• Jakarta 2022: Challenging debut in Indonesia

Jakarta hosted the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for the first time ever this weekend, but the street circuit in the Indonesian capital proved to be extremely challenging for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team. While Stoffel Vandoorne and the team were able to defend their respective leads in the two World Championships, Nyck de Vries had a lot of bad luck.

Stoffel Vandoorne: Damage limitation in a challenging race

Things were still looking good as qualifying got under way. Stoffel posted the fastest lap time in his group and subsequently went through to the quarter-finals where he went head-to-head with Mitch Evans, to whom he lost out, which resulted in grid slot eight for Stoffel in the end. However, Pascal Wehrlein was handed a penalty, so Stoffel was able to gain a position even before the race had started.

stoffel vandoorne sitting in the cockpit of his mercedes-eq silver arrow 02

And he managed to move up quite a few more places as the race progressed until eventually in the final third segment of the race, he found himself in a position to start hunting down the leading group. "I think our pace was basically solid," he said, "but unfortunately, I missed the Attack Mode activation zone once. I dropped back a bit as a result and lost the connection with the leading group. But for that, I could have been fighting for a place on the podium and then it would have been a very different race, but that's just how it is. We must now learn from that. We made a great recovery, and the most important thing is to keep scoring points every weekend."

Although the race did not go quite the way he would have wanted, he sees that there are lessons that both he and the team can learn. Stoffel: "We made a great recovery in the race, and the most important thing is to keep scoring points every weekend. It wasn't a perfect race for us today, but P5 kind of limited the damage."

stoffel vandoorne walking back to the box after the race

Nyck de Vries: Lots of bad luck in the race

As far as Nyck was concerned, unfortunately, things didn't work out in the end with his attempts to limit the damage. Finishing fifth in his group in qualifying, he did not go through to the knock-out rounds and had to start from ninth place. He steadily worked his way forwards during the race and was in a promising position where it looked like he would score valuable points until a number of incidents brought all his efforts to nought.

nyck de vries closing his eyes while wearing a helmet to focus before the race

"Unfortunately, that was a disappointing result," said Nyck after his retirement. "There was no real problem. In fact, I even think we were quite quick in the race, although I wasn't entirely happy with the car's balance. But still, we were well placed to finish sixth or seventh."

Nyck tried to overtake André Lotterer towards the end when there was a contact with his left rear wheel. Nyck: "That seriously damaged the tyre, so there was no point in continuing." Lotterer received a five-second time penalty for his actions, but Nyck's race was over. Nyck: "I had a lot of bad luck in this race, but that's how it is sometimes. It's all part and parcel of racing. You just have to accept it and keep going."

nyck de vries preparing his helmet before the race

Many challenges for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team

As a tricky weekend at the new track in Indonesia came to a close, the team were left with a fifth place and a retirement at Jakarta. "It has been a challenging day for us here in Jakarta," said Team Principal Ian James. " On the performance side, to be frank, the sessions today were challenging for us throughout. In Qualifying we didn’t capitalise on the performance that we've got in the car." The end result was that the drivers found themselves in grid slots seven and nine respectively.

the mercedes-eq silver arrow 02 on the track during a race

After nine races this season, Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team (186 points) continues to lead the Team Standings from DS Techeetah (170 points). In the Drivers' Championship, Stoffel (121 points) heads the table with a five-point lead on Jean-Eric Vergne (116 points). Nyck (65 points) is in sixth place.

"We definitely have things to take away from this event – positive and less positive – and we will ensure that we get back on form again for Marrakesh and beyond," said Ian James, "Although we are still leading both championships, we need to ensure that we are consistently getting both cars into the points in the remaining races."

Racing in the 2021/22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will continue with Round 10 in Marrakesh (2 July 2022) at a track where the team raced only once in Season 6.

nyck de vries driving his car in the pitlane

Other Articles.