Mercedes can't afford a repeat of Monaco Formula E misery - The Race
Formula E

Mercedes can’t afford a repeat of Monaco Formula E misery

May 8 2021
By Sam Smith

The Mercedes Formula E team’s disastrous Monaco E-Prix cannot be repeated, according to team principal Ian James, after it registered its second non-score in as many races due to a litany of errors and issues.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries both retired from today’s race after suffering a host of problems.

With Jaguar, DS Techeetah and Envision Racing all scoring points with both of their cars, Mercedes saw its previous 23 point in the teams’ standings reduced to two points ahead of nearest challenger Jaguar.

Vandoorne’s race started messily when he lost several places during the multi-car incident at the hairpin that ended Alexander Sims’ day.

Then he had an as yet unexplained issue where his rear axle locked and caused him to slew into Pascal Wehrlein’s Porsche and cause race ending damage.

Nyck de Vries

De Vries was compromised by a carryover penalty from post-qualifying when his car took a number of new powertrain components, including a fresh gearbox and the power controller. This resulted in a 40 place grid penalty which was converted in to a 10-second drivethrough penalty.

Earlier on his qualifying lap he had inadvertently knocked his power mode from 250kW to 200kW and had to wait 30s until the pre-programmed software recalibrated to access his full qualifying power.

Despite being able to make up time after the late race safety car and catch up the rest of the field, de Vries ground to a halt with a suspected and as yet unexplained triggering of the failsafe mode on his Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 with a few minutes of the race remaining.

“There were a number of things both in quali and in the race this weekend and we need to make sure that simply these cannot happen again,” James told The Race.

Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes Monaco Formula E 2021

“We’ve still got over half the season to go and we’re in a solid position in the championship still, but you can’t be in this position to have events – regardless of whether it’s single or double header – where you’re walking away without any points whatsoever.

“That doesn’t work in Formula E because of the strength of the competition.”

James reckons the upcoming second half of the season, which kicks off with a double-header Puebla next month before heading to two races each at New York City, London and Berlin, will be tougher for Mercedes given the improving form of DS Techeetah and Jaguar.

“The Techeetahs as per usual form in previous seasons are starting to heat things up again, and then Jaguar are on form again, so it’s going to be a dogfight to the end now,” he said.

DS Techeetah vaulted from fourth to third in the standings after accruing a 41 point haul for Antonio Felix da Costa’s win and pole and Jean-Eric Vergne’s fourth place and fastest lap.

De Vries lost the lead in the drivers’ championship to Robin Frijns, but remains just five points behind in second.

Vandoorne’s non-score meant he fell from second to sixth in the points.

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