While it is true that the Gen3 era of Formula E has aroused great expectation and excitement among promoters and motorsport fans, not everything is praise for the new stage of the electric single-seater series.
Despite being presented as the most powerful electrified racing car in the world, an authoritative voice such as the current champion, Stoffel Vandoorne, has expressed strong criticism of the vehicle.
The Belgian driver breathes new airs in Formula E in 2023. After winning the 2021-2022 title with Mercedes -before the German structure was absorbed by McLaren-, Stoffel bet on experience and closed with DS Penske, forming a duo with three championships won.
However, the start has been far below expectations, and the Belgian described the lack of competitiveness as “critical”, at the same time that Porsche dominates the beginning of the season.
“The situation is critical and now there is a clear trend. We saw Porsche winning everything. We found ourselves being competitive in free practice, and then we got nowhere in qualifying,” Vandoorne said.
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Stumbles at the Start
Vandoorne managed to have an outstanding drive on the second day of Diriyah, when he took third out of four places in Group A and led DS Penske into the knockout stage for the first time. However, he was eventually beaten by Envision’s Sébastien Buemi, who had taken pole position the day before.
Starting eighth, the champion had no pace to climb and was tenth at the end of the race. However, a race direction penalty for improper use of the attack mode added 24 seconds to the Belgian’s overall time, which plummeted to 20th place.
“Races are hard to judge; we haven’t had one without a problem yet. But for sure Porsche looks very strong and we have to improve. We have a long way to go,” he said.
DS, a former Techeetah partner, has two consecutive Formula E titles: 2018-2019, with Jean-Éric Vergne, and 2019-2020, with António Félix da Costa.
However, the team is going through a rough patch in its first year of partnership with Penske in the Gen3 Era. In addition to the dissatisfaction already exposed by the Frenchman, reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne was also frustrated with the car’s performance so far.
Formula E will return next February 11 with the first E-Prix in Hyderabad, India.