until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Formula E’s all-champion team is finally back on form

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The DS Techeetah Formula E team was the quickest to react to the fact that Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix was going to be one lap longer than initially expected, other than the triumphant Porsche team.

DS Techeetah avoided unnecessarily tripping itself up – something it had done in Mexico in 2020 – as its drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa again qualified and raced closely together throughout the race.

However, this time the team adapted deftly to the extra race lap being squeezed in by the dominant Porsches and were able to secure third for Vergne and fourth for Da Costa for the Franco-Chinese teams biggest points haul since the Monaco E-Prix last May.

Post-race Jean-Eric Vergne described how he believed that his “engineers did the right call” in amending their outlook on the race and banking the best available points they could muster for third and fourth.

The team had restructured its engineering squad ahead of the season after the untimely death of its former strategy talisman Pascal Tortosa last September.

Head of powertrain performance, Clement Ailloud, took over the role at the start of the season working with racing director Leo Thomas in calling the overall strategy shots.

Mexico City Eprix

“Obviously the Porsche did a different, better call, but it was really not obvious at the beginning of the race that it was going to be 40 laps,” explained Vergne after the race.

“I was on a 39-lap strategy so I’m very happy with this position, Antonio finishing fourth as well, so we were the second-best team this weekend in Mexico but one day it’s going to be us the strongest team and us winning.”

Antonio Felix da Costa tailed his team-mate to the chequered flag but the 2019-20 champion had a tough race which saw him running as low as seventh with just eight laps remaining.

“Honestly for me, being behind Jean-Eric for a long time I always have to look in my mirrors,” said Da Costa.

“I had, I don’t know how many fights, so many overtakes, I was overtaken a million times and just had a lot of action for 45 minutes.

“When everyone realised the race was going to be a lap longer, then everything kind of re-confused again and we were able to go forwards and finish third and fourth.

Formula E Mexico City E Prix 2021

Da Costa, who lost out narrowly to his team-mate in only the second ever intra-team qualifying duel during the quarter-final stage, confessed that he needed a solid points score after a disastrous double-header in Diriyah last month.

“We’ve had a really bad start to the season in Riyadh, obviously arriving here with zero points, so my message to the team was ‘I want to get out of here with a good cheque of points.’

“Obviously we did that, and I think with this break now gives us all the right confidence and the right mood to keep on working and keep on understanding what we can do better.

“It went exactly as I planned so I’m very pleased with that.”

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