22 May 17

Qatar Airways Paris ePrix – in quotes

A fourth win of the season for Sebastien Buemi, the first podium for Jose Maria Lopez and points on his debut for Tom Dillmann.

Here’s what the Formula E drivers made of the Qatar Paris ePrix:

1st, Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams

“The most important thing for me was to pull away after the grid positon we got. And you know when the brakes are cold, the first few corners are a bit of a guess for everyone and Jean-Eric Vergne was very aggressive and tried to pass me, so I tried to delay the braking as late as I could, just to stay ahead. I consumed maybe a little bit more energy than I was expecting to use, just to make up a little gap. Slowly I was a little bit quicker than him but not much honestly and he kept me under pressure until the Qualcomm Safety Car came out. When the Full Course Yellow came out, we decided to pit straight away. I mean it seems very usual now to pit much earlier and yeah, my control of the Full Course Yellow was not very good, I lost a bit of time in the Full Course Yellow and obviously in the restart when he crashed I was having a nice time as he was putting me under pressure, but then obviously we had the Safety Car and Jose (Maria Lopez) had a great race today, he was really, really quick and I had to push quite hard at the end of the race just to make sure I could build up a bit of a gap. Then, yeah with the last Safety Car that was a bit of a relief.”

2nd, Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing

“It’s the first clean weekend we’ve had since the beginning of the season. I think we started to show our pace back in Mexico, maybe Monaco, so we just needed a clean weekend. I’m learning with every race and working really hard with my engineers and it’s great to get a podium here and fantastic for the team.”

3rd, Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing

“It’s great to have two podiums in a row! This is one of the best circuits of the season and you simply cannot beat the surroundings. It was another exciting race and the good thing is that we were a lot more competitive than we were in Monaco. It was nice to see that I had similar pace to the leaders and had a lot more energy available. I was a bit unlucky with some of the traffic and lost some time, but that’s racing. It’s a great result for the team, the best-ever result again – after we already had it in Monaco! To top it now starts to get difficult. P3 and P4 is already quite nice, but we all push flat out. I like to help motivate the team where I can because we’ve made big jumps ahead and improvements. We cannot stop working hard until we reach our final target - to win!”

4th, Felix Rosenqvist. Mahindra Racing

“It was a good day for the team! Starting P5 and P6, the target was to bring home the points today. We both managed to gain places in the first stint, and then with Jean-Éric Vergne out, we gained one more. I had Nick in front of me and we protected ourselves as a team to make the best possible strategy for both drivers. We made sure we did not interrupt each other’s energy usage and just have a clean race, and it worked out really well. It was good to be back where we should be! We’re still waiting for that first win, but it’s just around the corner now.”

5th, Nico Prost, Renault e.dams

“It was a good race you know, solid race, no mistakes. Overtaking the cars I could overtake, good strategy. So in the end, it was very big points, which is good for the championship, both for the team and me. Just need to work a lot on qually because if we can qualify better, for sure we can do better than what we have done since the beginning of the season. We have a very good pace in the races, not so good in qually. So I need to work on myself, the team will help me I know. If I can do a bit better in qually, we can be very strong.”

6th, Robin Frijns, Andretti

“Lucky! I was really lucky today, I was quicker than Esteban in front of me but I couldn’t really overtake him, because every time he pulled away from me on the straight and made my life pretty hard to gain on him. I pitted under the Full Course Yellow; in the second car I managed to overtake him [Gutierrez] and then Prost was behind me, maybe a bit quicker. I was hitting my energy as well. I had a five-second penalty during the Full Course Yellow, then I broke the gearbox putting the pit-limiter on! But then [Daniel] Abt broke down on the last lap which gave me a 27-second gap, so I still finished sixth, everybody’s happy.”

7th, Nelson Piquet Jr, NextEV NIO

“The race was pretty crazy! At the start I had to defend quite a lot and lost some positions. It was one of those races over the first few laps and there wasn’t much I could do. Nearly halfway through the race we had the Full Course Yellow and I decided to make a call and come into the pits and it helped us. We recovered a little, gained a few positions and ended up seventh, which is better than we expected, and scored a few points. Overall, after a poor qualifying session, I think we managed to recover quite well. It’s good for the team to move up in the championship and we will keep working hard. We have a double-header coming up in Berlin and we are aiming for Super Pole in qualifying and to improve the race results.”

8th, Tom Dillmann, Venturi

“I had everything to learn at the start of the day, so it was quite intense, but nevertheless everything went quite smooth. I built up step by step every lap. I only had a 50km test before, so that was quite tough to jump in against guys who have been racing here for three years. The race was really good fun, I had some good battles with di Grassi and Piquet and I managed the energy well, which was a first for me, so to come here for the first time and take four points is quite good.”

9th, Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing

“I enjoyed my first race in Paris today. It is an amazing place to be and thrilling to be on track in such an iconic city. The race was challenging for all the drivers today. The circuit is very tricky but I really got to grips with it as the day went on and I was happy to be competitive in my qualifying group. If we had been in a later group, who knows how far forward we could have started. The team made the right decision to pit under the Full Course Yellow but we had a small issue that lost me some time in exiting the garage and we’ll look into that after the race. Ultimately, I am really happy to score points for the third race in a row and I am determined to continue to learn and race hard in the second half of the season.”

