Vandoorne: 'I love discovering new tracks, it's always exciting'

Mercedes-EQ enters the Jakarta E-Prix race weekend at the top of the pile in the Teams' standings while Stoffel Vandoorne heads the way in the Drivers' World Championship. It's an all-new circuit for the reigning champions to adjust to, but they're as well-placed as any.

"It's a new city and a new circuit," says Vandoorne. "Jakarta is a bit of an unknown quantity for everyone, but I like discovering new tracks. It's always exciting. I like the challenge when you don't know exactly what to expect. I also think that we are strong as a team in such situations. We're well prepared, know what's possible and now have to use that to our advantage.

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"We had a good race last time out and the goal is of course to continue in the same vein without raising expectations too much. I have every confidence in the car and our races have been good generally speaking; so that's the aim again this weekend, to have a good race." 

"I think that everyone is always on the lookout for new challenges and with Jakarta being a new race on the calendar, that brings a lot of challenges with it," adds incumbent champion Nyck de Vries. "Personally, I'm very much looking forward to returning to the Asian continent. Since the pandemic hit, we haven't been back yet, so it's great to be returning this weekend. What makes it extra special is that I've got roots in Indonesia - it will be an exciting and special race weekend!" 

Confidence is high, says Team Principal Ian James

"Heading towards Jakarta with the confidence from a very successful weekend in Berlin is a great feeling," says James. "Berlin was another step in the right direction for the team - a race weekend in which we seemed to have found the pace we know we are capable of reaching. However, in racing you can't take anything for granted and you always need to ensure you stay on top of things. Especially when you're up against competition as fierce as we find ourselves in Formula E.

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"To help us keep our feet planted firmly on the ground, this race weekend almost comes at the perfect time. Jakarta is a new track, a new challenge for everyone; so it will be all about adaptability. We will do our best to be amongst those learning the fastest and implementing those learnings as we go. Not only is the new track going to be a challenge here in Jakarta, the climate here will also play a huge part in the challenges we will face. Simply put, it's a unique race weekend in its own right on the 2021/22 calendar."

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