Jean-Eric Vergne's run of six top eight finishes and three podiums so far in the 2021/22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship have seen DS TECHEETAH's double champ pull clear as one of the four leading lights in the Drivers' running ahead of this weekend's trip to Berlin.
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The target, he says - and as every driver in Formula E knows - should be consistency and so far, the Frenchman is sticking to that script. No driver has six points-scores and no other has made the podium on more occasions in Season 8. Still, Vergne is keen to get that first win on the board - and feels its just around the corner.
"The target this year is to be very consistent with how things play out in Formula E, I think its always key to be constantly in the points if you want to stay in title contention, says Vergne. "It’s been a good beginning of the season but we haven’t got a win yet.
"It’s coming; I’ve been very close to getting it in Monaco but I got a bit unlucky with ATTACK MODE – you need that luck to go your way sometimes in Formula E to win. It’s just a question of timing. It’s coming, I’ve no doubt.
"We’re working very well as a team, we have a good car – maybe not the best – but we have a good enough car to be fighting on all kinds of tracks, I’m confident of that."
"I don't play games"
Vergne has spoken post-race on a couple of occasions this year on his frustrations at not going one better, despite strong results that have seen him rise to second in the table, just six points of current Drivers' World Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ).
That mentality is typical of elite sportspeople, and an attitude that has steered the Frenchman to the Formula E title in Seasons 4 & 5 - the only driver to win two championships in the series history, and the only one to do it back to back.
That mindset is channeled at improvement - not just of himself but in spurring those on around him as team and driver strive to put together the perfect campaign in search of the ultimate prize come the end of the season.
"I don’t play games with myself, or anybody else," says the 32-year-old. "I think I’ve been just genuinely frustrated when I think I should have got more than I did in the end.
"It’s a healthy way of being, I think, to be frustrated with a result when something more was available – it’s the only way you keep pushing and keep working to always want more. The moment you relax, and the moment you’re happy with yourself is the moment you stop improving.
"It’s important to keep everybody motivated in the team – you’re all chasing the same goals and our goals this weekend is to win."
We're just approaching the halfway stage of Season 8. JEV is up there but the experienced racer is well aware that nothing can be taken for granted - and, especially with a double-header weekend - everything is liable to change, and quickly.
"It’s way too early to think about the championship," adds Vergne. "It makes no sense to think in that way right now. What really matters is just getting out there, doing a good job and maximizing the chances you get.
"I’m trying to leave a weekend not being frustrated with what could have been – sometimes a fourth position is the best we can do and in those cases we need to be happy with that. Sometimes the win isn’t there, and it’s about making the most of every opportunity."