A winning debut for the DS E-TENSE FE21!
The Rome E-Prix double-header saw Jean-Eric Vergne secure a maiden victory for the DS E-TENSE FE21, DS Automobiles’ brand new powertrain, on its competitive debut at one of the most iconic tracks (3.38km) in the ABB FIA de Formula E world championship.
An emotional roller-coaster. It was a day of highs and lows for the DS TECHEETAH team on Saturday in the Eternal City. Jean-Eric Vergne was crashed into by another competitor in free practice 1, which meant he missed the second session whilst his mechanics repaired the substantial damage to his car. However, they showed their dedication and determination once again to fully repair his DS E-TENSE FE21 in time for qualifying. The Frenchman then let his talent do the talking, whilst DS Automobiles’ latest creation demonstrated its competitiveness. Once again, Total has highly contributed to its development, creating in collaboration with the team, ultra-innovative lubricants and coolants which improve the performance.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Vergne went on to secure victory in an incident-packed race to take the tenth win of his career. “I'm really happy because the conditions were very tough, especially with the light drizzle that kept changing the grip on the track,” explained the category’s sole double champion. “It was great to win with the new car on its first race. That shows that it has been well designed and above all, it shows that all the fantastic work done by the DS Performance engineers and the DS TECHEETAH has paid off.” Unfortunately, defending champion Antonio Felix Da Costa did not enjoy the same success: he finished 18th in qualifying and then suffered a puncture in the race.
On Sunday, rain disrupted qualifying for the weekend’s second E-Prix. Antonio Felix Da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne were among the first drivers to take to the drying track and were unable to do any better than fifteenth and twentieth respectively. Despite their lowly positions on the starting grid, they were nonetheless among the leading figures in the race itself, as the Portuguese driver fought back to finish seventh, whilst Saturday’s winner ended the race just outside the top ten (11th). Both will be determined to get back among the front-runners when the action resumes in two weeks’ time with a double-header at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia (Spain) on 24-25 April.
Jean-Eric Vergne opened his account with victory in race one in the DS E-TENSE FE21, taking him into eighth position in the drivers’ championship. He lies just nine points adrift of the third-placed driver, which shows just how narrow the gaps are in this highly competitive series. His team-mate Antonio Felix Da Costa is another four points back in tenth position. The win for the DS E-TENSE FE21 moved the DS TECHEETAH into third place in the teams’ standings.