Jean-Eric Vergne: Zurich clearly my best Formula E drive

Formula E championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne declared his action-packed drive in Zurich as the "best" performance he has produced in the championship

Jean-Eric Vergne: Zurich clearly my best Formula E drive

The ex-Formula 1 driver started down in 17th place - the joint-worst of his FE career so far - after a "nightmare" qualifying session.

But he made rapid progress over the first half of the 39-lap race, won by Audi's Lucas di Grassi, reaching ninth place by lap 15.

But his move on Felix Rosenqvist, who "tried to let him go", ended with the Mahindra Racing driver in the barriers and the resulting debris brought out a full course yellow.

During the suspension, Vergne and four others were found to have gone too fast and were handed drive through penalties.

That sanction, plus a delay at his car swap caused by a problem slotting his second machine in gear that cost him "six, seven seconds" and already dropped him to back ninth, meant Vergne was 11th after serving the penalty.

He battled back to 10th, but with title rival Sam Bird finishing second, his pre-Zurich 40-point lead was slashed to just 23.

"I think it was the best drive I've ever had in Formula E," Vergne told Autosport.

"I was really on it and I enjoyed myself a lot - I think I passed 16 cars, sometimes I had to pass the same guys twice, and it was clearly my best drive."

Vergne felt he could have secured a podium finish given his pace in the race, which offered him encouragement ahead of the New York season finale - where Bird won twice in 2017.

"It feels very frustrating to score only one point knowing I could have finished second," said Vergne.

"But on the other hand, I have a lot of margin in the championship.

"I have a very good car. I am very motivated to put this weekend back and have the next one very good.

"Last year in New York we were very quick so I'm feeling very confident."

Vergne could have clinched the title two races early had things played out differently in Zurich, but instead Bird nearly halved his deficit to the top of the standings.

The Virgin Racing driver outlined his plan of attack for the season-ending event.

"We spoke about momentum in Rome [where Bird won] and I think it's easy to get carried away," he said.

"If JEV has a bad one all of a sudden I've got the momentum - [but] it's just one race.

"I need to beat him first race in New York, end of story.

"I need to put the pressure for race two, and if I can do that then there's a chance.

"But we need come away from here, still learn, apply ourselves correctly when we get to New York, have a great first race - and then we see."

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Series Formula E
Drivers Jean-Eric Vergne
Author Alex Kalinauckas
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