Tough day for Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team

Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne came 9th and 13th respectively as the second night race in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship ended in Diriyah

  • The FIA did not allow our customer team Venturi Racing or our two cars to take part in qualifying as a safety precaution after Edoardo Mortara (Venturi Racing) crashed while practising starts after the end of FP3.
  • The team was able to get to the bottom of what caused him to crash following a thorough analysis of the various parameters and made software changes to correct the problem, ensuring that the cars were safe to use. As a result, all four Mercedes-EQ cars were allowed to take part in the E-Prix.
  • Nyck and Stoffel started the second race of the season in Diriyah from positions 20 and 22 respectively.
  • Nyck set a time of 1:08.811 minutes on Lap 20, the fastest of the race.
  • During the race, Stoffel was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for changing a power unit, since he had been unable to serve the usual penalty reserved for that particular infringement of the rules (having to start 20 places back down the grid).
  • With 36 points, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team are now in second place in the team championship after the second race of the season.
  • The third round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will take place on 10 April in Rome.

Driver
FP3
Qualifying
Super Pole
Race
Standings
#17
N. de Vries
P2
1:07.440
21 Laps
DNS
P9
Grid: P20
FL: 1:08.811
P1
32 Points
#5
S. Vandoorne
P7
1:07.562
25 Laps
DNS
P13
Grid: P22
FL: 1:09.689
P15
4 Points

Ian James (Team Principal):
“I’m not finding it easy to refrain from starting my review of Diriyah with a cliché, because it really was a weekend full of ups and downs.

Today was tough after yesterday’s successful first race of the season. Following on from Edo’s crash in one of our customer cars, we were unable to take part in qualifying. We managed to fix the problem and luckily, nothing happened to him, which is paramount in all of this.

Not taking part in the qualifying badly affected our entire day, as it meant we had to start out on an incredibly eventful race from the back of the field. It was always going to be a difficult E-Prix for us from the outset in P20 and 22 on the grid, but Nyck benefited from penalties and finished in the points.

He showed good pace today and was able to gain a couple of positions during the race. As for Stoffel, we took a call with strategy in view of his position on the grid and consciously accepted a penalty in order to be well placed for the next round of races in terms of power units. The resulting stop-and-go penalty made it all the more difficult for him to gain position today.

We obviously thought that today would be very different after Nyck’s win yesterday. Still, in a long hard-fought season, we’ve always known that there would be difficult days, from which we would have to learn. Hopefully, this will be the only day like that and we will be able to build once again on the performance we showed yesterday, starting with the next race.”

Nyck de Vries:
“Today’s race was very frustrating after my maiden win yesterday. Everyone was on a similar strategy and we didn’t get very far as a result, but days like this are simply part and parcel of motor racing. As for me personally, I felt great. We’ve got an excellent package and it’s a shame that we had so many safety car periods in the end, because otherwise, we could have a good showing over the final segment with three percent more energy than our immediate competitors. We were able to benefit from the penalties after all in the end and come away with three points from today. Still, we had a very positive weekend. Of course, it was a pity that we weren’t allowed to take part in qualifying, but we were quick right from the start and our pace was strong here today. Those are all things that we can build on.”

Stoffel Vandoorne:
“I’m coming away from the track with mixed feelings. We had a good start to the season yesterday with Nyck’s win and my charge up the field and into the points. Today was tough, as we couldn’t take part in qualifying. Moving forward in the race was very difficult, and so unfortunately, we came away empty-handed. All in all, though, I feel confident about the future. We’ve got a good package and a strong car – that’s what matters. We’ll now have to strike back at the next race in Rome.”