DS TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne warned his title rivals that he is relishing the pressure on him as the Frenchman heads into his home race in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for the 2022 Monaco E-Prix.
The Net Zero Carbon Championship returns to the iconic Circuit de Monaco this weekend for the fifth edition of the Monaco E-Prix.
Two-time Formula E champion Vergne is currently leading the 2021-2022 Drivers’ Championship on 60 points, despite failing to win a race this season. Consistent points scoring, though, has taken the 31-year-old above his rivals, having been on the scoreboard in each of the opening five races.
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The pressure will be on Vergne heading into his home race, with his DS team also yet to win a race this season – a fact bemoaned by the Frenchman after the last round in Rome.
But speaking ahead of Saturday’s race, Vergne underlined his ability to thrive under pressure and said he expects that pressure to have a positive impact this weekend.
He said, “[It is] positive pressure. We usually perform well under pressure and, adding the fact that it's Monaco and that we are leading the championship, I think it's a good combination for us to do very well.
“I told my team I think the key this year if we want to win the Championship is consistency – get a win whenever we can, get a podium whenever we can, and sometimes save valuable points even though we think that we could have had better in the race.
“In Rome – the first race – I finished fourth and I could have fought harder for third, but I think the risk was too great to lose more positions and we were content with the fourth place.”
Vergne went on to challenge his team to improve for Monaco, while expressing frustration that the car hasn’t been as strong as some of the DS’ rivals.
A one-two finish for Mercedes and Porsche in Diriyah and Mexico City, respectively, followed by a double-win for Jaguar in Rome underlines the strength of Formula E’s manufacturer grid, and the competition DS face.
“I think we simply do not have the pace yet to win a race,” he continued. “In Riyadh, the Mercedes were clearly on top of everybody, and in Mexico we clearly were the second force behind the Porsche. In Rome, it was again the same case – Jaguar were too strong.
“All we can do is try and always improve ourselves. I know that we do not have to do a lot. We just have to work hard to find those little details and once we find them, we are probably going to have this little push that's going to allow us to fight for wins.
“I have no doubt that we can find this extra pace and fight for wins in the very near future. I like to go into the race weekend knowing that we've done our best and I know that at the moment I'm going into Monaco in full confidence knowing that we've made the best preparation work as possible.”
'Very exciting for drivers and fans'
DS TECHEETAH have happy memories of the Circuit de Monaco with teammate Antonio Felix da Costa winning at the track last year to follow Vergne’s 2019 victory.
The 19-turn, 3.337km track in the streets of Monte Carlo is steeped in history and will host a Formula E race for the fifth time on Saturday. Last year’s race was a feast of wheel-to-wheel racing with an astonishing 28 overtakes between the top six runners alone.
“It’s one of my favourite tracks with a lot of history and a fantastic layout. In Formula One, there is nowhere where you can really overtake but in Formula E, there are many corners where you can overtake so it is very exciting for both the drivers and also for the fans, as we saw last year with so many overtakes.
“What can fans expect? Clean racing, lots of overtaking, fights until the end for the win. I think that's pretty much what every fan wants to see on a race weekend – big fights on track. And I think that's what we're going to give them.”
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s most extensive calendar to date continues in Monaco this Saturday 30 April live on Eurosport 1 from 14:00 BST.
Catch-up on all the information as the series builds up to the 2022 London E-Prix, which returns this year on 30 & 31 July:https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/championship/race-calendar/2021-2022/london
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