Unfortunately, I had to settle for ninth place."
Vergne with front wing damage: "A race to forget"
A similar fate was suffered by teammate Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman had also scored well on Saturday with 5th place, but had to bury his hopes for a good result on Sunday after a contact too. With a dragging front wing, he was forced to pit to get a new nose. Vergne dropped to the back of the field and had to settle for 16th place at the finish.
"Sunday's race was a race to forget for me," summed up the double champion. "My front wing was damaged in the turmoil and I had no choice but to come into the pits and change it. I was able to continue, but I didn't have a real chance of a good result after that. That was frustrating."
Eugenio Franzetti, director of DS Performance, has similar feelings and would have imagined the 100th race differently. Especially since the two sister cars from Maserati proved what was possible with the Stellantis powertrain - Max Günther dominated at will.
"It was a difficult race. Now we look ahead to the next race and are confident that the performance of our DS E-Tense FE23 will continue to be at the highest level," said Franzetti. The next E-Prix in Portland takes place on June 24.
DS Automobiles statistics after 100 Formula E races
- 2 driver titles
- 2 team titles
- 16 victories
- 47 podiums
- 22 pole positions