Formula E

Stoffel Vandoorne Takes Championship Lead after Monaco E-Prix Victory

3 Mins read
Credit: LAT Images

Stoffel Vandoorne took over at the top of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Drivers’ standings after winning the Monaco E-Prix on Saturday.

The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver started fourth and took advantage of the retirement of Pascal Wehrlein to take over at the front of the field having reached second after excellent usage of his first attack mode.

Polesitter Mitch Evans claimed second place for Jaguar TCS Racing, while Jean-Éric Vergne completed the podium for DS Techeetah after withstanding pressure in the final laps from Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns.

Evans held the lead into turn one at the start ahead of Wehrlein, with Vergne holding off Vandoorne for third. The early laps were all about energy saving, with the leading pack all bunched up together, with the first overtakes coming when drivers began using their attack modes.

Vergne was one of the first to take their attack modes and moved himself into position to take over the lead when Evans and Wehrlein took theirs.  Evans also fell behind Wehrlein and Vandoorne, before Wehrlein then attacked Vergne to take over the lead. 

However, his advantage was short-lived as the Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team driver slowed with an apparent electrical issue the prevented him from moving on.  It was also here where Vergne lost out as he took his second attack mode just moments before a full-course yellow was deployed as Wehrlein stopped on track dangerously at the exit of the tunnel.

This gave Vandoorne the lead from Evans, with Vergne and Frijns in close attention.  However, behind the full-course yellow, it appeared Vandoorne was able to edge away from the chasing pack, and when the race resumed, he had over a four-second advantage.

It would get worse for Porsche just a few minutes later as André Lotterer found himself in the wall at Ste Devote after contact with Oliver Rowland.  Rowland was attempting to pass Lotterer, but the Mahindra Racing driver appeared to go into the turn with too much speed and pushed his rival into the barriers.  Unfortunately, the contact also saw Rowland’s race end with front end damage.

The safety car was deployed due to the crash, eradicating the lead that Vandoorne had built up, but he was able to hold onto his lead on the restart and controlled the race until the chequered flag to take his first victory of the season.

Evans, who appeared to have energy concerns in the early laps, was able to take second, while Vergne held off Frijns for the final podium.  Frijns had made good use of his attack modes to climb from seventh on the grid, while he finished just ahead of the second Techeetah of 2021 Monaco E-Prix winner António Félix da Costa.

Félix da Costa managed to jump ahead of ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Lucas di Grassi thanks to his second attack mode, with the Brazilian having lost out having followed Vergne into the attack mode zone just ahead of the full-course yellow.

Maximilian Günther was on course for seventh, but the Nissan e.dams driver was extremely tight on usable energy and ultimately was forced to drop dramatically off the pace on the final lap to be able to see the chequered flag. This meant Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy was able to take seventh ahead of Nissan’s Sébastien Buemi, who came from the back of the grid to take eighth.

Buemi just edged out Avalanche Andretti FE Team’s Jake Dennis at the line, while Nyck de Vries took the final point in the second of the Mercedes after a tough afternoon for the reigning champion.

Alexander Sims’ search for a first points finish of the season goes on as he missed out in eleventh, with Daniel Ticktum ending twelfth for NIO 333 FE Team ahead of the Dragon/Penske Autosport duo of Sérgio Sette Câmara and Antonio Giovinazzi.

As well as Rowland, Lotterer and Wehrlein, Sam Bird was an early retirement in the second Jaguar with suspension damage, while Edoardo Mortara ended his day in the pit lane having been inside the points despite having started the race sixteenth.

Vandoorne’s victory puts him to the top of the Drivers’ Championship heading to the Berlin E-Prix ahead of Evans, while Vergne slips from the lead to third.

Monaco E-Prix Race Result

POS.NO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME/GAP
15Stoffel VandoorneBELMercedes-EQ Formula E Team51:12.473
29Mitch EvansNZLJaguar TCS Racing+1.285
325Jean-Éric VergneFRADS Techeetah+3.293
44Robin FrijnsNEDEnvision Racing+3.467
513António Félix da CostaPORDS Techeetah+3.952
611Lucas di GrassiBRZROKiT Venturi Racing+8.133
737Nick CassidyNZLEnvision Racing+15.273
823Sébastien BuemiCHENissan e.DAMS+17.773
927Jake DennisGBRAvalanche Andretti FE Team+17.820
1017Nyck de VriesNEDMercedes-EQ Formula E Team+18.283
1129Alexander SimsGBRMahindra Racing+19.350
1233Dan TicktumGBRNIO 333 FE Team+19.756
137Sérgio Sette CâmaraBRZDragon/Penske Autosport+22.894
1499Antonio GiovinazziITADragon/Penske Autosport+22.987
158Oliver TurveyGBRNIO 333 FE Team+23.198
1628Oliver AskewUSAAvalanche Andretti FE Team+23.432
1728Maximilian GüntherGERNissan e.DAMS+39.668
RR48Edoardo MortaraCHEROKIT Venturi RacingRetired
RET36André LottererGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E TeamRetired
RET30Oliver RowlandGBRMahindra RacingRetired
RET99Pascal WehrleinGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E TeamRetired
RET10Sam BirdGBRJaguar TCS RacingRetired
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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