DS TECHEETAH saw a disappointing end to the ABB FIA Formula E Santiago E-Prix with an early retirement for Jean-Éric Vergne and André Lotterer finishing just outside of the points after an eventful race.
Only 14 cars finished the race in 37-degree heat. This proved to be the hottest E-Prix in Formula E history. After a clean start from P12 and P14, Vergne and Lotterer were on the hunt to add more points to DS TECHEETAH’s championship lead. Unfortunately, the race ended early for Jean-Éric due to damage to the #25 car. André kept hunting in the points until the last 5 laps when he suffered technical issues to finish in P13.
Mark Preston, DS TECHEETAH Team Principal:
“It wasn’t the race we had hoped for, unfortunately. Jean-Éric suffered an early retirement due to a technical issue following damage to his car. André, unfortunately, lost the points he fought so hard to earn as he too suffered an issue. André’s car overheated towards the end of the race. So he had to fall back in order to finish the race, which we are going to investigate thoroughly.
“It’s disheartening to be one and two in your qualifying group and still start in P12 and P14 on the grid. The team is doing such an amazing job and they should be rewarded for it. Nevertheless, we have two very strong drivers and two very quick cars so we will be back fighting in Mexico.”
Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, DS Performance Director:
„Obviously we are very disappointed by this result. Unfortunately, we were disadvantaged by our qualifying group due to a dusty track and our drivers had to start in the middle of the pack. Jean-Éric suffered a collision damaging his car while his pace was very good and the energy consumption was under control. André climbed up from P14 to P7 at which point he had to slow down after an overheating problem. We will learn from this event and focus on the next E-Prix in Mexico.”
“It wasn’t our day. Being on top of your quali group to start in P14 it just not right with the system we have. We put a lot of resources into being at the top and being held back like this feels rather unfair as group one mostly has a dirty track.
“I was moving up the pack and was looking rather good as I had more energy and speed than the cars around me. I was aiming at a P5 finish but then suffered a power deration due to high temperature and we had to fall back to be able to finish the race. It very disappointing to be so close to scoring points as we had the potential to do something good. We’re going to investigate it when we come home and recharge ourselves to come back stronger in Mexico.”
“The team did a really good job and despite being P1 in my qualifying group I started P12 on the grid due to the track evolution during the qualifying session. I was preparing to go on the attack when I got hit from behind and then got pushed into a car in front of me. After that, something wasn’t right with the car. We had to retire it early as it wasn’t possible to finish the race.
“Everyone is working so hard in the team, and yet again we were flying out there. So it’s a shame not be able to finish in the points, but we’ll come back for more in Mexico.”
Never seen a track like this, asphalt going off, making it extremely dangerous. And bumping into others was necessary to overtake … hope it will change pic.twitter.com/XNlBBynGzh
— Jean-Eric Vergne (@JeanEricVergne) January 26, 2019