Stoffel Vandoorne says winning the Monaco E-Prix feels ‘fantastic’ as the Belgian took a superb victory at a track where his Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team has not been strong in the past.
The 2021 Monaco E-Prix was a struggle for everyone at Mercedes, but 2022 was a much different story, at least on Vandoorne’s side of the garage. He qualified fourth having made it into the semi-finals of the duels, and he outpaced all his rivals to clinch his first victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season.
Vandoorne was full of praise of his team for giving him the car to be able to fight at the front of the field and enable him to stand on the top step of the podium in the principality for the second time in his career, having done so on his way to the GP2 Series title in 2015.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” said Vandoorne. “Monaco is one of those very special races that every driver wants to win.
“We had a tough weekend here last year but we really managed to turn things around this time. Our goal was to qualify well up the field, and after that, it was obvious to me that we could be top contenders as well. And that’s how it went.
“We were really flying today, so many thanks to the team for putting such a strong car at my disposal.”
Vandoorne says the consistency he has shown in the opening stage of the season is paying off, and he can head to the Berlin E-Prix with confidence and with the championship lead.
“My start to the season wasn’t easy, but consistency is paying off now,” said the Belgian. “I’m really pleased about that. I feel like I’ve been fighting up front all season.
“I’ve had a few pole positions but couldn’t quite convert them into wins, so this weekend, I decided not to qualify on pole but to go for victory instead, and that strategy worked.”
“Unfortunately, the race didn’t go as I’d hoped” – Nyck de Vries
Unfortunately for team-mate Nyck de Vries, the Dutchman was only able to finish tenth on Saturday as things did not go the way the reigning Formula E champion had hoped they would.
De Vries was involved in the lead battle in the early laps, but he seemed to fall down the order during the attack mode period, drifting as low as thirteenth at one point.
However, he was able to gain a few places on the final lap to secure the final point on offer and felt after the race he had the pace in the car to finish higher up the order had things gone more his way.
“Unfortunately, the race didn’t go as I’d hoped,” admitted de Vries. “It was maybe just one of those days where things go from bad to worse, but still, I think we had great pace today.
“We were strong in energy management, got a great start and gained a position. But then sometimes, things just don’t come together subsequently, and that was the case today.
“Fortunately, Stoffel had a terrific race and achieved a win for the team. I’m really pleased about that for the whole team, as every individual member of the outfit had truly earned it with all their hard work.
“I will now try to hit back at the next race weekend in Berlin.”