Jean-Éric Vergne was full of praise for his DS Techeetah mechanics after they fixed his damaged car in double-quick time ahead of Saturday’s opening race of the Rome ePrix weekend.
Vergne was caught up in an incident that saw NIO 333 FE Team’s Oliver Turvey crash heavily into the back of his car and the car of Jake Dennis as they lined up for a practice start in first practice on Saturday morning. However, despite missing second practice as his team repaired the car, the Frenchman was able to take to the track for Qualifying and take fifth on the grid.
Vergne played the tactical game well throughout the race and took over the lead when then race leader Lucas di Grassi slowed, and he took the line for his first win and first points of the 2020-21 FIA Formula E season.
It was also the first race Techeetah used their new powertrain, and he praised the way it felt on track as he moved up into fifth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
“Today was our first race day with the new powertrain and it started well, it felt really good,” said Vergne on FIAFormulaE.com.
“The team did a great job to fix the car after the crash in FP1 and qualifying went well. I thought I’d have a bit more speed in the race and it was a question of keeping in control in tough conditions – it was very, very tricky in the race and on the way to the grid you’re just feeling the track.
“My engineer was very good in giving me directions on energy management and ATTACK MODE. The team told me the best window to take it in and got it just right. From there, it was a case of looking at energy consumption as it was going to be tight. So, I did not block Lucas (di Grassi) when he attacked me as I was already trying to save energy.
“I knew he had a bit less so I just let him go and would wait. I thought I could get him again at the end – so it’s unfortunate he had his problem. It’s never nice to see, especially with a such a good race.”