De Vries defends Formula E after chaotic Valencia finish

Nyck de Vries says Formula E is “not necessarily” to blame for the chaotic finish to the Valencia E-Prix on Saturday, as the majority of cars ran out of energy.

De Vries defends Formula E after chaotic Valencia finish

Only 12 of the 24 drivers were classified on Formula E’s first visit to a permanent track in a dramatic wet race, with Mercedes driver de Vries taking victory from the Dragon Penske Autosport car of Nico Muller.

The first part of the Spanish double header was punctuated by five safety car periods, with the race control deducting the usable energy on each occasion as per the championship’s sporting regulations.

The left a two-lap dash to the race finish, but most drivers struggled to make it to the finish at a venue that has been described as the toughest in FE's history from the perspective of energy management, due to the limited opportunities to regenerate energy compared to a conventional heavy-braking street circuit.

De Vries, who had been running second behind the final safety car, overtook the pole-sitting car of Antonio Felix da Costa with ease starting the final lap to clinch a convincing 14-second victory, having saved more energy than his immediate rivals in the early parts of the race.

Muller, who had been running well outside the points after two trips to the gravel trap, came through the field to finish a surprise second for Dragon's first podium of the year, while Vandoorne completed the podium spots having started dead last on the grid after losing all his lap times in qualifying due to a tyre infringement.

The farcical finish to the race drew criticism from fans worldwide, less than a week after FIA president Jean Todt called on the media to provide more coverage to Formula E.

Asked if the race could have a negative impact on FE’s image in its first season as a world championship, de Vries said: “I think it was a little bit confusing but at the same time it was relatively clear that if you cross the line and it’s not the last lap then it’s two laps to go and if you had one lap [of energy] to go in the car, then that won’t take you to the end.

“I think there are other things of the championship that could be maybe reconsidered at times, but this may look silly however it was also just well played by our teams and others kind of missed some information.

“Credit to the work they put into and clearly they were on the ball. But not necessarily a mistake of the championship in my opinion.”

Read Also:

Vandoorne said Mercedes knew that there was a possibility of drivers running out of energy to make it to the finish in the run-up to the event, but hopes Formula E makes changes to its procedures to avoid a repeat of the same scenario.

The Mercedes driver also felt that da Costa could have done more to ensure the race ran for only a single lap following the final safety car period.

“I didn’t see the TV but it probably looked a bit silly to be honest,” Vandoorne said. “To finish the race like that, it’s kind of not the way you want to finish.

“We knew it was a possibility that there is a slight chance that it might happen, it was just probably in the window that it happened.

“I think Antonio didn’t slow down enough to make it one lap.

“I don’t know if that was a conversation with his engineer, yes or no, if the time was just too much to slow down but there was a small window this could happen and this obviously happened today.

“It was a first for Formula E so I wouldn’t be surprised if things are gonna change based on this in the future. At the same time everyone knows that this is the case, so we did the right thing today.”

shares
comments

Related video

Valencia E-Prix: De Vries wins after farcical race finish
Previous article

Valencia E-Prix: De Vries wins after farcical race finish

Next article

FIA: Extra lap 'made life difficult' in Valencia

FIA: Extra lap 'made life difficult' in Valencia
Load comments
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021