On 29 January 2019, reigning ABB FIA Formula E Champion, Jean-Éric Vergne, was presented with the Grand Prix du Festival award at the 34th edition of the Festival Automobile International (FAI) in Les Invalides in Paris for his achievement in winning the Season Four Drivers’ Championship. Previous FAI winners include Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Jacky Ickx.
The Automobile Festival International was created by Rémi Depoix and Franz Hummel in 1986 as part of the 24 Hours on Ice in Chamonix. It has since evolved into an award and later festival for ‘The Most Beautiful Car of the Year’ - judged solemnly on aesthetics and voted for by the public.
In 2008, the Festival reached a new step with a double premiere by organizing a major public exhibition of Concept Cars in an exceptional place, the Invalides. Since then, the Festival has taken up residence at the foot of the Dôme des Invalides.
In addition to Jean-Éric’s award, the DS 3 CROSSBACK was nominated for ‘The Most Beautiful Car’ at the same event, while the DS E-TENSE FE19 and the DS X E-TENSE concept cars were on display.
Jean-Éric Vergne, DS TECHEETAH Driver: “It was a nice homecoming for me to be back at Les Invalides, this is where the Paris E-Prix takes place every year, and it’s where I won in front of my home crowd last year. It’s a very special place for me. I’m very honoured to have received the Grand Prix du Festival award for my Season Four Championship title. The award may have been awarded to me, but it’s really for the whole team. What we have as a team is something special and to receive recognition for our work is very humbling.”
Yves Bonnefont, DS Automobiles CEO: “Congratulations. The Jury Special Grand Prize presented to Jean-Eric Vergne at the Festival Automobile International is also a recognition for DS Automobiles. By singling out our brand ambassador and the reigning Formula E champion for this prestigious award, the Jury has vindicated DS’ electrification strategy and the reason we entered into Formula E in the first place. I would like take this opportunity to thank Jean-Eric for the invaluable contribution he has made to Formula E and to the continued progress being achieved with DS Performance. Since 2015, the beginning of our early, respective involvements in the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, he has played an important role in the development of the E-TENSE electric and plug-in hybrid cars which are a part of every new DS model.”