10th, Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi

“P10, one point. Starting last, what can I say, I had a s**t time in qually, I didn’t finish my lap unfortunately with an engine problem. After that, I had a penalty, 10-seconds in the pit and had no radio in my second car. So it was really difficult to manage the energy myself, anyway it is good to finish in the points but we didn’t show our real potential.”

11th, Esteban Gutierrez, TECHEETAH

“Yeah, it was a tricky one. I think we have plenty of things to understand, to try to improve. I tried to do my best effort in every aspect. Today we didn’t do well in the race, simple as that. We have some work to do, to prepare for the next one.”

12th, Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO

“Paris is one of the more difficult tracks on the calendar; it's more technical and very bumpy. I've enjoyed it as it's a fun track to drive and I was happy with qualifying and getting to Super Pole again. It's a real shame that we had to take a penalty and not be able to maximise our qualifying performance. We did everything we could in the race but it didn't work out. I think we proved we have the pace but we just need a smooth weekend. The start of the race was tricky, I seemed to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. With a compromised strategy I think we lost the potential for points today as I think a top seven would have been possible. We will learn from this weekend and focus our attentions on Berlin.”

13th, Daniel Abt, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport

“Well basically a fantastic race until the last three corners. I mean coming from 16th, we were not expecting too much to be honest because it is not too easy to overtake and to gain positions and already in the first lap I made up four positions. I had super good pace, overtook several cars and I don’t know, I just felt really confident and everything worked, no mistakes, no issues at all. Then we had the Safety Car in the end, I was actually like ‘OK, that’s it P6. Good, we’ll take that, be happy’. Then my car shut down with three corners to go. It’s just unbelievable.”

14th Mike Conway, Faraday Future Dragon Racing

“I should have followed Prost in when he pitted, that would have been the right strategy, but I can’t tell from the cockpit what the team is thinking and what the strategy is. I can’t do anything different. It was a shame and at the end everyone had enough energy to go flat out so I couldn’t do any more. Straightaway I was comfortable with the car, which is the main thing and the car was decent, so I was happy to have done a decent job getting back in the rhythm and managing things.”

15th, Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing

“Tricky! It was a tricky race, it has been a tough day, I have got loads to go through and learn from and understand, and I am going to work really, really hard to understand what happened this weekend. The nature of Formula E is mixed days like this as well, and motor racing, sometimes you just can’t put your finger on it. So I’ve got to go away and understand, so I’ll come back stronger and better. A good day for the team in the end, Mitch got two points and my race was actually going quite well after the Qualcomm Safety Car, I came out behind Nelson, who finished seventh, so we were around the top 10 at that stage anyway and on for a decent finish. Unfortunately, we got a drive-through penalty as we had a problem with the timing in the pit-stop. We were too fast by something like .6 of a second, but they are the rules, black and white. We will just have to understand what went wrong there, we will come back stronger and better than ever before.”

16th, Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing

“We showed promising pace but sadly this wasn't reflected in the result. To get Visa Fastest Lap – together with the bonus point – was a small consolation, but we'll regroup and come back for the next races in Berlin.”

Ret, Lucas di Grassi, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport

“This was absolutely a day to forget. Everything that could have gone wrong with me and the team went wrong. Obviously, we’re now going to do a decent analysis, but then we’ll shrug it off, hold our heads up high and attack again. Our home round with two races in Germany is coming up. Our aim is to come back even stronger. We’ve shown more than once that we can do that.”

Ret Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH

“Half a lap before I told my engineer that something was broken in the steering direction and either I stopped and the race was over or I try and maybe finish the race in the points. I certainly wasn’t able to fight with Seb [Buemi] anymore but then the thing that started to break broke completely and I was just a passenger and I hit the wall. The hit was quite strong and I was into the wall straight away there were no Tecpros, but it’s very disappointing.”

Ret, Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti

I wanted to go forwards because we had a bad qualifying and I knew we were out of position and we always have a better race car than a qually car to be honest. I was doing that, I was going forward, getting past a few cars then got in front of Lucas as well at Turn 7. Everything was going smooth, I was all over Dillmann, I knew he had a little bit less experience, so I was just waiting for the moment to try and get the move done on him. Then from one moment to the other, behind me, Lucas his mind kind of switched off, because he was being so calm and then he just started to attack me in all kinds of corners that you cannot overtake and then he tried this move around the outside in Turn 8 that for me… we didn’t even get to the corner, he came a little bit past me around the outside but he just started to turn in and gave me no room at all. I literally ran out of room and hit the inside wall and ended up hitting him as well. It’s fine to try and overtake someone around the outside but let’s at least get to the apex of the corner, which wasn’t the case. The most surprising thing for me in that moment was that I knew it was Lucas and he is normally such a clever and intelligent guy that I was just not expecting that from him. When I realised what was going on, there was no way I could of backed out of that.”