DS TECHEETAH EXTENDS ITS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
12 January 2019
The 2019 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix saw a brave start from Jean-Éric Vergne who launched for the lead into turn one from his P2 start position. Unfortunately, the attempt was just on the limit and the Frenchman spun out. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop the reigning Formula E champion who quickly worked his way through the grid to end P5 at the checkered flag.
André Lotterer had an unfortunate qualifying session and started in P20. After a good start from the grid, he moved into P14 after only the first lap and continued up to P8 with a little less than half the race to go.
On a mission to complete more overtakes, Jean-Éric and André climbed up to P5 and P6 respectively with 10 minutes left of the race. Eagerly awaiting the Safety Car to end with only a couple minutes left on the clock, both drivers activated their second ATTACK MODE to prepare to tackle the last lap flat out.
Scoring eight valuable points, André moved up to 4th in the championship standings with 19 points, just behind team-mate, Jean-Éric who currently sits in 3rd with 28 points. With another 18 points scored today, DS TECHEETAH has now extended its championship lead with seven points to its nearest rival as it prepares for the Santiago E-Prix on the 26 January.
Jean-Éric Vergne #25: “Today wasn’t at all what it was set out to be. We’re racing drivers in the end of the day and we go for the gap, so when I saw it I went for it, but quickly realised that I couldn’t make it so I had to spin the car so that I didn’t crash into Sam as I didn’t want to ruin his race. Today was my fault, but if this is the biggest mistake I’ve done in Formula E so far and I still got P5, there’s still a lot to be happy about. In the end, I overtook 15 cars gaining 16 seconds on the leaders and I was only four seconds behind the them in the last couple of laps which shows the incredible pace of our package."
André Lotterer #36: “Qualifying in the back isn’t the start you want but we had fun fighting our way through the grid to finish P6 in the end. I made a small mistake in the qualifying session which led to the start from the back but it’s good to be in the Top 5 in the championship and to remain the championship leaders. As we head to the South American races rest assured, we will continue to fight to stay there. We had a good race in Santiago last year when we scored the first 1-2 in Formula E history, but it’s a new track this year so let’s see if we can do it all again at the new location.”
Mark Preston, DS TECHEETAH Team Principal: “Incredible drive from both of our drivers today. To have both of them fighting their way from the back and ending up in the Top 6 of the race shows what pace we have in the cars and what stellar drivers we have. We closed the gap by half to the leaders throughout the race in the end, and that’s quite something."
“It’s a shame to not have come away with the win today but we’ve scored some valuable points and we know from last season that playing the points game in the long term is what wins you a championship. We’ve strengthened our championship lead with another seven points to our nearest rival and we’re ready for another successful Santiago E-Prix.”
Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director: "We have consolidated our lead in the team standings and confirmed the excellent performance of DS E-TENSE FE19 today, which validates the technical choices that we made. Congratulations to Jean-Éric and André who made an impressive comeback today! We are in the match for the two titles of this extraordinary championship, and that's what counts."