Jean-Eric Vergne believes that he could have extended his championship lead at the Zurich ePrix had it not been for the penalty he was issued and a problem he faced with his second car.
The Frenchman started way back in seventeenth after a qualifying session that he describes as a ‘mystery’, but he fought through the field swiftly during the race.
He had climbed comfortably into the top ten, when he along with four other drivers were issued with a drive-through penalty for speeding under the full course yellows caused by debris on the track.
And this happened after he had already lost time in the pits when his second car wouldn’t select a gear after he had completed the swap.
Were it not for these issues Vergne believes that he could have beaten his nearest title rival Sam Bird, but with the Techeetah driver only able to recover to tenth he ended up having his lead slashed to twenty-three points.
Speaking afterwards he said, “Qualifying today was a mystery, I felt like I had the best car I’ve ever had in Formula E so far, and yet we were the slowest, so we will look into this and fix whatever the issue was.
“The team really gave me a good car for the race today, I had an incredible race pace and managed to overtake some drivers two, three times.
“It’s a real shame about the penalty and our mistake in the car change where the car didn’t slot into gear and I lost six, seven seconds.
“I could have finished second today if we hadn’t had these issues which would have been ideal, but now we take the title fight to New York. We will learn from our mistakes this weekend and we will come back much stronger.”
Vergne’s team-mate Andre Lotterer was one of the other drivers issued with a drive-through penalty for speeding under the yellows, something that he also believes cost him a podium.
“I am gutted to be just off the podium here in Zurich,” Lotterer said. “I was feeling very good in the car today and ended up fighting in some very tense battles for the win!
“The pit stops came and we were sitting very nicely near the front until the penalties. I guess it just wasn’t our day, but I felt on top form in my cockpit, setting the fastest lap late on.”
Their double points finish meant that Techeetah kept their comfortable lead at the top of the team’s standings, beating Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler by thirty-three points with just two rounds to go in New York.