Jean-Eric Vergne says he will not play a percentage game in the final three races of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, despite strengthening his grip on the title with third at the Berlin E-Prix.
The Techeetah driver claimed his fifth podium of the campaign on Saturday to maintain his record of finishing in the top five at every event this season.
The Frenchman, who now has a 40-point advantage over nearest title rival Sam Bird, said he will refuse to give up fighting for victories when Formula E goes to Zurich next month and at the New York City double-header finale in July.
Vergne took third in Berlin with an aggressive late-braking maneuver on Sebastien Buemi ten laps from the end of the 45-lap contest, while Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi claimed an Audi 1-2 up front.
“Third position was the target today – I had a tough fight with Sebastien which I think was fair,” Vergne told e-racing365.
“I think he might have been thinking that I was playing the championship so I would not risk anything, but this is not who I am.
“I hope he understands and everybody understands that it doesn’t matter if there is a championship for me or not. I’m still going to be racing to my maximum and there is no reason for me to be nice to anyone.”
Vergne has been in blistering form so far in 2017-18, with three pole-victory combinations in Chile, Uruguay and France and a separate pole at the Hong Kong opener.
A second-place finish with the fastest lap at Zurich, in the event of a Bird non-score, would confirm him as the Season Four champion.
But Vergne affirmed that his attitude towards the competition will not change should he wrap up the title in Switzerland.
“I have no reason to change how I race,” he said.
“I race fair, I race hard and I always finish – I am always consistent. So, there is no reason for me to change anything just because I can win the championship in Zurich.
“I’m not going to be stupid with them, but I’m not going to let them by either. I’m not going to try not to overtake them.”
Vergne: “I’m Having the Time of My Life”
The Berlin result marked Vergne’s fourth trip to the rostrum in as many weekends, following successive victories at the Paris E-Prix, the FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa, and the European Le Mans Series round at Monza.
After Berlin, Vergne will have the Zurich E-Prix on June 10, before going for his first 24 Hours of Le Mans victory in the LMP2 category the following week.
“I’m having the time of my life right now – I’ve got everything I want,” he said.
“Everything is going my way, and I think I’ve been working hard to get to this position.
“I see no reason for this to change. I see a fantastic future ahead.”