Jean-Éric Vergne finished second in the opening race of the New York City E-Prix on Saturday, but the two-time champion feels he should have taken the victory.
The DS Techeetah driver was running second behind polesitter Nick Cassidy for much of the race around the Brooklyn Street Circuit, and he was conserving energy in a bid to make a late pass on the Envision Virgin Racing driver for the lead.
However, when the move came, both Vergne and Cassidy ran wide at the hairpin, which allowed Maximilian Günther to pass both. Günther then went on to take his first win of the season and the third of his ABB FIA Formula E World Championship career.
Vergne, who was Formula E champion in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, admits he was disappointed to miss out on what would have been his second win of the season and his eleventh victory overall, but at least the points for second place moved him up to third place in the Drivers’ Championship, just four points behind joint leaders Edoardo Mortara and Robin Frijns.
“I qualified second and finished second, it was a good race but it feels like a bit of a missed opportunity,” said Vergne. “Still, I am very happy with the points and coming back in the championship.
“Now let’s focus on tomorrow’s race and try to bring home maximum points.”
Team-mate António Félix da Costa could only finish twelfth on a difficult day for the reigning champion, with the Portuguese racer falling to fifth in the standings heading into Sunday’s second race in Brooklyn.
“It was a tough day today, but I am quite happy with the one-lap performance of the car,” said Félix da Costa. “Qualifying was okay given the group situation, but in the race we didn’t have the pace needed to attack and make up positions.
“We finished pretty much where we started from. I am confident that we can do better tomorrow.”
Both Vergne and Félix da Costa will be in group one for Sunday’s second Qualifying session alongside Mortara, Frijns, René Rast and Mitch Evans.