Vergne drove second stint ‘blind’


Credit: Formula E

Jean-Eric Vergne described his second stint in the Mexico City ePrix as like driving ‘completely blind’ after he lost all radio communication and car information.

The Techeetah driver had climbed into third place after the pit stops but a technical issue on his second car meant that he couldn’t communicate with his team, or know how much energy he had left.

As such he soon fell behind Sebastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jr as the Frenchman felt he was unable to defend against them without knowing how much he needed to manage his energy.

Speaking afterwards Vergne said, “We had a really god pit-stop and I gained a position. However, I quickly discovered that I had lost all radio, beeps and steering wheel information, so I drove my second stint completely blind.

“In the end, I had to let Sebastien Buemi pass me so that I could copy his strategy to finish the race.

“Scoring points is the most important thing at this stage so when Nelson Piquet came up behind me, I didn’t want to fight him blind, so I let him pass too.”

Despite the issue Vergne was happy to come away from Mexico still in the lead of the driver’s championship, “Despite the lack of radio and info, we’ve taken another positive step forward and retained the championship leading going into the sixth round in Punta Del Este in two weeks.”

Team-mate Andre Lotterer meanwhile had an equally eventful race after he ran over the foot of his mechanic on the way out of his pit stop.

He confirmed afterwards that the mechanic was OK, but the penalty he received for an unsafe release relegated him out of the points positions.

“It’s been a tough day in the office,” Lotterer said. “We had some stability issues in my first car that we need to investigate.

“The second car was fine and I was able to push on and climb up to seventh position. Unfortunately, we had an unsafe release from the pit-stop as one of my mechanics got brushed by the car as I was leaving.

“He’s been checked by the medical team and he’s ok, which is the most important thing. It’s a shame with the penalty but I understand why it was issued and now we move forward to the next round and to score some more points.”