Formula E

Formula E talking points: More frustration for Vandoorne

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Pole-sitter Stoffel Vandoorne clipped the first chicane to lose his place

Image credit: Getty Images

ByAlexander Netherton
02/05/2020 at 17:26 | Updated 02/05/2020 at 17:39

BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Maximilian Guenther made it back-to-back opening wins with victory in Round Two of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF.

Here are the main talking points from the fan named ‘Electric Docks’ circuit:

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The young German driver made it three wins out of three after taking the chequered flag in both the pre-season test race in Monte Carlo and Round One last week on the Hong Kong harbour front.

Starting from second on grid, he capitalised on an error from Mercedes Benz EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne who clipped the chicane at the very first corner to snatch a lead that he never relinquished.

Only his compatriot Pascal Wehrlein looked capable of mounting a challenge and the race looked set for a barnstorming finish as the gap was reduced to just three-tenths before the Mahindra Racing man smashed into a wall amid mounting pressure.

Guenther then was free to open up a commanding lead to finish seven seconds ahead of Robin Frijns in second and third-placed Nico Müller.

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Image credit: Eurosport


It was another tough day at the office for Mercedes Benz EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who once again failed to capitalise in the race on an excellent performance in qualifying.

After agonisingly crashing out in Hong Kong last week, the Belgian driver once again put himself firmly in contention to challenge Guenther by securing his spot at the front of the starting grid after a blistering qualifying lap.

But once again he was left frustrated after a slow start as the lights turned green turned into an over-zealous defence causing him to misjudge the first chicane and suffer extensive damage to his car, eventually finishing fifth from pole for the second week in a row.


The return of Envision Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird – who had missed Round One because of a poor internet connection in his area – meant that the full grid of 24 Formula E drivers were competing against each other for the first time since the Marrakesh E-Prix in February.

The Brit started brightly to move up into sixth place but was unable to repeat the heroics of his replacement driver Nick Cassidy who finished second in last week’s race after suffering a huge crash as he pushed his car to the limit.

The Brit will be buoyed by a positive first impression but will be left ultimately disappointed that he failed to capitalise on the opportunity, eventually being eliminated via the ‘race royale’ format.


Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein will also be left wondering what might have been, as he briefly looked like the only driver on the grid capable of halting Max Guenther’s surge to victory.

Having missed the pre-season test event, the German came into the series as a bit of an unknown but a third-place finish in Round One and another positive qualifying to start third this time around will no doubt have put Wehrlein on the radar of Guenther.

And Wehrlein looks the best bet to make his so-far dominant compatriot sweat on track as he slashed the lead to just three-tenths of a second before smashing into the wall and ruining his chances of late drama.


Earlier in the day, sim racer Peyo Peev had driven to a dominant victory in a chaotic Challenger Race, leading from lights-to-flag and fighting off the challenge of pre-race favourite Kevin Siggy.

It proved quite the turnaround for the Bulgarian who finished outside of the points last time out in Hong Kong and was forced into qualifying for the race via the online channel again. A top-10 finish this time ensures he’ll be guaranteed a place to hammer home his advantage in next week’s race.

The winning driver at the end of the Challenger series will win real-life track time in a Formula E car when real-life racing resumes.

The action returns to screens for Round Three of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge, next Saturday 9th May at 15:30 BST.

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