JEDDAH: The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team is celebrating a belatedly successful weekend which saw Stoffel Vandoorne taking first place at the Rome E-Prix, leaving him and team-mate Nyck de Vries fourth and fifth respectively in the drivers’ table after the completion of rounds three and four of the season in Italy.
“What an amazing victory,” Vandoorne said.
“It makes up for what happened (on Saturday). To end the weekend on such a high today feels fantastic.”
The Belgian driver redeemed himself with a win after an unfortunate retirement in first race of the Rome E-Prix double-header the day before.
Things looked bleak for Vandoorne when he spun into the barrier trying to avoid a slowing Lucas di Grassi - however, the team managed to repair the car overnight and Vandoorne was able to qualify third on the grid for the second race.
His win on Sunday means Mercedes-EQ now sit second in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship standing, building on De Vries’ win at the season-opening Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh at the end of February.
“I would like to thank everyone in the team and especially my mechanics, who had their work cut out to get the car fixed after the accident,” Vandoorne said.
A few early battles and a late safety car intervention did not stop the Mercedes-EQ driver from securing his second FIA Formula E victory, placing him firmly in contention for the championship.
Vandoorne also “Fanboost” - the voted-for power surge - to thank as well, as he was able to create distance between himself and Alexander Sims on the final lap restart.
“I wasn't sure what to expect during the safety car period just before the end but still had Fanboost, so I could defend my position,” he said.
“It didn’t feel exactly great after comfortably being in the lead, but I didn’t put a foot wrong over the final lap and managed to secure the win, which is what counts in the end.”
NEOM, Principal Partner of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, congratulated Vandoorne on his victory in Rome.
“It’s brilliant to see yet another strong performance from the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team,” Jan Paterson, Managing Director of Sport at NEOM said.
“NEOM is striving to become a major participant in the world’s sporting landscape and our partnership with the team is providing us with a unique opportunity to tap into an organization which is relentless in their pursuit of excellence.”
During the pre-season in December, the world witnessed the Belgian driver take to the streets of NEOM in the Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02, the first all-electric vehicle driven on the Magna Road.
The partnership between NEOM and Mercedes-EQ - first established in 2020 - will focus on development programs in the region and green mobility efforts to revolutionize electric vehicles, as part of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan for a sustainable future.