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VERGNE: Hong Kong Debrief

Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne submits his first e-racing365 column after a frantic but fruitful first race weekend of the season in Hong Kong…

Photo: Formula E

Well, the talking has stopped and the Formula E action has begun again.

I hope you enjoyed Hong Kong as much as we did at TECHEETAH, because although it was far from a perfect weekend we came away with some good points, as we are now 3rd in the championship and I am 2nd in the driver standings.

It’s a nice foundation for the season ahead and also some great memories of racing at our home event.

We went into only our second season cautiously optimistic. Yes, we all know we have had to work even harder and quicker as we haven’t really had any testing, but we use all our resources, skills and experience as a team to extract everything we can from the package we have at present.

When we came to Hong Kong there was no indication of any pecking order and as we all know, making predictions in Formula E is a waste of time anyway!

Hong Kong is beautiful, a fantastic and vibrant city. So cool. To race here is a spectacular pleasure and to do it on TECHEETAH’s home turf with so many great partners, supporters and fans was a great way to start the new season.

We stayed just across the water from the circuit in the magnificent Peninsula Hong Kong hotel, which is the oldest of its kind in the world. What a place it is, real quality.

It was a pleasure to partner up with those guys as they really spoilt us this weekend, and it was nice to see so many guests and hotel members from the management come and support us at the track.

Hugo Boss recently left F1 to come to Formula E. I think that shows what a progressive brand they are and I am pleased to be part of the Hugo Boss family as a brand ambassador as of last week.

They hosted a welcome gathering where we did the announcement for me, F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg and my friend Jerome D’Ambrosio.

I had a crazy qualifying lap in race one, you couldn’t have written it if you tried. I was pushing the car to its limits, knowing that I had to get every thousandth of a second from it.

As I came out of the last corner I was right at the maximum and then did a quick 360 over the finish line. But hey, that’s rock n roll!

Photo: Formula E

It was marginal but we did it, TECHEETAH’s first pole, meaning we now have a win and a pole after just over a year of existing. We are proud of that.

Race 1 brought second place and while it was solid in terms of the points I was actually disappointed with the way the race went. It was super tough as I lost radio comms, dash info and we also had issues with the brakes and regen.

All the key components to be able to fight at the maximum. But we fought with what we had and we got P2 so it was a good start.

There were more challenges in the second race and again the car was not as I would have liked it. I was able to make some progress and eventually got up to fourth position and was able to hold off Sam (Bird).

So, we come away with P3 in the standings as a team and P2 for me personally.

Not bad, and I think if you asked us all before the race this would be the outcome we would have definitely taken it. However, the opposition will come back hard and we have to be super prepared for Marrakesh.

Finally, it was great to complete our first event as a team with André as my teammate. He’s a cool guy and a proper racer.

I think we saw that he is completely committed and in time will be in the points and giving me a hard time to push us further on as a team.

Next stop is Morocco. Before that I’ll be working hard with the team to prepare and unlock more from the car so that we can kick-on and add to this strong start.

In the meantime, have a great Christmas break and see you back at the track in 2018.


An ex-Formula 1 driver and Formula 3 Champion, Jean-Eric Vergne competes in the FIA Formula E Championship with the TECHEETAH Formula E team.

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