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DS Penske returns ‘home’ for the Monaco E-Prix

Since the disappearance of the Paris E-Prix, DS Automobiles no longer has a national race. Monaco has replaced the capital in the hearts of the Franco-American team, but there are strong links between the Principality and the squad.

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

DPPI

Monaco, its breath-taking view of the Mediterranean, its port, its casinos, its yachts, its luxury cars... and above all its unique history with motor racing. No other country in the world has such a relationship with motorsport, especially on a surface area of 2km.

Like the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, the Monaco E-Prix is the one that every Formula E driver wants to win. For DS Penske, the pressure is on as it is also the closest race to its headquarters. In Monaco, you only have to take one of the 79 public lifts to get to France and if we add to this the fact that Jean-Eric Vergne has raced in the Principality in various disciplines, that he is French and that he has already won Monaco in Formula E (in 2019 with DS), we can understand the stakes a little better.

As far as Stoffel Vandoorne is concerned, even though the reigning world champion is of Belgian nationality, it is in Monaco that he made his home a few years ago. For him too, this is somewhat of a home race. "The big difference, and this is important, is that I sleep in my own bed in the evening and not in a hotel," says Stoffel Vandoorne, who likes the quietness of the place but also the weather. "In addition, it is true that the track, since we have been using the circuit in its entirety, is perfectly suited to the discipline, and even better than in Formula 1, where it is more difficult to overtake than in Formula E."

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Photo by: DPPI

Vandoorne won the most recent Monaco E-Prix back in 2022, who at the same time became the championship leader just ahead of Vergne, who came third in that event. In 2021, the E-Prix was won by Antonio Felix Da Costa, then a DS Techeetah driver, and in 2019 Vergne took the lead of the championship (and kept it until the end) by winning the Monaco leg.

So it's a very important race and circuit, and one that seems to have smiled on the French manufacturer so far. Nevertheless, the Monegasque development has some pitfalls. "Like all urban circuits, it doesn't offer any clearances and the slightest mistake is paid for in cash," adds Vergne. "At the same time, it's a perfectly smooth track, resurfaced every year, and we can say that Monaco is not like all urban circuits."

Monaco is not just about racing

Every premium manufacturer likes to come to the Principality, and not only for sporting reasons. This is not the case for all the circuits of the season, depending on the prestige of the place, but also on the market opportunities. A country where a brand is not sold only has the purely sporting side to exploit.

On the other hand, all brands dream of a top-of-the-range venue where they can invite customers and prospects to see its racing cars in action and exhibit its production models. This is even one of the main reasons for a manufacturer's involvement in a motorsport discipline. For DS Automobiles, having a French driver in its ranks, who also wins races and whose team-mate is the reigning world champion, is a perfect combination from a communication point of view for a race like Monaco.

Will all these reasons turn into an alignment of the planets on 6 May for the French team? Porsche and Jaguar, its main competitors, will also be looking for a good result, Monaco also being for an interesting market for them, besides the big points to be scored in both championships.

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Photo by: DPPI

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