For Stoffel Vandoorne the Diriyah E-Prix was certainly not the easiest. An electronics failure on Saturday, when the second heat of the race was held, caused him to lose points and take a penalty.
At the end of the E-Prix, the DS Penske team driver was penalized 24 seconds to add to his overall race time for not using the two Attack Modes available to him. The Belgian seemed to be able to bring home points, but then an attack from Dan Ticktum which arrived in the last stages of the race cut him off.
Overtaking Ticktum was also possible through the non-use of the two Attack Modes. Then, once the race is over, here is the 24-second penalty as required by the sporting regulations.
At the end of the race weekend, the reigning world champion of the series explained why he didn’t use the Attack Modes at his disposal. At the start of the race his car had an electrical problem which prevented him from talking on the radio and selecting attack mode activation.
“What happened to me is quite simple. After 5 laps I couldn’t see anything on the dashboard. It went out. And all the steering wheel functions stopped working,” Vandoorne told Motorsport.com.
Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, DS E-TENSE FE23
Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images
“I just couldn’t activate it. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. At that point I tried to use the necessary procedure, but I knew I would be disqualified. I didn’t know how much energy I had. I couldn’t see anything. shitty day.”
At the end of the race, the former Formula 1 driver realized he had 4% more energy than his rivals. This shows that the car package created by DS Penske is very good, but Vandoorne also admitted that he is concerned by the trend of decreasing car performance between free practice and qualifying.
“There’s a pretty clear trend where, for some reason, we’re fast in free practice but we can’t convert it into a good result in qualifying. Ok, maybe Saturday went a little better for me, but I managed to get into in duels for the first time this year. We’re still too far away.”
“There are definitely things we need to figure out to improve the situation. The race is hard to judge, I mean the Porsches obviously look very strong, but then I think there is a leveling of performance after that. We are very good at managing the energy, but until now we haven’t been able to harness it and today I didn’t have anything that worked”.
“Apparently I still had 3-4% energy compared to my opponents. But don’t ask me how!” concluded Vandoorne.
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