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Formula E Diriyah ePrix II

Positive Formula E weekend for DS Penske in Saudi Arabia

DS Penske left Saudi Arabia with some important points and demonstrated it can take the fight to early Formula E pacesetters Jaguar and Porsche.

JEV DPPIPRODUCTION_00001839_0070

Jean-Eric Vergne's result on Friday - a pole position and a second place - combined with the fact that both cars were in the points the following day was a form of deliverance for Eugenio Franzetti, the director of DS Performance.

"Friday was a great day for the DS Penske team," emphasised the DS Automobiles representative in the world championship.

"Our results since the start of the season, and more particularly here, demonstrate the very good level of performance of our DS E-Tense FE23. 

"These points are good for morale, especially at the start of the season.

"Of course, we know that we still need to work on closing the gap with some of our rivals, but I'm confident that we'll get there.

"Now that the areas for improvement we identified have been confirmed, we'll be able to continue in the right direction."

As a challenger to Porsche and Jaguar in 2023, DS Penske had often been in the running but not really able to compete with them over the long term. However, since the start of the 2024 championship, its two cars have become more competitive.

Progress to be confirmed

Jay Penske and Jean-Eric Vergne discuss the team's progress

Photo by: DPPI

Jay Penske and Jean-Eric Vergne discuss the team's progress

In Formula E, there are many factors at play, but the underlying trends always come to the fore in the end. For example, although Stoffel Vandoorne didn't get the chance to set a fast lap in qualifying on Friday, he showed his true level of performance the very next day.

After a convincing practice session (Vergne second and Vandoorne sixth), the two Penske DSs, although in the same qualifying group, managed to finish in the top four to advance to the quarter-finals.

As the duels progressed, Vandoorne eliminated Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan) and advanced to the semi-final. He started fourth, while Jean-Eric Vergne was eighth on the grid.

But, for the race, the fact that the second confrontation of the weekend was one lap shorter (36 instead of 37) reshuffled the cards in terms of energy strategy.

As in Mexico City, DS Penske ended up playing for position, with Vandoorne taking fifth place and Vergne eighth.

These results put Vergne in third place in the drivers' championship, and DS Penske in second place in the constructors' standings, behind Jaguar but ahead of the two Porsche-powered teams.

With the cancellation of the race initially scheduled to take place in India in mid-February, Formula E will now take a seven-week break before the next round in Sao Paulo (Brazil).

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