Nyck de Vries ended a poor run of results for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team during the London E-Prix, with the Dutchman claiming second place in both races to take over at the top of the standings in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
De Vries was back on form during Saturday’s opening race at the Exhibition Centre London (ExCeL) track, climbing from ninth on the grid to take an excellent second, with good late race passes on Sébastien Buemi for third and Alex Lynn for second giving him the podium.
Ultimately, he was too far behind BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Jake Dennis to do anything for the win, but after only a run of only two points in the previous six races, it was a welcome return to the front end of the field.
“It’s great that we were able to hit back today with this second place on the podium,” said de Vries on Saturday. “We’ve had a tough time this part of the season up until now, for which we were partly to blame but there have also been factors outside of our control.
“It’s really nice to have made it onto the podium here in London, especially when you think that we managed to move up the field from ninth on the grid.
“It’s just fantastic to be able to reward the team with such an amazing result after all their hard work over the past weeks and months and to do it in one of our home races here in London.”
De Vries was back at it on Sunday, but whereas he was pleased with his podium on Saturday, this time he felt disappointed to finish second, this time to Mahindra Racing’s Lynn.
The Dutchman felt the timing of the safety car went against him, and ultimately it left him vulnerable to attack from Lynn, with the Briton going on to claim his maiden Formula E victory. He will, however, go into the season finale in Berlin next month as the championship leader, six points ahead of countryman Robin Frijns.
“This is my second podium of the weekend, but ultimately, I’m a little disappointed to have only finished runner-up today,” said de Vries after Sunday’s second race. “However, most of all I feel sorry for my team-mate Stoffel [Vandoorne], who deserved the win in my opinion but was taken out by Oliver Rowland.
“Still, there’s nothing you can do in such cases. All in all, we were a bit unlucky with the safety car, as we had just activated Attack Mode when it came out on track. That made me vulnerable following the restart and then Lucas di Grassi was suddenly up front, fighting for the lead, which really surprised me, because he shouldn’t have been there.
“In the end, Alex Lynn and Mahindra Racing were deserving winners. I gave it my all, but unfortunately, it was impossible to get alongside him and launch another attack.”
“To be left now with no points is extremely frustrating for me” – Stoffel Vandoorne
Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was left downbeat after Sunday’s race after being taken out from the lead by Nissan e.dams’ Oliver Rowland having started from pole position.
Vandoorne had appeared to have found the pace that had been lacking in recent races and was on course for his second victory of the season before Rowland, who was overly optimistic in his overtaking attempt. He ultimately ended eleventh in the final result once Lucas di Grassi was disqualified.
“Of course, I am hugely disappointed,” said Vandoorne on Sunday. “It was a tough afternoon for me today. I started from pole position, led the race for a long time and had everything under control.
“To be left now with no points is extremely frustrating for me. I’ve spoken to Oliver and he’s accepted full responsibility for the incident. What’s positive about today, though, is that my car was fantastic. I controlled the gaps and was able to pull out a lead when I needed to for the Attack Mode activations.
“To then lose so many points and miss out on another potential win just really hurts. These points are immensely important in this championship, especially in a season as tightly contested as this one.”