Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E championship got underway in Mexico
with the brand-new GEN3 cars.
Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E world championship got underway in Mexico. Despite a race
made complicated by a difficult qualifying session, the DS Automobiles drivers were able to
demonstrate the strong level of performance of the new DS E-TENSE FE23 entered with PENSKE
This first race of the season marked the debut appearance of the GEN3 singleseaters, more powerful and efficient than their predecessors, which also underline the constant
technical evolution in the field of electric mobility. By taking home a point in Mexico City, the
premium French manufacturer opens its account in a championship that looks set to be more
competitive than ever.
Proof of the capabilities of the new car developed by DS Performance was given by Jean-Eric
Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne, who were at the forefront of the two free practice sessions with
a fastest time and a second-fastest time for the Frenchman, and two fifth-place classifications
for the Belgian. While everything was looking good up to qualifying, that trend did not continue
when it came to the actual session. Both DS Automobiles drivers were held up by traffic and had
to settle for 11th and 14th places on the grid, with Jean-Eric Vergne ahead of his team mate.
In the race, the DS E-TENSE FE23 cars confirmed that they will form an integral part of this year’s
action. Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne never gave up. In the end, he made up four
positions and grabbed 10th place on the very final lap. Conversely, Jean-Eric Vergne lost out
considerably in the closing stages. Having made up two places, the French driver was affected
by a technical problem relating to the battery: one of the common components on all the cars
prescribed by the regulations. The incident cost him a place in the top 10, where he had been
throughout the race. His 12th place at the finish left a slightly bitter taste in his mouth.
After the opening round of the season at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, the ABB FIA Formula E
championship will now head to Saudi Arabia for two races at the Diriyah track, with the second
and third races of the year taking place on January 27 and 28 respectively.
Eugenio Franzetti, DS Performance Director:
“We learned a huge amount from this first race of the season. This information will be very useful
to us in the future. One thing is sure: our cars are competitive! Now it’s down to us to capitalise
on that in order to shine at the next races.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, reigning Formula E champion:
“Obviously it wasn’t a perfect weekend. I think everyone in the team hoped to leave Mexico with
more points in the bank. Nonetheless, a point is worth having and it’s better than nothing. Things
started off well with a very good pace in free practice and our two cars in the top five on each
occasion. The feeling was good but during qualifying things didn’t go to plan, mainly because of
traffic. We didn’t manage to optimise every aspect. Starting from 14th, I knew it wasn’t going to
be easy. The race was lively, with several Safety Car periods and we learned a lot. It was still very
difficult to overtake though and I wasn’t able to climb up any higher than 10th.”
Jean-Éric Vergne, 2018 and 2019 Formula E champion:
“It’s clearly not the result we were looking for. I fought really hard to finish in the points and
unfortunately I had a battery problem just before the chequered flag. It’s frustrating after having
given everything to score points that could make all the difference at the end of the season.
Nonetheless, I want to take away the positives: our car is born well and there are a lot of
interesting lessons from this weekend. It’s going to be a very long season. With a competitive
car and everything that we have learned today, I am sure we will do better in the next races.”