Stoffel Vandoorne was unable to convert pole position into victory in race one of the Diriyah E-Prix on Friday, with the Dutchman taking responsibility for the mistake that handed the win to team-mate Nyck de Vries.
Having taken pole position in the first ever knockout Qualifying session in Saudi Arabia earlier in the day, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver looked on course to take the victory under the floodlights only to lose position when an attempt to activate his attack mode failed.
The mistake handed the lead and ultimately the win to de Vries, much to the chagrin of the former McLaren F1 Team driver, but despite the disappointment, he was pleased that Mercedes was able to dominate the race from start to finish, the two drivers ending well clear of third placed Jake Dennis.
“After qualifying on pole, I’m obviously a bit disappointed with second place, but I think it’s not bad when you have the luxury of feeling dissatisfied with second place,” said Vandoorne. “I led the race from the start, had everything under control and the car had strong pace today.
“Then, unfortunately, I missed one of the loops when activating my second attack mode and that gave the lead to Nyck. After that, we pushed each other and were able to pull away from the rest of the field. A one-two finish is a great result for the team.
“You can’t be disappointed after such a fantastic team result at the start of the season. And there’s another chance tomorrow. You must never let up in this series. It’s so tight – as soon as you let up just a little, someone else will step in to take advantage.
“Today’s outcome doesn’t automatically mean that tomorrow will be the same. That’s why we have to do our best on Saturday as well. For my part, I will be trying to go one better in the second race.”