Stoffel Vandoorne got off to a strong start in Saturday’s qualifying session, and qualified third in his group for the knock-out stages. He then narrowly missed out on Pole Position by just eight thousandths of a second and consequently lined up to start the race from P2. Nyck de Vries was sixth-fastest in his group and subsequently qualified to start in eleventh on the grid.
Grip conditions on the track where Stoffel began his race caused him to lose out on two positions at the very start. He battled hard to fight his way back up to P2 throughout the course of the race, as the rain set in and became progressively heavier around 10 minutes before the end. This meant that with 29 laps of the race run, the track became increasingly slippery and triggered a full course yellow flag period. Following the loss of car control from Stoffel and various other drivers, sliding into the barriers, the E-Prix was red flagged and not restarted. In accordance with regulations, the result was classified according to positions on the penultimate lap, meaning Stoffel finished in P4. Nyck moved up several positions in the early stages of the race, but then dropped down the pack to finish in P10 – two time penalties awarded to other drivers after the race led him to classify in P8 in the end.
The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team came together on Saturday night and worked tirelessly to restore Stoffel’s car following the crash in wet conditions, to ensure it was ready for free practice on Sunday morning. Stoffel came third-fastest in his qualifying group and progressed to the duels where he lost out by a tenth of a second and qualified in P6. This was subsequently upgraded to P5, following a retrospective penalty. Nyck qualified in third in his group in the head-to-head stage, then was eliminated in the quarter-finals by a margin of one and a half tenths. After moving up an additional position, like Stoffel, he lined up on the grid for Sunday’s race in P7.
Stoffel was able to claim back two positions at the start of the race and settle into P3, before overtaking for P2 with 20 minutes to go. After back-and-forth chasing for the runner-up spot, he eventually crossed the finish line in second place on the podium after 39 laps of racing. This was his sixth podium finish of the season! Nyck fought hard to claim three positions to P4 in the early stages of Sunday’s race. In the closing stages of the battle on track for P3, he lost control on a bump and fell back down the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in P7, with a damaged vehicle.
As a result of the weekend’s races, Stoffel now leads the Drivers’ World Championship by eleven points and Nyck is now in eighth place. The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team have also climbed to first place overall in the Team Championship, with a total of 238 points and ten points ahead of second place.
Team Principal of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Ian James, spoke after the weekend and took away the positives from the weekend: “The most important thing for us, flying home from New York City, is that we have accumulated good points for the championship fight. We will now keep the momentum and hit London and Seoul with the same mindset and determination as we have approached the past events this year.”
In less than two weeks from now, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team will be back on track for the London E-Prix, where they’ll be fighting to maintain their leads in the championships!
Vestas Forecaster results:
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The Race Forecaster is open once again ahead of the London E-Prix on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July. We’ll keep you up to date on the Powered by Vestas website and our social media channels for the next round of Vestas Forecaster competitions.