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VERGNE: Punta del Este Debrief

Punta del Este victor Jean-Eric Vergne writes about his triumphant weekend in Uruguay…

Photo: Formula E

It was another very memorable weekend on the road with TECHEETAH, and a great result, which I was really pleased with because once again we made the very most out of our package.

To come away with my third win in Formula E and an extended lead in the title chase is really satisfying.

Yet, we all know that this season is so tight, so we all have to remind ourselves at TECHEETAH that we are only just at the halfway stage of the season and there are still just as many points left to grab that has been taken.

Of course, I have some special memories of Punta del Este because I made my Formula E debut there in 2014, achieving pole in my first event. Now, my connection with the place is even more special after last Saturday’s win.

We arrived in Uruguay quite early. Andre, the team and I were having a bit of fun before the serious stuff began with a team evening out on Tuesday night.

We also had a really nice get-together with some of the other drivers on the Wednesday night and talked about a lot of topics in and out of racing. It is great as there is a nice atmosphere and respect among the Formula E drivers.

The weekend was not all plain sailing for us though. There were some difficulties, but it is a measure of us all at the team that we overcame them.

I was extremely satisfied with my lap in qualifying, it was probably one of my best laps in Formula E. I did touch the wall a little bit, but it didn’t make me lose any time.

Starting last in the super pole group, having seen some drivers touching the bollards I was aware it could mean penalties.

Having touched the wall and not knowing if my car was 100 percent OK, I decided not to push in my Super Pole lap as wrecking the car in qualifying would not have allowed me to participate in the race.

I made a mistake in qualifying which meant I was only fifth fastest, but remarkably I was elevated to pole position after penalties for those ahead of me.

It was not especially satisfying to get pole like that but the rules are there to be followed at the end of the day.

The race started very well, and I got good traction away from the grid. I knew though that Lucas would be hurting after qualifying and he was able to run with me for the whole of the first stint.

He was always there and I had to deal with the Safety Car too, so there was plenty to keep us on our toes as we completed the first stint.

The team did a really top job in the pit stop, very slick, and I came out again with Lucas right on my tail. I knew it was going to be a long second stint but I also knew how and where to defend from his attacks.

The first one came quickly and he came beside me on the run in to the last chicane but I held my line and he lost a bit of time. It was good and hard racing, but I knew he would soon be back on my tail.

Lucas is a tough racer, one of the best, and I had to really earn this win. As you saw at the end, things got really close and there was contact, but it was all just hard and fair racing.

I wouldn’t say it was really enjoyable at the time, more satisfying, especially to know I came out on top this time because the pressure was really big.

Both Lucas and I knew that he had the quicker car and a single mistake from my side would see him come through.

This win is probably the one I am most happy with as I won by keeping my cool and fighting hard all the way. I believe more respect have been earned between the two of us after this race.

I must say that the work we are doing in the team right now is really special. I am pushing hard in the team but today shows that it is worth going the extra kilometre to get the job done and taste the success.

Photo: Formula E

We are the only customer team and the first to beat some big names like Audi, DS and Renault. We have less tools to play with and no testing so there is a high level of satisfaction. It all makes me really happy because we now know we can do it.

We also announced our new primary sponsor at the weekend, Dragon Inc. What better way to welcome the new sponsor than to win the race!

If it means that we need to bring on a new partner ever race to win, then I will push our Commercial Director to get more sponsors every race.

We had some nice celebrations on the beach which was really nice for the team, but now we focus completely on the European races which begin soon with a new race in Rome.

You can be sure that we will again be pushing harder than ever to ensure we have an equally good second half of the season to the one we have earned in the first.

Merci
Jean-Eric

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. bob brodie

    March 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    jean and andre, and the techeetah team, excellent job very good week end, keep up the good work.

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