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Formula E Monaco ePrix

Vergne would not have let Jaguar drivers "play their games" in Formula E Monaco race

Jean-Eric Vergne claims he would not “let the Jaguar drivers play their games and smoke their cigars” in the Monaco E-Prix if he was allowed to pass team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

The Frenchman finished Saturday’s Formula E race in Monte Carlo fourth having shadowed DS Penske partner Vandoorne for much of the 31-lap contest.

Vergne was left frustrated as both Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans ahead backed the chasing pack up at various points to allow each of the Jaguar drivers to take both Attack Modes without losing positions.

The strategy worked as Evans led home a Jaguar 1-2, with Vergne left to question why he was not allowed to move ahead of Vandoorne to launch his own challenge for the win.

“If I had passed [Vandoorne] I would have definitely tried something, I would definitely not have let the Jaguar drivers play their games and smoke their cigars," Vergne told Autosport.

“I was ready to let Stoffel by at the end for the podium but I was not going to be sitting the whole race doing nothing.

“Clearly if he cannot pass, I wanted to have a go and if I could not pass either I would have happily let him by again.

“Stoffel did nothing wrong, he did a good race. It’s just frustrating to be a clear number two today sitting behind.”

Vandoorne’s podium was his first in Formula E since finishing second in Seoul in 2022, which also coincided with the Belgian driver claiming the all-electric title with Mercedes.

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , 1st position, applauds as Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, 3rd position, lifts his trophy on the podium

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , 1st position, applauds as Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, 3rd position, lifts his trophy on the podium

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Having started second in Monaco, Vandoorne inherited the lead during the Attack Mode phase before dropping behind both Jaguars when taking his own second activation.

This was a move he claimed was pivotal to the final race outcome, as it allowed Evans and Cassidy to implement their race-winning strategy.

“We really managed the first part of the race very good and actually took control of the race before taking my first Attack Mode, still being in the lead with both Jaguars behind who hadn’t taken either of them,” Vandoorne said.

“So I think it was a good stage of the race and then where I feel like we lost the race is when I took the second [Attack Mode].

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“We nearly pulled out between both Jaguars and I think if we would have managed that it would have been a different race today and had a real chance of winning it.”

Behind both DS Penske drivers, polesitter Pascal Wehrlein was left to finish fifth having led initially before taking his first Attack Mode at the earliest opportunity on lap three.

It left the Porsche driver out of position, and he was unable to recover the lost places, but he still leaves Monaco as the championship leader by seven points from Cassidy.

He said: “They played the game super well, opening up the gaps to each other, blocking the road side-by-side so I guess that’s the benefit if you have both cars in the front.”

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