Starting from P8 and P12 on the starting grid, both DS TECHEETAH’s drivers had one goal, climbing up the ladder to score as many points as possible. Already in lap one the action had begun with Jean-Éric overtaking Sims in turn 1 and then getting overtaken back by Alexander Sims who came through inside the bollard in turn 4. Shortly after, Nelson Piquet Jr. came crashing on top of his car to cause the second red flag in ABB FIA Formula E history.
Whilst the recovery of Piquet’s car took place, a huge job was undertaken by the DS TECHEETAH technical team who, with great effort managed to mend Jean-Éric’s car in the pitlane changing a tyre, the front nose and repairing the rear wing and side pod. Whilst the initial full course yellow was issued for the same crash, André Lotterer was overtaken by Edoardo Mortara and Jerome d’Ambrosio that moved him down the grid.
The pack returned to the track as they entered the pitlane with André in P8 and Jean-Éric in P10 with the race re-starting behind the safety car. Towards the races conclusion Jean-Éric was once again hit, this time by Mitch Evans near the end of the stadium section and by Tom Dillman in Turn 9 leaving him in P17. The end of the race was just as exciting as the start seeing multiple cars dropping down the order due to over-consumption and the DS TECHEETAH drivers climbing through the pack to finish P5 and P13.
Mark Preston, Team Principal: “It was a day of misfortune for Jean-Éric who seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once, which positioned him amongst several mid field incidents with a number of different drivers, pulling over-zealous moves that ended up with Jean-Éric taking the brunt of the damage. On the bright side, André had a very strong race and managed to stay out of trouble to finish in a very respectable 5th position.”
Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director: “Formula E gave us a fantastic show today that kept the fans rivetted until the checkered flag. While Jean-Éric did not have a good day, André had a very strong race, especially in the last lap taking advantage of the efficiency of his DS E-TENSE FE19 when some of the competitors slowed down. Next up is the Asian tour of the championship that begins in Hong Kong. There are still nine races to go and anything is still possible.”
Jean-Éric Vergne, DS TECHEETAH Driver: “I don’t know what to make of today with all the incidents, I had three cars overtake me under full course yellow, one that cut the chicane and crashed into me, and one that spun me in the stadium, and nobody got a penalty. It’s something that we will have to discuss with the FIA, so we are to have a better understanding. The mechanics did an incredible job to repair the car in the pitlane under the red flag so a big thank you to them for pulling that off. All in all, a frustrating result today and lots of bad luck but we’re getting back together as a team to leave the negativities behind us and move forward.”
André Lotterer, DS TECHEETAH Driver: “Tough day in the office but we came away with 5th position none the less, so I’m kind of happy with this as we scored some good points. We struggled with car set up today but managed to fight our way from 12th position up to 5th in the end. It was a crazy race, but we managed the energy well and came close to the leaders. We could possibly have got a 3rd but the car was difficult to drive so we’ll settle for 5th and enjoy the points. Tomorrow we go testing here so we’ve got a couple of more things added to our list of things to look into after today.”