Jean-Eric Vergne says the successful defense of his ABB FIA Formula E Championship title came down to how he and the DS Techeetah adapted to the new Gen 2 regulations.
Vergne became the first-ever double Formula E champion after finishing Sunday’s New York City E-Prix in seventh.
The DS Techeetah driver tailed his nearest title rival Lucas di Grassi throughout the season-ending race and rose to ninth position from 12th on the starting grid.
That then became seventh on the final lap of the race when di Grassi and Mitch Evans tangled and dropped out of points-scoring positions.
Vergne identified how the gelling of the nascent Techeetah and DS Performance partnership helped establish his successful title defense.
“It feels so special to be a double champion in Formula E because this season was like a reset with the new car and the new format, so it’s almost like doing it for the first time in many ways,” Vergne told e-racing365.
“We had some tough days and big challenges because the marriage of DS and Techeetah had to be made first and we had to deal with all the new things quickly.
“Two days after New York last year we were at Calafat testing, testing, testing and we never stopped pushing, never stopped believing in it.
“The long fight is over and I must say big thanks to the DS Techeetah team. They are beautiful people with a big desire to win. We always believed in this.”
Vergne’s title was taken with three victories in Sanya, Monaco and Bern and two further podium finishes in the 13-round championship.
His final tally of 136 points out-scored second-placed Sebastien Buemi by 17 points, while the Chinese-entered squad sealed its first ever teams’ title.
Formula E the “Best Thing” That Ever Happened to Vergne
Vergne also described how Formula E effectively saved his motorsport career after he was dropped from the Toro Rosso F1 team in 2014.
An initial stint with Andretti in 2014-15 preceded a season with DS Virgin the following season before Vergne became a part of the Techeetah operation, which took over the former Team Aguri outfit.
“I think me coming to Formula E was the best thing that happened in my career,” Vergne said.
“It’s funny in life. Bad things happen and people tell you that bad things happen for a reason.
“But you kind of disagree because you find yourself in a very bad situation and you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“But a few years later, you realize they were right.
“For me, coming in Formula E and having a difficult time with Virgin and being in Techeetah, ex-Aguri, simply was the best thing that happened in my life.
“I could not have found the success in other categories.”