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Formula E Shanghai ePrix II

DS Penske continues to progress in Shanghai

Just a thousandth off pole position, Stoffel Vandoorne went on to secure important points for DS Penske by finishing the race in sixth place. Jean-Eric Vergne's seventh place rounded off a successful race, with DS Automobiles and Jaguar the only manufacturers to put both their cars in the points.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

After his pole position on Saturday, Vergne woke up with a strong desire to repeat the feat. For Vandoorne, who had also qualified for the quarter-finals the day before, and who also had a race full of contacts in the pack, the objective of showing himself was also very clear.

In both cases, the objective was achieved, and Vandoorne came very close to taking pole position (just one thousandth of a second behind Jake Hugues' McLaren). The Belgian driver started from second position, while Vergne, who missed out on the quarter-finals by 13 thousandths of a second, was ninth on the grid.

A little earlier, the two DS -E-TENSE FE23s had strategically and more cautiously positioned themselves in the top 10 during the third free practice session, in order to gauge the possible evolution of the track, while the heat and humidity were still present.

Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske)

Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske)

Photo by: DPPI

A different energy strategy

Sunday's race was scheduled over 28 laps, one less than the previous day. Vandoorne got off to a perfect start and took the lead. In the end, it was a complicated position, as he had to save as much energy as possible for the second half of the race.

Having learnt the lessons of the previous day, the various protagonists seemed less shy about starting battles. However, as on the previous day, there was plenty of contact. Very early on, many of the drivers activated their attack mode in order to get a clearer idea of their remaining energy, with a view to their strategy at the end of the race.

In this little game, Vandoorne remained in the top three, while Vergne hovered between fifth and 10th place. Generally speaking, the race was more dynamic than the day before, and the field was stretching out further. This is yet another sign that Formula E is a matter for fine technicians.

Vergne was undeniably in a waiting phase, while Vandoorne was trying to keep in touch with the leaders without using up too much energy. His stance paid off a few laps later.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Photo by: DPPI

When the remaining percentage of each electric car's battery was displayed on the screen, it was clear that Vergne had 1.2 kWh more battery power than the race leader. The laps Vandoorne spent at the front cost him dearly in terms of energy, but staying with the pack allowed him to recover some of his performance potential.

The disadvantage is that when you're in the middle of the pack, you're often the victim of small, unintentional attacks... Vergne paid the price and saw his front wing ripped to shreds. Fortunately, he didn't need to go back through the pits.

With 10 laps to go, wisdom still prevailed. In waiting positions, the two DS E-TENSE FE23s were sixth and seventh. Positions they would retain behind Porsche, McLaren and Jaguar. It's another double finish in the points for DS Penske, fulfilling the Franco-American team's original ambitions in this extremely tight championship. It is also a result that keeps both drivers in the top 10 overall.

Formula E now takes a five-week break, before another double header in Portland, in the north west of the United States.

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