Following Mercedes-EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne's defining points haul in Round 13 in London yesterday, the Belgian driver's the championship hopeful - along with his closest rivals - failed to make it through to the Duels in London's Docklands. With all four championship contenders sitting towards the back of the pack, sparks will fly in the final race in London as they battle to keep their championship chances alive.
"To be honest, it was one of my worst laps of the season," admits Stoffel Vandoorne after qualifying ahead of Round 14. "There was a bit of a queue in the last corner and I had to manage the traffic but then I got to Turn 1 and I simply overdid it a little bit, then locked up the tyre so the lap was kind of gone from there."
"I think we had a lot of potential again to to make it through and to probably fight for position again, but yeah, only myself to blame, so it's going to be a long race ahead."
After yesterday's race, in which he held on to second from lights to flag, Vandoorne now sits 26 points ahead of his closest rival Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) in the standings. With three races to go, the Belgian driver was hoping to further extend his lead here in London but his 13th place start in the race later today might well put a stop to that.
"Today I felt like I should have been introduced and I didn't do the job required, so there's no one to blame for that but myself. There's always pressure at every race - I don't think that's any different right now. I'm taking it race by race and we'll count the points at the end."
Sitting close behind Vandoorne in the Drivers' standings is Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evans who also failed to make it into the Duels. As a result, the Kiwi driver will start 14th in the race, hampering his chances of gaining any significant points to advance his championship campaign.
"It was very close but, honestly, we just didn't didn't have the lap time there," said Jaguar Team Principal James Barclay. "But we had really strong race pace yesterday and that's going be the focus. This championship is all about how you end the day or how you start the day, so we've got to get our heads down for the race now. With the championship protagonists all around each other, t's going to be an exciting race."
As for ROKiT Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara, who's fallen to third place in the standings, the Swiss driver suffered more disappointment in qualifying after failing to make it through to the Duels. After sustaining damage in the opening laps of yesterday's race, the Venturi driver will need to climb up from 17th today, in order to add to his 144-point tally and keep his championship chances alive.
Sitting highest on the grid in today's race is DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Eric Vergne, who will start Round 14 in 10th place. As the only proven Formula E Champion in the mix for the title this year, Vergne has the experience needed to make this his third title but his 128 points leaves him already 45 points adrift of standings leader Stoffel Vandoorne. With five podiums to his name this season, the Frenchman is still holding out for his first win of the 2021/22 campaign. Could he make his way to the top spot from tenth in London today? Tune in to find out.
Published on 31st July 2022