DS PENSKE pick up vital points in Sao Paulo!
Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 29 th 2023 - DS PENSKE arrived in Sao Paulo (Brazil) this weekend for round six of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship looking to build on its recent good form – a win in Hyderabad (India) and an impressive runner-up spot in Cape Town (South Africa).
The Brazilian round was held on a new track for the third time running this season, a 2.933km-long circuit featuring several very long straights combined with some very heavy braking areas leading into tight corners. The DS E-TENSE FE23 looked to be very much at ease in this setting, proving itself to be highly competitive as Stoffel Vandoorne, increasingly at home in his new team, grabbed pole position, DS Automobiles’ twenty-second in FE. Unfortunately, on a track like this, where the cars behind can sit back and use your slipstream to save energy, being on pole was not necessarily an advantage. After leading in the first part of the race and using more energy than his rivals, he was unable to finish any higher than sixth place in the end. His team-mate, Jean-Eric Vergne, started in seventh position, but showed great determination to fight his way back to finish fifth.
After the race, Stoffel Vandoorne's analysis was split between satisfaction at being among the frontrunners and disappointment at not having been able to come away with a better result: "To be honest, I'm obviously a little disappointed to finish sixth overall, having started on pole. We knew before coming here that leading the race wouldn't necessarily be an advantage, especially on this track where you really need good energy management. On such a fast track, the guys behind can save a lot of energy in the slipstream. And that’s exactly what happened! We led the race for too long and eventually, the difference between my remaining energy compared with that of my rivals was too big. I couldn't keep pace with them and ended up losing positions… On the other hand, there are a lot of positives we can take away from this weekend! First and foremost, our strong performance in qualifying. I'm very happy to secure my first pole position with the DS PENSKE team, which is also my first with the GEN3 race car. We just need to do it again in the future and then secure a better result in the race." The championship resumes in Berlin, on 22-23 April, where teams and drivers will face the tough but familiar challenges posed by the track on the former Berlin-Tempelhof airport!
Championships often come down to consistency and the points scored by Jean-Eric Vergne in Brazil may yet prove decisive in the final reckoning: in any event, his fifth place enabled him to move another four points closer to the current leader. Meanwhile, Stoffel Vandoorne enjoyed his best return of the season to date, enabling DS PENSKE to collect the second largest haul of points at the meeting and to move within just one point of third place in the Teams' standings.