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VERGNE: New York City Debrief

Newly-crowned champion Jean-Eric Vergne looks back on a memorable weekend…

Photo: Formula E

We did it!

After so much hard work, preparation and planning, I became the fourth ABB FIA Formula E Champion in New York City last weekend and let me tell you, it feels good.

It was far from easy. Nothing in Formula E is simple and that is one of the main reasons why it is so satisfying.

Ever since the Techeetah team was formed less than two years ago, we have always believed we could achieve this success.

For us to do it together as a true privateer customer team is very special and shows that we really slayed some giants this season!

The New York City race weekend was always going to be a pressure cooker environment but I was really focused ahead of it and I had some good downtime to get in the zone for it all.

I knew that the team would prepare well as we had a good amount of time from Zurich. The cars have been back at the workshop, and we also had some decent time in the simulator working on the ultimate set up for the weekend.

The track was slightly extended this year and we knew that it would be a really challenging pair of races from an energy point of view. But we have had a good package from that point of view this season so I was feeling confident when Saturday came around.

We have seen so many times in Formula E that something can crop up and give you a big fright and that is what happened to us in qualifying.

Everything felt pretty good pace wise and I was able to attack in qualifying and set a good time to get through to the Super Pole session.

Unfortunately we got penalized for a small software issue which meant we went over the 200 kW.

It meant I started from the very back but with Sam [Bird] not able to get in to a good starting position it was not looking entirely bad.

I was quite cautious at the start of the race but soon started to pick off the guys in front. Some were easier than others.

I managed to take Sam before the pit stop and then we made more progress.

The safety car late in the race brought everyone back together but I knew that with Sam behind me there was a good chance I could be crowned champion, and so it proved.

The feeling was unreal. We had accomplished something so special and as soon as I parked the car in Parc Ferme I had to run and join the team to show them how much it meant for all of us.

There was little time to really celebrate as we had the second race on Sunday. Now the gloves were off and there was no stopping us.

It was an unforgettable weekend for lots of reasons. Firstly of course I was crowned champion, but there was also Bastille day on Saturday when I won, and on top of that, France won the FIFA World Cup on Sunday lunchtime.

All I had to do to make it a perfect weekend was win the race and help claim the teams’ title.

The first aim was met after a great race in which I managed to claim my fourth victory of the season but we just missed out on the teams’ title which was slightly frustrating but that should not take anything away from the sensational job the whole team has done this season.

Narrowly missing the win with only two points to a manufacturer giant like Audi isn’t something we will ever forget, and not because we didn’t win but because we were the small customer team that could have beaten them – and it was close!

The final race was really satisfying because the pace was good and I enjoyed another close battle with Lucas [di Grassi]. It got close on several occasions but I crossed the line to finish the season off in the best possible way.

We celebrated with the team and then had a great night at the official Formula E gala where we were presented the official champions trophy and also had a nice party.

Now it is straight back to work with a test this week but I’ll never forget this season.

First and foremost I have to say a big thanks to the Techeetah team, to each and every single person I would like to say a huge Merci!

JEV

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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. krisg

    July 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Yeah, you did deserve the title because you did a stellar job this season and I’m happy for you. I’m happy too that Audi won the constructors’ title because this means that every team now, including the newcomers BMW, HWA, Mercedes and Porsche, will have to step-up their game.
    Eager for season 5 to get underway…

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