Great pace despite challenges for DS TECHEETAH in Diriyah
DS TECHEETAH had another tough day in Diriyah, with a podium in sight for Antonio Felix Da Costa before a drive through penalty saw him finish in P10. Team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne had to change his battery following a crash earlier in the morning, forcing him to start at the back of the grid, he eventually finished P8.
The second race of Season Six saw a thrilling first half of the day with Antonio topping the qualifying group. Sending his DS E-TENSE FE20 flying in the super pole session, he slightly overshot it and started in P5 to show off some suave moves up to P2 before his penalty.
Mark Preston, DS TECHEETAH Team Principal:
“Today looked really bright for Antonio after qualifying so it’s a real shame that he couldn’t repeat his win here from last year. Both drivers have proven what we can do and that we have pace, Jean-Éric even overtook two cars in one go, twice, during the last couple of laps so on this front we’re not worried.
Once we knew that Jean-Éric was going to start from the back, the engineers came up with an all-ornothing strategy and it panned out in the end. Although it would have been nice to have more points leaving here, all points count for something and it’s good to have some on our roaster. We know how long this season is and there is plenty of opportunity to recover in the championship standings.”
Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director:
“This result today is certainly far from our goal. It’s even one of the toughest scenarios we could imagine. Nevertheless, there are two things to take from the start of this championship, our drivers showed that we have a very good car in qualifying as well as in the race, which will allow us to target victories. But for that, we will have to avoid making any further mistakes – this will be our top priority in Santiago.”
Jean-Éric Vergne, #8
“The race was always going to extremely difficult today as I had a huge penalty placing me at the back of the grid plus a 10-seconds stop and go. Due to the safety car, I managed to join the pack and head up to eleventh place in the end. It was a lot of fun overtaking those guys and I had a great moment when I overtook two cars in one corner two laps in a row, so I had my fun but it’s not the positive I wanted to take from a weekend like this. We’re going go back home and re-group, work really hard and come out of this difficult moment together.”
Antonio Felix Da Costa, #10
“Even though we didn’t end where we wanted, there are a lot of positives from today. Being quickest in free practice, qualifying and working our way up the pack up to second and fighting for the race win is a really good sign that we have good pace and an efficient powertrain. It also shows that we have a very good weapon to fight with this season. Unfortunately, I had a drive through penalty for an incident early in the race that in my opinion it was impossible to avoid. Nevertheless, I’m feeling really confident and look forward to the next race.”