01 Aug 17

Jean-Eric Vergne: Finally!

The Hydro-Quebec Montreal ePrix was the perfect way to end the 2016/17 Formula E season, with a championship battle that had all the twists and turns of a rollercoaster, two thrilling races, and a fabulous track that rewarded the fans who packed the sold-out grandstands with fantastic entertainment.

Here’s what the drivers made of the event:

Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH – 43 points (R1: 2nd, R2: 1st)

“Finally! I am so happy to have brought home my first win in Formula E to my new team. We have made great gains in recent races, with Steph and I claiming two double podiums, but to end the season with a win couldn’t be any better and puts us in a great position for next year.”

Lucas di Grassi, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport – 34 points (1st, 7th) Champion

“With this title, a dream has come true. Team, family, friends, fans – I could hug them all at once right now. We’ve had three terrific years with many emotions and unforgettable moments, but today’s achievement is the absolute pinnacle and a deserved reward for our unique team morale and fighting spirit. I’m proud to be the champion of Formula E. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.”

Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra – 23 points (9th, 2nd)

“It’s such a relief. The pressure is always big to deliver in Formula E, but today was something extra. With Sam up there, I knew I couldn’t afford any mistakes, and I really wanted this third place. It’s incredible to finish inside the top three in my rookie season – I think it speaks volumes about the kind of effort we have made as a team. Big, warm thanks to Mahindra Racing for putting their trust in me and for giving me the tools to achieve this.”

Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing – 22 points (5th, 4th)

“It’s been a great final race of the season. Unfortunately, I clipped the wall in the first stint and compromised my car so we were always on the back foot and didn’t quite get the result we wanted - despite pushing all the way! I want to thank my team for everything and for achieving such a strong end to the year, and also to congratulate Jose.”

Daniel Abt, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport – 20 points (4th, 6th)

“It was pretty straight forward, I was Lucas’ bodyguard today. This was quite clear, there was nothing I could win today but obviously a lot for Lucas and the team, so therefore I just wanted to make sure no one could get close to him or take him out, it was just to make this dream happen and we did. I am very proud to be part of this team.”

Stephane Sarrazin, TECHEETAH – 19 points (3rd, 8th)

“I am very happy to deliver yet more points for the team, want to congratulate the team for a fantastic job and JEV on his first victory. I want to thank them for the opportunities that they have given me since I joined, and for the podium finishes in both New York and Montreal.”

Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing – 15 points (rtd, 3rd)

“I’m really pleased with the result, especially after what happened in race one, and to finish the season this way. I could tell straightaway what a difference the team had made to the car since my last race and it was frustrating our qualifying group meant we were unable to show this. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the race and of course the whole season, as well as working with the DS Virgin Racing team.”

Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra – 10 points (rtd, 5th)

“It’s a great end to the season for us and I’m delighted for the team. Finishing third in the Teams’ Championship was the main target. After I struggled so much yesterday and this morning in practice, I was very happy to be in Super Pole for qualifying and then to start from fourth in the race. I did a good job but it was a difficult weekend because I just couldn’t keep up with the pace of the cars in front. Finishing fifth was OK and I was able to secure some points. The race went pretty smooth, nothing crazy happened, but most importantly we finished in the top three in the Teams' Championship! Congratulations to Lucas di Grassi and to Renault e.dams for winning their championships."

Nico Prost, Renault e.dams – 9 points (6th, 20th)

“It was not an easy year. I had difficulties in qualifying over the whole season. Ending the championship in sixth is not very satisfying. We leave Montreal with the team title, which was one of our objectives and we will try our best to come back stronger next season.”

Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 6 points (7th, 12th)

“It’s been a solid year. It’s great to be part of the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team and I’m proud to have played a part in bringing such a famous name back to racing. We have learned a huge amount this year and just being part of this championship has been amazing.”

Robin Frijns, Andretti – 4 points (8th, 13th)

“I think Saturday was alright. We had good pace and the energy consumption was really good. The MS Amlin Andretti team looked good. It was a bit of a shame that the safety car came out because we had more energy to burn than anyone in front of us. I think we could have finished seventh if the safety car didn't come out.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing – 2 points (11th, 9th)

"We had a good car amidst a tough season with many mixed results. We continued to work ahead of the reliability issues and pushed forward for this final contention. I’m glad we were able to bring home some additional championship points as the season comes to a close."

Tom Dillmann, Venturi – 2 points (10th, 10th)

“We had a good energy management, all our parameters were in the green area and so, I would have been able to push in the closing stages.”

Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing – 1 point (r, 19th)

“We had our sights on some additional championship points in the final round in Montreal, but unfortunately today’s strategy did not play in our favour. It was definitely an interesting race season filled with memorable battles and engineering endeavours with our technical partner, Faraday Future.”

Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams – 0 points (dsq, 11th)

“I am happy for the team, they really deserve this title. The car was amazing for the whole season. Unfortunately, it has not ended well for me but that’s racing and I have to accept it. We have to learn from our mistakes to come back stronger next year.”

Maro Engel, Venturi – 0 points (12th, 18th)

“We speculated for a safety-car period and, consequently, for a very early car swap. We were aware that it might get close with the energy without full-course yellow period but following yesterday’s two safety-car periods and the impression that the racing was even wilder, today, it could have worked.”

Nelson Piquet Jr, NextEV NIO – (13th, 16th)

“Obviously we are really disappointed with how the last few races of the season have gone. We hoped to end in a more positive way and were aiming for points this weekend but unfortunately that hasn’t happened due to the problems we’ve had with the car. I was unfortunate to be held up in the first corner incident today and then suffered some thermal issues with the powertrain which meant we had to change our strategy and do a shorter first stint. I was taking some risks in the second stint and it didn’t work out. We have had some highs and lows this season; we were very happy with pole in Hong Kong and I was also pleased with the result in Monaco, but we still have a huge amount of work to do in order to fight at the top and that has to be the focus before we return to Hong Kong in December.”

Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti – 0 points (14th, 15th)

“We had a good start again, a good first lap making up a few positions but we had no performance at all in the first car. In the first stint I was really struggling to make the tyres work so I was dropping back gradually, not really fighting anyone. I tried to look after my energy and create a Plan B but the lack of performance really didn't help us, so, we decided to box a lap early and get in the other car which had a lot more performance. We were able to then regain a bit of the ground we had lost but you are always playing catch-up when you box a lap early. You have to save a bit more energy than the people around you. It was a tough race for the MS Amlin Andretti team today but I'm glad we kept seventh in the championship. We need to regroup with the guys and I'm looking forward to having some time off. We will start again in Season 4.”

Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 0 points (16th, 14th)

“We knew that it would be difficult today with a longer race distance and such an aggressive energy target. I came from P19 to P14, gaining a number of positions in the race. It was great to bring both cars home again and we had some really fun racing along the way.”

Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO – (15th, 17th)

“This morning in practice I thought we made a few steps forward with set-up. I felt confident going into qualifying but the track seemed to change and unfortunately I clipped the wall which cost us a lot of time and a potential top 10 qualifying. Starting at the back is always hard. I had quite a good start and the pace appeared good in the opening laps but the second stint was much harder and in the end we couldn’t keep position. It was a shame to end the season like this but we have to take some positives from the year. I got my first Formula E pole position in Mexico and led a race and to finish sixth in the manufacturers’ championship was a step forward from last year, so hopefully we can build on that for next season.”