Disappointing race for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team in Rome

April 2021

Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries out of luck in action-packed debut for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team on the streets of Rome, as both drivers are forced to retire

  • Stoffel started the day by securing his third Formula E pole position; Nyck qualified eighth but started the race from P7 after an opponent was handed a grid penalty
  • Stoffel dropped out of the Top Ten shortly after the start, following contact with André Lotterer who attempted an optimistic overtake for which he was later penalised, but managed to fight his way back up to fifth place as the race progressed
  • Trying to avoid a rapidly decelerating Lucas di Grassi, Stoffel lost control of his car on a bump in the road and became a passenger as his front wheels lifted into the air and put him into the outside wall.
  • Directly behind him was Nyck, who was unable to avoid Stoffel in time and the two collided. Neither was able to continue the race and both were forced to retire.
  • The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team (39 points) occupies third place in the team championship after the third race of the season
  • The fourth round of the 2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will be contested tomorrow (start time 13:04 CEST) at the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR in Rome





Super Pole




S. Vandoorne




18 Laps



6 Laps

P3 (Q3: P2)


2 Laps




Grid: P1

FL: 1:43.721


7 Points


N. de Vries



19 Laps



6 Laps

P8 (Q1: P2)


2 Laps



Grid: P7

FL: 1:43.481


32 Points

Ian James (Team Principal):

“That was a very eventful race, to say the least. The day kicked off brilliantly during qualifying with excellent performances by both drivers, rewarded by a Pole Position for Stoffel.

The early laps proved challenging after an incident between Stoffel and Lotterer, which set Stoffel back over ten places. But what needs recognition is the strong performance by our drivers, matched by the team strategy. Stoffel was able to make up a lot of positions, putting him back into the top 5, while Nyck consistently put in the times, and made his way up towards the front. That is a promising sign, and confirms we have a strong package, and drivers who can optimise every situation. Nonetheless, in the end the race did not go our way.

Both of our drivers eventually crashed out, through no fault of their own. It means we lost a lot of valuable points in today’s race. Damage to both cars will mean a long evening ahead to repair both cars. However, the team is resilient and we’ve proven we can get our drivers where they need to be on the grid, so it’s up to us to step up to the task again tomorrow. I’m confident we will meet our own expectations and am looking forward to getting back out on the track.”

Stoffel Vandoorne:

“That was an unfortunate race all round, but for me it was compromised from lap one. It was a bit of an unnecessary risk from Lotterer to attempt the overtake in turn 7, especially as the track conditions were still very slippery and damp at the start. That dropped me back to around P13, but from then on, I had a good race. I managed to overtake a lot of cars, we had a good strategy with the attack mode, and the pace was also really good. I was able to carve my way back through the field and had sight of the podium again. But then di Grassi had that sudden slowdown in turn six, which is the quickest corner of the circuit. I had to take avoiding action, the car hit a bump in the road and took off, leaving me as just a passenger. It was a mighty crash. Luckily, I am all right, but the car is obviously damaged quite a lot. It’s not a nice feeling to finish the day like that, especially after starting on pole position. We have been competitive all day, so today was a missed opportunity to score some big points.”

Nyck de Vries:

“That was a very unfortunate outcome to what had been quite a good race up to that point. I stayed on track, stayed out of trouble and actually had a solid race until then. Just towards the end, I was starting to lose a bit of pace, which is something we need to analyse. I was able to follow the guys in front of us quite comfortably for the whole race, but on the last three laps I was losing some speed. Still, it’s a massive shame it ended up like that because I think we could have brought very big points home for the team and for us in the drivers’ championship. It was a very unfortunate incident, but one we could do nothing about. It is the way it is. Still, tomorrow is a new day, and we get another chance.”

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