Formula E

Jean-Éric Vergne: “We’re coming back stronger race after race”

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Credit: Germain Hazard / DPPI

Jean-Éric Vergne has certainly elevated himself into title contention, with the double Formula E Champion having claimed an impressive second place at the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix, which hosted the fifth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

After an abysmal start to the Gen3 era, Vergne and DS Penske are certainly fighting back with some force, with the Frenchman having now claimed back-to-back podiums. Of course, his podium in India was a victory, with him having actually come exceptionally close to winning in Cape Town, only to be denied by a breathtaking overtake by race winner António Félix da Costa.

Vergne showed good pace all weekend and closed the gap to Pascal Wehrlein in the championship to thirty-one points, having gained nineteen on the German who retired. Whilst Vergne and the team still have some work to do, the veteran is pleased to see that the team are “coming back stronger” now at every single race, with the Americans seemingly on an upward trajectory.

“It’s been a really nice weekend in Cape Town, I’ve loved this city and the location of the track was amazing. The track itself was very, very cool. Overall, I’m very happy with second place, and happy to be frustrated with second place! I think we’re coming back stronger race after race as a team, and as long as we keep going in that direction, I’m going to be very happy.”

“At some point, my luck will turn around” – Stoffel Vandoorne

On the other side of the DS Penske garage, it was another frustrating weekend for Stoffel Vandoorne, who was denied a place in the duels following a red flag in his qualifying group.

The reigning World Champion started twelfth as a result and battled through the field to finish seventh, scoring him some solid points. Seventh certainly isn’t where he wants to be finishing, though, with the Belgian’s chances of retaining his title looking slimmer by the minute. After five races he still finds himself outside the top ten in the championship and sixty-nine points behind Wehrlein, meaning he must realistically claim some consecutive podiums instantly after the four-week break, if he wants to get himself into the fight.

Reflecting on the weekend, Vandoorne admits that it was “complicated” but that his side did a “good job”, with his team-mates podium once again showing that the team are making “continuous progress”.

“It’s been a complicated weekend. To be honest, I feel like as a team we’ve done a good job in the practice sessions and qualifying to get the car into good shape. Unfortunately, the luck just didn’t go my way, especially in qualifying. I was on a very good lap, but then there was a red flag. Then, and I got impeded on my other lap, so in the end I qualified P12 on the grid which would normally have been a top five start.

“The team made some good strategy decisions alongside our good race pace. In the end, we had a good race and managed to recover to P7 for some points. It was great to see JEV back on the podium which confirms our continuous progress and shows the result of keeping our heads down and continuing to work hard. At some point, my luck will turn around!”

Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E
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