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Vandoorne Planning ‘Different Approach’ for Second Season

Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne will change his strategic approach this season…

Photo: Formula E

Mercedes-Benz EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne says he is preparing to do certain things differently in Formula E races this season after completing his rookie campaign with HWA Racelab.

Vandoorne switched to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship after two frustrating years in Formula 1 with McLaren where his progress was largely hamstrung by the team’s technical package at the time.

Now, after taking a podium in his debut campaign at the Rome E-Prix and scoring points in five other races, the Belgian believes that his experience is set to inform his strategies in the 2019-20 season.

“I feel like there are things that I will do different because the approach will be quite different as well to the season,” Vandoorne told e-racing365.

“I think last year a lot of things were new and I came from an environment where, in F1, 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 basically over.”

Vandoorne, who will be joined by Nyck de Vries in Mercedes’ first all-electric race program, thinks he may have to adjust the levels of aggression in races this season.

“In Formula E you need to go rubbing against others to a certain extent, not too much, but a certain level of aggression and I have had races where I think it has been good and races were I didn’t feel I did a good enough job and that is where I learn,” he said.

“I got pissed off at myself and those are the areas where I have to do better next season.”

F1 Drivers Taking Greater Interest in Formula E

Vandoorne believes that Formula 1 drivers are taking a keener interest in the development of Formula E as it is about to embark on its sixth season.

Along with Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein, the Mercedes-Benz EQ driver was one of the biggest names to enter the championship last season and the recognition of the all-electric championship’s rapid development is being talked about in F1.

“I definitely feel like the dynamic has changed. I have been talking to a couple of people in the [F1] paddock and I think everyone’s view has probably changed over the past year,” said Vandoorne.

“With a couple of big names joining Formula E in the last years, and the big manufacturers like Mercedes and Porsche coming in, it shows that there is huge interest and it is becoming a very big platform.

“You can’t forget it has only been here five years and it is going to start its sixth season. We can’t deny this has become one of the major championships to be involved in as well, so yes, it is drawing a lot more attention from everyone.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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