Vandoorne shrugs off robust move to take Diriyah E-Prix lead

Mercedes Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne insists that his move to pass BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims for the lead of the Diriyah E-Prix which resulted in contact was “nothing too major for FE standards”.

Vandoorne was lying in second during the middle period of the first of two races in Saudi Arabia, challenging Sims for the lead while simultaneously defending from eventual race winner Sam Bird. As Vandoorne teed up a move on Sims on the run to Turn 18, the Belgian driver went slightly deep into the corner with Sims on his outside, where the two touched.

Explaining that the move to pass Sims was crucial to keeping any chances of victory alive, as he had yet to take his second round of attack mode, Vandoorne admitted to a “slight touch” between the two.

“I think the crucial part for me was to get past Sims,” said Vandoorne, “as Sam was behind me in attack mode. I knew I had to clear him and try to stay in front but,then I knew it was going to be tricky to kind of keep the lead with it with Sam already having taken the attack mode.

“I was defending from Sam and at the same time I was overtaking, so it was all quite tricky. The track offline here is so slippery, so I went up the inside and then I kind of understeered really, and then I think we had a little touch or something, but nothing too major for Formula E standards.”

Read Also:

Sims agreed that Vandoorne’s move was above board, and conceded that he could have defended from his aggressor’s advances sooner.

“No, it's fine,” Sims said of the move. “From my side, it was my fault for not blocking earlier fully. But in reality they probably would have just got past on the next lap or something.

“We just sort of started to get ourselves more and more into an energy deficit and about halfway through I realised that is going to be pretty difficult. So I got caught by the move with Sam overtaking Stoffel and me, and then effectively going down the inside of me, I was too late to react to that.”

Alexander Sims, BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20 goes wide leading Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 01, Nyck De Vries, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 01

Alexander Sims, BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20 goes wide leading Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 01, Nyck De Vries, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 01

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Diriyah E-Prix: Bird wins, podiums for Porsche and Mercedes
Previous article

Diriyah E-Prix: Bird wins, podiums for Porsche and Mercedes

Next article

Hartley’s Formula E debut ends with double penalty

Hartley’s Formula E debut ends with double penalty
Load comments
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner Prime

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Briton

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Prime

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Prime

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Prime

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022
How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome Prime

How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome

Mitch Evans and Jaguar dominated the Rome E-Prix weekend, winning both races to bring alive a season in which he'd scored just one point from the previous three weekends. Supreme overtaking and strategy proved key in bringing the Kiwi back into title contention on a weekend that he was, his rivals conceded, “in a different league”

Formula E
Apr 11, 2022
How NIO 333's new home is helping it prepare for Formula E's Gen3 era Prime

How NIO 333's new home is helping it prepare for Formula E's Gen3 era

Under a former guise, the NIO 333 Formula E squad took victory in the championship's inaugural season, but a difficult recent history has resigned the team to the back of the field. Now with a new base and the much-vaunted Gen3 regulations incoming, the Chinese team is looking reinvigorated.

Formula E
Mar 30, 2022
Why Porsche's Formula E breakthrough points to a flawed narrative Prime

Why Porsche's Formula E breakthrough points to a flawed narrative

A crushing 1-2 in Mexico meant Porsche broke its Formula E duck in fine style to underline its status as a credible title contender. But while its success has taken longer to arrive relative to Mercedes, there are several reasons why their situations aren't directly comparable and, crucially, it appears to be an equal now the series has moved away from its loathed qualifying format

Formula E
Mar 2, 2022