Regardless of exiting Formulation 1 after simply 41 races, Stoffel Vandoorne stated he by no means doubted his racing capability as he closes in on the Formulation E Championship.
With two races to go, Vandoorne’s life in Formulation E is trying fairly good. He sits on the high of the desk, 36 factors away from second-place Mitch Evans and has come a great distance since departing Formulation 1 in 2018.
The Belgian spent two seasons as McLaren’s full-time driver however was on the workforce throughout one of many worst moments by way of efficiency within the constructor’s historical past.
Within the 2017 season, Vandoorne’s first as a full-time driver, McLaren completed ninth within the Constructors’ Championship, forward solely of Sauber and within the following yr they improved however solely to P6.
Vandoorne had Fernando Alonso as a team-mate on the time however each would quickly be out of the seat with the Spaniard deciding to retire (albeit for less than two seasons) whereas Vandoorne was changed by Carlos Sainz.
The Belgian’s time within the sport was certainly not a failure, incomes 13 factors as a rookie in comparison with veteran Alonso’s 17 within the 2017 season, however by the point of his McLaren departure no different workforce appeared fascinated by buying his providers.
As an alternative he would transfer to Formulation E for the 2018–19 season and earned his first podium on the 2019 Rome ePrix. Since then he has 12 extra podiums to his tally together with three wins and is inside touching distance of his first Championship.
Talking to GiveMeSport, the 30-year-old stated that regardless of his untimely exit from F1, he by no means doubted his personal capability.
“I’m nonetheless the identical man, simply a few years older!” Vandoorne joked.
“Clearly, Formulation 1 was a distinct surroundings and a reasonably robust time on the time however I used to be nonetheless assured in my skills and my very own expertise and what I may do in a racing automotive and I feel from the second I joined Formulation E I type of knew that in the correct circumstances I ought to be capable of battle for victories and for championships.
“The primary yr was a bit exhausting as a brand new workforce coming in, there have been so many issues to be taught, however we had a few podiums and a few pole positions and I might say that first yr was nonetheless fairly good in some sense. I by no means doubted something let’s say.”
Amount over high quality has confirmed key to Stoffel Vandoorne’s Formulation E title bid
For a person on the cusp of the title, it’s shocking to see that Vandoorne has received only one race up to now on this season of Formulation E.
To place that in perspective, New Zealander Nick Cassidy has the identical quantity of wins and is in P12 whereas two drivers can declare to have completed on the highest step extra occasions than the Belgian however each path him by a minimum of 30 factors.
The important thing to Vandoorne’s presumed accession to the crown has been his exceptional consistency. Of the 22 drivers competing in Formulation E this season, he’s one in every of 4 but to register a DNF and has completed on the rostrum in half of the races up to now this marketing campaign.
He began the 2021-22 season with a second-place end behind Nyck de Vries within the first of a double header in Saudi Arabia earlier than registering a P7 end within the second half.
In Mexico he scored his lowest end this season of P11 earlier than a run that noticed him cross the road no decrease than P5 in six races. Since then he has added two extra podiums to his tally, one in New York Metropolis and one in London, which means he may afford to DNF in one of many final two races and nonetheless preserve his lead on the high.
The season additionally represents a dramatic enchancment for Vandoorne having completed the 2020-21 season in P9 with three retirements within the first seven races.