Stoffel Vandoorne has aired a cautiously optimistic opinion on the new Mercedes EQ package for the coming ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign.
Vandoorne will join newcomer Nyck de Vries in the team which unveiled its new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show on Wednesday.
He says that the added might of Mercedes technology will ensure that he and the team are best placed to bring success to the German manufacturer as it embarks on its first ever all-electric motorsport program.
“Already from testing you can see the whole dynamic changing in terms of the people that are behind this project,” Vandoorne told e-racing365.
“The potential is very different to how things were last season so I am very excited as I think we will have a great package available.
“The resources we have available and the ingredients are there to be successful, so we will have to wait and see.”
Vandoorne also described his fresh mindset to racing after making the switch from Formula 1 to Formula E last fall.
The Belgian endured a frustrating Formula 1 career with McLaren in which he completed two full seasons in often recalcitrant machinery.
“I was kind of refreshed joining Formula E and coming to a more normal environment, let’s say, where it was all about the racing,” he said.
“Last season we knew we didn’t have the best package available but in Formula E you know that if you put all the pieces of the puzzle together you can be up there and fighting for top results which is very motivating.”
The 28-year-old also touched on the different styles of racing in F1 and Formula E and how his season with HWA Racelab last term will help him from the outset of the 2019-20 campaign.
“I came from an environment in Formula 1 where if you touch someone your race is kind of over because you break a piece of front wing and it costs you so much downforce and your race is over,” he said.
“But in Formula E you need to go rubbing against others, not too much, but you need to have a certain level of aggression.
“There were races last season where this was good but there were some where I didn’t do a good enough job as well, but this where I learned from last year.”
Vandoorne Bringing “Level-Headed” Approach
Vandoorne is keen to maintain a patient outlook to his sophomore campaign in Formula E after some standout performances with HWA Racelab last season.
The Belgian scored the team’s maiden pole position and podium position at the Hong Kong and Rome E-Prixs respectively and believes that further patience will reap success as the Mercedes EQ team matures.
“Obviously I am very ambitious and my target is to be there and win races and fight for championships,” he said.
“Within Mercedes in the long-term I am in the right place and I will have all the tools available to do that.
“The questions right now is too early to answer what we can target because it is the first season as Mercedes in Formula E and I think whether we are competitive at round one or it will take a little bit of time we will have to wait and see.
“As a driver you always want it sooner rather than later but to go in to the season level-headed with not too high expectations is a good thing and hopefully we will be positively surprised.”