Jean-Eric Vergne has described his intra-team battle with Techeetah teammate Andre Lotterer in the closing stages of the Santiago E-Prix as “fair racing” but admitted to being lucky that it didn’t result in a more serious incident.
Vergne was forced to defend from Lotterer with five laps to go in the race on Saturday but was unsure of how much energy he had remaining due to a communications issue.
Lotterer also suffered from the pit-to-car blackout and was unsure of any strategic instructions at that stage of the race.
“At one stage we lost the radio so I didn’t know what the game was and then I tried to overtake him and it was really close,” said Lotterer.
“We almost didn’t make the corner. There are things I need to learn about Formula E and how to calculate everything but it is a good beginning.”
Vergne described the battle from his viewpoint stating that there was no recriminations for the contact which slightly damaged his rear wing.
“It was fair racing but at one point we collided but there was nothing we could do as he came with massive speed and I was already lifting,” explained Vergne.
“I went to the inside when he decided to go [for the overtake] and with the speed difference we collided [so] there was eight wheels on the track together.
“It was extremely lucky that both of us did not end up in the wall.”
The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner was quick to acknowledge his teammate’s help in getting him up to speed in Formula E quickly.
“We have worked hard on the sim and JEV has helped me a lot as well,” Lotterer said.
“I had great pace all weekend and qualifying went well. Okay, I hit the wall when I went for it. I’m still finding my way on how to race and how to overtake.
“It really is a different world but I’ve been building up to this. I am one step further and I am really grateful to the team chose me without even testing me.
“It is nice to give something back to them.”