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Each DS Penske within the factors in São Paulo

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This was the Franco-American group’s goal for the weekend: to get each vehicles to the end, and naturally, if doable, within the factors. The 2 drivers labored nicely collectively on the two.933 km, 11-turn circuit which, with its many straights, demanded quite a lot of vitality.

Stoffel Vandoorne, who scored his first pole place for DS Penske on the identical circuit in 2023, knew this higher than anybody. On that event, the Belgian driver led greater than half the race earlier than being compelled to ease off to save lots of his battery, handing victory to Jaguar whereas having to accept sixth.

For a lot of weeks, Vandoorne and Jean-Éric Vergne had been engaged on this observe within the simulator with a former Jaguar strategist, Phil Charles, who joined the group after the Mexico race in January. The outcomes could not have been fairly what was anticipated, however each vehicles confirmed extraordinarily attention-grabbing issues for the remainder of the season.

Pole place by two-thousandths of a second

At 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, 16 March, it was already 26°C within the air and 30°C on the bottom on the São Paulo circuit. These situations had been supreme for fine-tuning the vehicles forward of qualifying.

A pink flag interrupted the session, however Vandoorne had already had time to position his DS E-TENSE FE23 in second place, lower than a tenth of a second behind Sam Chicken’s McLaren.

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In qualifying, on a observe that continued to enhance and warmth up, Vergne initially adopted a wait-and-see stance – inside the limits of the rules, which require a quick lap inside the first 6 minutes – whereas most of the rivals had been already in cooling mode. However all issues come to those that wait, and when the 2 DS E-TENSE FE23s got here out of the woodwork, Vergne and Vandoorne set the 2 quickest occasions in Group A.

Each superior to the quarter-finals, whereas championship chief Nick Cassidy didn’t make it previous the group phases. The primary duels went nicely for the pair, who then discovered themselves up in opposition to one another within the semi-finals. Like final 12 months, Vandoorne certified for the ultimate, and this time discovered himself up in opposition to the Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein. The DS Penske driver was anticipated to repeat his feat of 2023, however Wehrlein took the fifth pole place of his System E profession by two-thousandths of a second.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske

Picture by: DPPI

Constructing on the info gathered final 12 months and specializing in a extra energy-efficient technique, the 2 DS Penske drivers set off from second and third on the grid. Over the course of the 34-lap race – 31 + 3 laps for neutralisations – the sweltering warmth (35°C within the air, 60°C on the bottom) weighed closely on the vehicles and their our bodies, and every driver tried to do away with his Assault modes as shortly as doable, the set off zone of which was fairly penalising when driving in a pack (every driver simply misplaced three to 4 locations).

Because the gaps started to open up, the intervention of two security vehicles precipitated the rivals to regroup. Thus ended the race, with six completely different groups within the high seven locations.

On the finish of this fourth spherical of the season, the factors scored by Vergne and Vandoorne put DS Penske in third place within the Constructors’ championship. Vergne is fourth within the drivers’ standings, stage on factors with third place (Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing).

The following spherical of the System E World Championship will happen on 30 April, for the primary time on the streets of the Japanese megalopolis of Tokyo. This ephemeral circuit, which nobody is aware of bodily, will maybe permit essentially the most skilled groups to differentiate themselves. Final 12 months, between Cape City (South Africa), Hyderabad (India) and São Paulo, DS Penske scored essentially the most factors, forward of Jaguar and Porsche.

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