Two-time and reigning ABB FIA Formula E Champion Jean-Eric Vergne says he is aiming for further improvements to challenge for a hat-trick of titles this season.
The DS Techeetah driver completed back-to-back title triumphs earlier this year after claiming three E-Prix wins at Sanya, Monaco and Bern to follow up on his maiden title in 2017-18.
Vergne says that he is not concentrating on his rivals trying to reclaim the Formula E crown but rather to concentrate on his own performance and to “work hard”.
“People say I have a target on my back but I don’t consider myself as such,” said Vergne.
“It’s crazy but I have high confidence but every time I go on the race, or testing I feel like I have a weird thought in my mind that ‘am I going to be any good’ or ‘can I beat the other guys, can I win races’.
“I ask myself these questions all the time which is not a very comfortable question but the good thing of this is it doesn’t put me in the shoes of I’m going to kill everyone, so it keeps me working very hard all the time just to be a better driver and keep improving myself.”
Departed De La Rosa Crucial to 2018-19 Success
Vergne acknowledges the part played by former DS Techeetah technical and sporting manager Pedro de la Rosa in him retaining the ABB FIA Formula E Championship title last season.
De la Rosa chose to leave the team in August after 18 months and is credited with guiding Vergne through a difficult start to the campaign which at one stage saw him 26 points behind the points leader and 11th in the standings.
“I think it is fair to say that if he was not here we would probably not have won the championship,” said Vergne.
“We will miss Pedro for sure as he had a role that nobody could replace,” said Vergne.
He also believes that de la Rosa largely unified both himself and the team, which saw the DS Performance and Techeetah staff work together for the first time last season.
“[DS Techeetah] is a mix of brilliant and amazing people but getting them working together and do the right things was very complicated at the beginning of the [last] season,” said Vergne
“But Pedro really helped us massively in to putting everybody together and also to keep me happy because there was more than one time last season I could have lost my mind.
“From the outside you need to look quiet and calm but what goes on behind the scenes no one can see but Pedro was there all the time.”
E-racing365 understands that DS Techeetah does not have any immediate plans to replace de la Rosa for the upcoming season.