• Setback in the streets of the Principality

Motorsport is characterised by highs and lows, and this was especially apparent on Saturday in an extremely tense and eventful Monaco E-Prix. The race was contested on the Grand Prix Circuit for the first time in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. "It's been great to see Formula E return to the streets of Monaco," said Team Principal Ian James afterwards. "Racing in a place like this is always special, and it's one of the many reasons that makes the series so unique. This Monaco E-Prix delivered some amazing racing to the fans."

There were plenty of overtaking manoeuvres and standout moments over the course of the 26 laps, but not for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team; the seventh round of the season brought two retirements and a zero points haul. However, the team, which has already won three races this season, is not letting this get them down. After all, it is setbacks and disappointments such as these from which the team can learn the most and bounce back stronger in the future.

Nyck de Vries comes away empty-handed from home race

Nyck de vries standing in the box

The Monaco E-Prix was a home race for Nyck de Vries and his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, both of whom are residents of Monte Carlo. However, the fourth race weekend of the season failed to measure up to their high expectations.

Nyck suffered the first setback as early as qualifying: "Something unfortunate happened in qualifying when I touched the scenario switch and had only 50 percent of the maximum power allowed for half a lap. Having qualified at the back of the field due to the issue, we decided to replace some parts on the car and accept the penalty for doing so, as we expected to have a tough race anyhow in view of our grid position."

Nyck de vries driving through the pitlane

Nyck duly received a 10-second penalty for the late change of both power box and gearbox on his car: "In the race, we were hoping for an early safety car period so that we could make a difference with the energy delta we managed to create, but the safety car came out a little too late for us." Nyck was then obliged to park his car shortly before the end of the race with a technical problem: "We did what we could, but unfortunately, more was not possible today. We must now keep on working and hit back hard in Mexico."

Problematic Saturday for Stoffel Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne sitting in the box

For Stoffel, Saturday didn't go much differently than for Nyck. He too had to take to the track at the start of the qualifying session in Group 1 and was unable qualify any higher than 15th: "We went out on track in Group 1, which is never ideal, and our car wasn't that competitive in qualifying trim either."

The race was to present him with another unexpected challenge right after the start: "I started out from P15 on the grid and was unlucky on the very first lap in Turn 6 where some cars had collided, blocking the track. I was forced to wait behind them and dropped back to the rear of the field as a result."

Stoffel Vandoornes car gets pushed back to the box

After that, his pace was good and he was able to catch up with the field: "We also looked good in terms of energy management right up until the safety car came out. I don't really know what happened after that on the approach to Turn 10. My rear wheels locked up. I lost control and couldn't avoid Wehrlein just in front of me. We had to retire the car subsequently, and my race was over."

Back to the form of recent races

Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 racing in Monaco

The team's debut on the streets of Monaco was disappointing.. The drivers and crew can now look forward to four more race weekends, each a double-header, between now and mid-August. Monaco was a setback, but there is plenty of time to compensate and finish the season on a positive note.

"Monaco was a painful experience for us," admitted Ian James. "With only half of the races left to go in this season, we simply cannot afford to lose more ground. We will now analyse everything in detail and address any aspect that may have led to these issues."

But why did the team have a bad day in Monaco of all places? "There are always several explanations for results like this, especially when you have multiple sessions in which you don't reach your potential. But in the end, none of them are good enough if you can't turn them into action - then they become excuses. Now we have to hope, or rather make sure, that this remains our last race day with such setbacks. As I said before, performances of this kind don't match up to the standards we have set for ourselves, and we want to get back to the level we performed at earlier this season - a level we know we can achieve with this amazing group of people."

The team will get its next chance to excel on 19 and 20 June in the next two rounds of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Puebla, Mexico. There is still everything to play for in the two world championship standings. Nyck (57 points) is in second place, five points behind Robin Frijns, in in the drivers' championship, with Stoffel (48 points) behind in sixth. And in the team standings, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team (105 points) leads the way by a margin of two points ahead of Jaguar Racing (103 points). So… the remaining eight rounds of the season promise plenty of excitement to come!

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