Formula E

Stoffel Vandoorne: “I’m honestly a bit surprised that I still made it onto the podium”

2 Mins read
Credit: LAT Images

Stoffel Vandoorne admitted finishing on the podium in the opening race of the Berlin E-Prix on Saturday was a bit of a surprise, particularly after falling down the field in the opening laps.

Having started eighth on the grid, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver did not have the best of starts at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, and he fell well outside the top ten before be began his fightback.

Vandoorne said it was important to stay cool during his recovery, and he utilised a good strategy to ensure he maintained his lead in the Drivers’ Championship.  He finished less than two seconds behind race winner Edoardo Mortara, and only missed out on second to Jean-Éric Vergne after losing out to the Frenchman after he used his Fanboost advantage.

“Considering the way the E-Prix started, I’m honestly a bit surprised that I still made it onto the podium,” said Vandoorne.  “From eighth on the grid, I didn’t exactly have the best of first laps, and I lost a lot of places over the course of it.

“After that, I think I was actually way down in P15 at one point in the race. But I kept my cool and started to feel that there was good pace in the car. I was able to take advantage of that today and pull off some neat overtaking moves.

“Also, the team had a good strategy, which I was able to implement during the race. That enabled me to fight my way back to the front after my mediocre starting lap and still finish in the Top Three.”

“We were just not quick enough on our side of the garage” – Nyck de Vries

Team-mate Nyck de Vries did not have the same kind of pace on Saturday, with the Dutchman only just scraping into the points after a late race pass on Oliver Rowland for tenth place.

The defending series champion struggled with the temperature of the right rear tyre throughout the race, with the issue causing an imbalance of the car that made it difficult to drive.

“That was a tough race,” said de Vries. “I was happy with our start and the first couple of laps, but after that, I simply wasn’t quick enough.

“I was struggling with the car – the right rear temperatures were very high from lap one onwards – so there was a bit of an imbalance, and the pace was just not good enough. I think maybe we could have done a bit better, but ultimately, we were just not quick enough on our side of the garage, and that was that.

De Vries hopes for better fortune on Sunday in race two, which takes place at the same track but with it reversed compared to race one.

“Obviously tomorrow the track is going to be a bit different, because we’ll be going in the opposite direction,” said the Dutchman.  “I think we can be strong – if we can manage to be a bit more competitive, then I am sure we can have a good day.”

Nyck de Vries struggled to tenth in race one on Saturday – Credit: LAT Images
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