Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula E Sao Paulo ePrix

Vandoorne: Efforts to avoid leading Sao Paulo E-Prix "quite dangerous"

Reigning Formula E champion Stoffel Vandoorne believes that efforts to avoid leading in the inaugural Sao Paulo E-prix created “some instances where it was quite dangerous”.

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23, Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23, Jake Hughes, NEOM McLar

Vandoorne claimed his first pole for DS Penske after beating Antonio Felix da Costa in the qualifying duels, and led the early stages of the race before fading back to sixth at the finish.

The unique nature of the Brazilian circuit, which included long straights not commonly used in Formula E, meant drivers were reluctant to lead in order to save energy in the slipstream.

Despite attempts to let competitors move ahead, the chasing pack generally remained behind Vandoorne for the opening third of the race, costing him energy.

The Belgian, who went on to finish sixth as Mitch Evans claimed victory for Jaguar, believes his efforts at slowing down to let others ahead had started to verge on being dangerous, such was the disadvantage of leading.

“I was trying to let them past, I was lifting crazy early everywhere,” he said.

“That’s why you saw on the TV sometimes some kind of weird double overtake. It’s just because everyone was lifting so early.

“I can’t stop the car on track at some point, it’s still a race. It’s just the penalty of being at the front and pumping a hole in the air.

“There were some instances where it was quite dangerous in Turn 1, because I was lifting so early and Antonio kind of went alongside, Mitch went alongside.

“I think at one point we were almost four-wide into Turn 1 because everyone is trying to not lead the race. It became a bit dangerous at some points, yes.”

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23, Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23, Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Having started alongside Vandoorne on the front row and shadowed him in the early stages, da Costa dropped down the order after an error at Turn 1 and finished fourth at the flag.

The Porsche driver believes that the extensive use of coasting probably went too far, with the new Gen3 cars already more suited for slipstreaming than its predecessor.

“I thought Stoffel did a great race with how many laps he led and for that he was a windbreaker for all of us,” he said.

“I’m not sure if I like it.

“I think it’s cool, but this car really provokes it anyway and this just makes it too much, so I think to a degree what we have in the other weekends and races is fine, but here is a bit too much.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Dennis critical of "plonker" Ticktum after Sao Paulo E-Prix clash
Next article Di Grassi "underestimated" team differences with Formula E's Gen3 car

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe