Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) took the race win in what was one of the craziest E-Prix in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship - the DHL Valencia E-Prix Round 5.
Mercedes-EQ's Nyck de Vries took the chequered flag first in the DHL Valencia E-Prix Round 5, and was left wondering what all the fuss was about behind, as the Dutchman strode calmly to a measured race win - his second this season.
De Vries had been happy to sit behind long-time leader Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) and conserve energy for a late attack. As it happened, that attack turned into a two-lap sprint following the final spell under the Safety Car. However, only those who'd gone long as contingency, and conserved their usable energy, had enough left to complete the extended race distance at race pace.
Dutchman de Vries drove by da Costa as the Portuguese and many around him slowed with the race running beyond its anticipated finish. Nico Mueller (DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT) and Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) followed - the man stripped of Julius Baer Pole Position on a technicality and sent to the back of the grid incredibly getting his hands on silverware, making the final step on the podium.
"I didn’t realise what was going on behind me," said de Vries. "So, to me it didn’t feel such a crazy race. We had a good opening couple of laps and I think we just had good pace.
"I was trying to save energy behind (Maximilian) Guenther, and (Alex) Lynn but it appeared we had more pace so I was told to try get past if I could. Then basically, we settled in behind Antonio (Felix da Costa). From there, we managed to save usable energy to the end and it became a bit unclear whether we’d have to stretch to two laps at the end or it’d be one – a bit like we had in Rome race two.
"We were expecting Antonio to slow down significantly, so it would leave one lap left with a high energy target for the last lap. It turned out he went early, though, so that meant two laps. By that point the energy target had reduced significantly.
"I had about three per cent more energy than the cars around me and I started to get on to the Mahindra. I got on the radio and the team said stick to target so I was trying to stay in front. I over-consumed usable energy a bit that lap because I didn’t want to lose position and in the last lap, everyone disappeared. (Oliver) Rowland was still there but he lost ground and after that it was a case of bringing it home.
"I was so pleased after the Rome and the penalty. The team did an awesome job executing that in difficult circumstances. It was a crazy race and it was very satisfying to win together."
Published on 28th April 2021