13 Oct 20

Victory Parade: How Stoff signed off his 2019/20 Formula E season in style

The 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship saw some fresh faces get their hands on the winners' Moet & Chandon champagne and make their way onto the top step of the podium. Next up: Mercedes Benz EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

The Belgian led home a stunning 1-2 for Mercedes-Benz EQ in Round 11 for his first win in the series, with team-mate Nyck de Vries following second. A fine way to round out the Silver Arrows' debut Formula E campaign.

The result meant Vandoorne sealed second in the Drivers’ standings behind champion Antonio Felix da Costa, following de Vries’ late move on previous incumbent Buemi with just two laps remaining.

Berlin bruiser

Vandoorne had earmarked the trip to Tempelhof as a rollercoaster even before it had begun, with an unprecedented challenge awaiting the 24 drivers – six races in just nine days across three circuit layouts.

RACE RECAP: Berlin E-Prix Round 11

"We can expect a week full of emotions, some positive and maybe a few not quite so positive,” he said. “But, it's the same for everyone and everyone has to deal with these different scenarios, but we will see how things turns out.”

The Belgian struggled to hook things up in qualifying, starting four of the six-race spree from outside the top ten, though progress did follow in race trim.

Race Highlights | Round 11 | 2020 Berlin E-Prix

Race Highlights | Round 11 | 2020 Berlin E-Prix

Debut campaign crescendo

However, to crown the final double-header and Mercedes’ debut Formula E campaign, Vandoorne sailed to pole and led home a flawlessly choreographed Mercedes-Benz EQ one-two for his first victory in the championship.

READ MORE: Victory Parade - Oliver Rowland's Berlin Breakthrough

It was a first for the 28-year-old in any category since 2016 and Formula 2, and was enough to secure second in the Drivers’ standings, with de Vries making a move on Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) at the last to seal a maiden podium and make sure of third in the Teams’ table and best placed rookie outfit to boot.

“[Leading from the front] is very different,” said the Belgian. “Up to now, following others, you can kind of judge your lift points based on what they are doing and it can be easier to save more energy and make a late move.

CATCH UP: All the best moments from Berlin

“When you’re leading, you have to drive the most efficient race whilst putting in qualifying laps the whole time. I had to make a good start and built a little gap then follow the procedures set out for the perfect race.

“I knew if he [Buemi] closed the gap, he would have to use a little bit more energy unless he was on a different planet. We made sure we did everything right with the ATTACK MODES, and you never really know for sure what will happen there with the strategic moves that come into play.

Mercedes Vandoorne Berlin Formula E

“You manage things and don’t overthink if it goes wrong – you just stick to your plan. The closer you get to the end the more comfortable you can feel but that’s the moment you put that aside and tell yourself let’s keep putting in the laps and make no mistakes to bring the car home.

“We should be very happy with what we achieved [in Round 11]. We hit all our targets and even had some energy in hand. To finish our first season with a one-two win is simply fantastic, and we couldn't have asked for more. Second place in the Drivers' Championship was a nice bonus for me. We were rewarded for the team's tireless efforts."

"I think we really deserved the result and I'm very pleased for the whole team.”

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