Exciting afternoon for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team on the second day in London: Nyck de Vries on the podium for the second time this weekend; Stoffel Vandoorne drops back to P15 from P1 after an incident.
- Stoffel and Nyck set the fastest times in their respective qualifying groups, making it through to the Super Pole session where Stoffel secured his fourth pole position in Formula E. Nyck qualified fourth on the grid.
- Nyck fought his way up into P2 during the race – fighting for the top spot of the podium throughout. After an eventful race marked by two safety car periods, he took the chequered flag in second place to secure his second podium of the weekend.
- In an action-packed E-Prix, Stoffel led the field from pole position until around the half-way point when Oliver Rowland made contact with his car, bumping him down into P15.
- Stoffel had already regained several positions as he charged up the field when there was contact with another car, costing him a few more places. He classified fifteenth by the end of the race.
- After the penultimate race weekend of the season in London, Nyck de Vries (95 points) is six points up on Robin Frijns (89 points) and leads the drivers' championship.
- Virgin Racing (165 points) occupies the top spot in the team championship, with a seven-point lead over the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team (158 points) in second position.
- The season finale of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will take place in Berlin, August 14/15.
N. de Vries
P6 (Q1: P1)
P3 (Q2: P1)
Ian James, Team Principal:
“Today was a whirlwind. A whirlwind in terms of action on the track, and a whirlwind in terms of the feelings we experienced at the end. Let’s start off by saying we’ve seen some absolute highlights today. We started the day by posting two great times in qualifying, which saw both Nyck and Stoffel make it to Super Pole. Ultimately, Stoffel put in the quickest lap of the Super Pole session, clinching a well-deserved pole position. Starting the race from the front of the grid with both cars, we knew we were in a chance for the very best results today. We’ve had a great car all weekend, and both drivers have been on it – fuelled by the hard work of the rest of the team behind the scenes.
That leads us to the race. Now, we are used to action-packed races in Formula E. But this race exceeded those expectations. Both drivers executed the start very well – Stoffel managed to keep the lead and pulled the gaps he needed to for most of the race - both under normal circumstances, and a safety car period. Nyck played his part and kept up the strong pace he’s been showing all weekend.
A second safety car period turned things around completely. In an unusual situation Di Grassi took the lead under the safety car by using the pit lane, coming out on track in front of Stoffel. As soon as the safety car came in, Stoffel got taken out of his position by an overly optimistic attack from Rowland who was driving behind him, causing damage to Stoffel’s car, and making him fall back to P15 in the race. An unbelievably frustrating incident, and extremely costly – having Stoffel miss out on a potential win. Luckily Nyck managed to keep out of the madness around him and bring home the car in a well-deserved P2.
It feels very conflicting, as we are happy with a pole position today and another podium finish this weekend. But at the same time there is this ‘what could have been’-feeling across the garage. We’ve somehow made another step in the championship standings, which is something to take away from this weekend. The most important thing is that we keep realising the pace we have been showing this weekend. It’s been a fantastic team effort.”
Nyck de Vries:
“This is my second podium of the weekend, but ultimately, I’m a little disappointed to have only finished runner-up today. However, most of all I feel sorry for my teammate Stoffel, who deserved the win in my opinion but was taken out by Oliver Rowland. Still, there’s nothing you can do in such cases. All in all, we were a bit unlucky with the safety car, as we had just activated Attack Mode when it came out on track. That made me vulnerable following the restart and then Lucas di Grassi was suddenly up front, fighting for the lead, which really surprised me, because he shouldn't have been there. In the end, Alex Lynn and Mahindra Racing were deserving winners. I gave it my all, but unfortunately, it was impossible to get alongside him and launch another attack.”
“Of course, I am hugely disappointed. It was a tough afternoon for me today. I started from pole position, led the race for a long time and had everything under control. To be left now with no points is extremely frustrating for me. I've spoken to Oliver and he’s accepted full responsibility for the incident. What’s positive about today, though, is that my car was fantastic. I controlled the gaps and was able to pull out a lead when I needed to for the Attack Mode activations. To then lose so many points and miss out on another potential win just really hurts. These points are immensely important in this championship, especially in a season as tightly contested as this one.”