Top finishers Nico Muller and Stoffel Vandoorne described their Formula E races as having a ‘very confusing’ run towards the checkered flag, as most of the field ran out of energy.
Muller had a difficult session and was sitting behind the queue before the chaotic finish, from which he benefitted and finished in the last step of the podium in third position.
“There was a lot of conversation [with my engineer]. It was very confusing from inside the car, I was still very far at the back when the restart was taking place,” Muller said.
“I was probably last in the queue, and I was very unsure if the numbers I was given were right, and I started seeing people coasting super early and having to save a lot of energy, and I was like, ‘Wow, is this right what we’re doing?’.
“And I just tried to re-assure myself a few times and I did get confirmation, so I was getting happier and happier as the last two laps preceded because I was just getting one place after the other, and managing to reward the team for all their hard work like that is very satisfying, even though I’m still very confused, as you guys are.
“[The final lap] was super strange, I haven’t experienced that before in my life as a racing driver, but it was a positive surprise, I was definitely much more enjoying that situation that sitting in one of the other cars that somehow tried to make it to the finish.
“That just shows how difficult it is to manage these races, even when you’re experienced and when you know exactly what you’re doing, you can put one foot wrong and pay a big price for it.”
Stoffel Vandoorne had a difficult day as he qualified on pole position but was then dropped to the back of the grid for a tire rule infringement. The Mercedes driver described his day as stressful, but says he’s happy with the results he and his teammate were able to provide.
“Way too much stress. Obviously today it was tricky and challenging, we had great pace in qualifying, managing to get the car in pole which was a bit of a surprise to be up there on a track like this, but we’ve been competitive in every session.
“To then get back to the back of the field was pretty hard to take, it felt like we’ve had lost a big opportunity for scoring big points, but looking at the race right now we managed to turn around things pretty impressively.
“The beginning of the race was kind of just saving energy for me, I managed to overtake a couple of people, I got to around 14th or something when I had contact with Nico trying to take attack mode, and then understeered into him. Then I went to the gravel at some point losing some places, and then came that last Safety Car restart where I had to take attack more so I wasn’t sure if there was going to be enough time or laps left to be able to take it and not get the penalty, so I had to do that and yeah, the last two laps were just very confusing, we did our homework before coming here and we knew it was kind of a slight window or slight chance that this could happen.
“I just talked about what we saw and it was tricky because I had three or four cars overtaking me into turn 1, same into turn 2, people going for it, and then some corners later they realized it was going to get challenging to make it to the end, so in one lap I overtook 10, 15 cars or something. I was just coasting past them and we had more energy left than them obviously.
“Good points, happy for Nick and for the team as well. Great recovery from where we came from. Probably one of the biggest comebacks made in Formula E, and let’s hope we can make the same tomorrow.”