Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne hailed a ‘special’ day as the Belgian secured his first Formula E victory at the iconic home of motorsport in the 2022 Monaco E-Prix.
The win – Mercedes-EQ’s second of the season following their one-two finish in Round 1 in Riyadh – puts Vandoorne top of the Drivers’ Championship approaching the half-way point of Season 8.
It was to be lucky number three for the ex-McLaren Formula 1 driver, with the 30-year-old flattering to deceive in his two previous races in the all-electric racing series at the Circuit de Monaco.
Vandoorne wins Monaco E-Prix to assume Formula E championship lead
And speaking after the race, a visibly euphoric Vandoorne outlined the significance of the result.
"It is an amazing feeling,” he said. “Monaco is always a special race to win as a driver. Last year we had a tough time here, this year we managed to turn it around.
“The target was to qualify at the front and then I knew we would be in the mix, and that is exactly how the race panned out. We were flying today, massive well done to the team for giving me a strong car. It has not been an easy start to the season, but it shows the consistency we have. I am extremely happy.
"I feel like I have been fighting at the front all season already, I have had a few pole positions and have not quite been able to convert them into victories. This weekend I decided not to qualify on pole and get the victory instead!"
Stoffel Vandoorne won the 2022 Monaco E-Prix Round 6 on April 30, 2022 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/WireImage)
Image credit: Getty Images
The Belgian beat polesitter Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) to the top step, while DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Éric Vergne came third in front of more than 15,000 fans in Monte Carlo.
Vandoorne emerged on the right side of a mid-race full course yellow and safety car which threw race strategies up in the air with the 30-year-old besting Evans after a race-long battle with the help of some measured energy management.
He had hit the front after then-leader Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) retired from the lead with technical issues on Lap 16. Once at the head of the pack, Vandoorne seized control and made good on both restarts to take the chequered flag first with race pace and energy in-hand.
Evans couldn't quite capitalise on the searing pace that saw him fly to Julius Baer Pole Position but 18 points and second spot after a Rome win-double sees the Jaguar driver's hot-streak continue.
Vergne followed in third, sparring for the race distance with those ahead and fending off the late attentions of Envision Racing's Robin Frijns who came home fourth, the Dutchman extending his consistent run of form. That made it a joint-high of three podiums for Frenchman Vergne and he remains the only driver to score points in every race this season.
Antonio Felix da Costa made it two DS TECHEETAH cars in the top five, with Lucas di Grassi coming home sixth for a solid haul on home soil for ROKiT Venturi Racing - though Edoardo Mortara retired late on having run much of the race alongside his teammate in the points.
Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) finished seventh, with Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams), Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) and reigning champion Nyck de Vries rounding out the top 10.
It leaves Vandoorne six points clear atop the Drivers' standings, and Mercedes-EQ 15 points ahead of DS TECHEETAH in the Teams' running.
Next stop in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is a double-header E-Prix in Berlin on 14 and 15 May for Rounds 7 and 8 and marks the midpoint of Season 8.
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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