Vandoorne and Mercedes win 'special' Formula E titles

Formula E News

Stoffel Vandoorne and his Mercedes team claimed both Formula E titles in South Korea, the squad's 'last' race in the championship


Vandoorne celebrates his first title in seven years


Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his first Formula E drivers’ title in Seoul as his Mercedes squad wrapped up consecutive teams’ championships in its final race in its current guise.

With Edoardo Mortara winning the E-Prix, former McLaren F1 man Vandoorne put in an assured drive for an eventual second, crucially ahead of main title rival Mitch Evans, saying after the race that he and the team had “accomplished something special.”

With South Korea hosting a double-header, yesterday saw two of the championship contenders, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mortara, knocked out of contention, whilst Evans halved Vandoorne’s points margin with a win as the latter finished fifth.


Dennis and Da Costa duel


The Belgian held his nerve at the final hurdle though to become the new world champion today.

Consistency has been the key to the Vandoorne’s title campaign, and it proved so again in Formula E’s final round. Whilst Vandoorne secured a podium Evans, who has more wins this season but also more non-points finishes, qualified 13th and could only bring himself up to seventh in an incident-filled race.

Vandoorne’s eighth podium of the year is a Formula E record in one season.

Mortara won with a superb drive, a small consolation for a disappointing title challenge which has collapsed over the last three races.


Vandoorne secured the title with an assured drive


The Swiss driver was rewarded for a daring dive down the inside of Antonio Felix da Costa on lap two, in a move which allowed Andretti’s Jake Dennis to overtake the Portuguese driver too.

Several cars had to pit or retire with damage after coming into contact with the barriers or fellow competitors, and Maximilian Günther’s stranded Nissan meant the safety car had to be called out halfway through the race.

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Once the green flag was out, Da Costa was fighting to get past Dennis – a move round the outside resulted in contact, leaving the former pointing towards the barriers after a slide.

The Andretti driver was given a 5sec time penalty, taking the pressure off Mortara. Vandoorne was within range of Dennis and therefore was promoted from second to third, easily securing the title.

In what was the first championship for the Belgian since his 2015 GP2 triumph, and the Mercedes man implied he had learnt from his performances last year, utilising the experience to win this season’s title.

“World Champions, wow, it’s just the best feeling ever,” Vandoorne said after the race.

“Just look at the season we’ve had: the consistency, the car’s been amazing, the team has done an amazing job and everything single one of us deserves this. What we’ve accomplished is something special.


Mercedes celebrates its double title win


“It was really about consistency in the end, they [title rivals Evans, Mortara and Vergne] all had more wins than me. I’m drained after this year. It’s been a lot of effort that I put in, that the team put in. It’s incredible.”

Vandoorne and his team claimed both titles in what was its final race as Mercedes, with McLaren taking over the reigns next season.

The Belgian is thought to be headed to DS Penske next season, whilst his team-mate Nyck De Vries is expected to be confirmed at Venturi, which is set to become the Maserati works team.