The legendary Monaco Grand Prix Circuit was the setting for yesterday’s Monaco E-Prix where Stoffel Vandoorne won the race for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, while teammate Nyck de Vries finished tenth.
This was the first win of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season for Vandoorne and second win of the season for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team and their sixth win so far in the all-electric race series.
Vandoorne set the fastest time in his qualifying group before going through to the semi-finals where the drivers go head-to-head but was just beaten by Pascal Wehrlein and ended up qualifying fourth on the grid.
Meanwhile Nyck de Vries set the second-fastest time of Group B, qualifying for the knock-out stages but was eliminated by Jean-Eric Vergne in his DS Techeetah in the quarter-finals and started the E-Prix from eighth on the grid.
As the Monaco E-Prix got under way, Vandoorne stayed with the leading group of cars, working his way up the field until he managed to take the lead just before a full-course yellow and the race interrupted by a safety car period with just 13 minutes still to go in the race. This meant that the E-Prix was extended by four and a half minutes and Vandoorne managed to hold onto the lead right to the chequered flag to take victory in Monaco. Teammate de Vries finished 10th also managing to score some valuable points.
After six rounds of the season, Vandoorne leads the Drivers’ World Championship by six points on 81 points, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne who has 75 points. Nyck de Vries is in eighth place on 39 points.
The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team also leads the Team Championship on 120 points ahead of DS Techeetah on 105 points.
Stoffel Vandoorne summed up his race win at the Monaco E-Prix by saying:
“It’s a fantastic feeling. Monaco is one of those very special races that every driver wants to win. We had a tough weekend here last year but we really managed to turn things around this time. Our goal was to qualify well up the field, and after that, it was obvious to me that we could be top contenders as well. And that’s how it went. We were really flying today, so many thanks to the team for putting such a strong car at my disposal. My start to the season wasn’t easy, but consistency is paying off now. I’m really pleased about that. I feel like I’ve been fighting up front all season. I’ve had a few pole positions but couldn’t quite convert them into wins, so this weekend, I decided not to qualify on pole but to go for victory instead, and that strategy worked.”
The cars and drivers now head to Berlin in Germany, where the next two rounds of the 2021/22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will take place in on 14th and 15th May.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team by LAT images