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VERGNE: Paris Debrief

Jean-Eric Vergne files his column after his famous victory on home ground in Paris…

Photo: Formula E

What a totally unforgettable and brilliant weekend in my home city of Paris!

To just race there has been a dream come true, but to win among my fellow Parisians, well that was truly spectacular.

Things could not rally have been better for me and the Techeetah team last weekend. Racing and winning at, what in my opinion the most beautiful city in the world, was amazing.

I’ll remember it as a major highlight of my career forever.

Going into the race there was a lot going on off the track. The preparations and media attention was, as you can imagine, quite intense.

Paris has really taken to Formula E and vice versa. The track looked spectacular and the event has grown greatly since the first event two years ago.

But for me the most important point was the special karting day we had on the Wednesday where we organised a race to help support and spread the message of disabled people in the sport.

We had the support of the with the support of the newly-established FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission and its President Nathalie McGloin, the Spinal Track organization and also Billy Monger, who I am proud to say has become a friend.

Proud because he is simply an inspiration to us all for what he has gone through and how he has approached his life over the last 12 months.

To spend my birthday with them was a privilege and we had a really successful event.

The interest in the Paris E-Prix was impressive. There was a lot of focus on me as one of two French drivers in the series but the only Parisian.

Once race day came it was time to focus and over the practice sessions our Techeetah Renault felt very good indeed.

The team worked super hard on making the car just right and I went in to qualifying with a lot of confidence.

Everything has to be completely precise in Formula E and especially at a track like Paris because qualifying at the front and preferably on pole is so crucial because overtaking is tough.

Pedro [de la Rosa] coming in to the team was a huge benefit for us and in just his second race with us he can share the win too which is nice.

After the pit stop which was very good from the team I knew that if someone wanted to get past me then there would be no chance.

I was very confident at this stage and knew that I just had to keep my head down, not make any mistakes and get to the line.

When I did, the feeling was phenomenal because I could see and hear the reaction of the crowd. It is a feeling I will never forget. So special.

People asked me a lot afterwards about the title situation now.

Yes, we have a 31-point advantage but as I keep telling people anything can happen in racing and especially Formula E.

We have seen it so many times and we’re not stopping to push ourselves to constantly do better.

We go in to each race with the mentality that we’re on the same points as our competitors and the main job is to get ahead.

That’s how we operate, and that’s how we continue our team mentality. Nothing is done until it is done.

Taking one race at a time is a cliché I know, but honestly this all we can do. We have no choice in the matter because if you start talking about championships it makes no sense and can come back to haunt you.

I am happier than ever in the championship and happy with the team because as I have also said before we had to push hard to make sure we could get in this position, and everyone is really pushing hard together.

At Techeetah, we are determined to just keep on doing what we do, and we will see in New York how things look.

For the moment we will enjoy this one because emotionally it means extra to have captured a win in my beautiful home city, but next week it’s back to business.


Photo: Formula E

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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