‘I just went for it’, said suffering Vergne after heroic drive to third in Marrakesh

Whilst Antonio Felix da Costa may have taken the glory for winning the Marrakesh ePrix after a flawless tactical drive, it was his DS TECHEETAH teammate and defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne who arguably produced the drive of the race.

Suffering from flu and sitting out Friday’s running with a migraine, Vergne stormed through the field from 11th on the grid on race day, producing some stunning overtakes on his way to third on the podium.

It could have been better still for Vergne, who was running second on the final lap and keeping a flying Maximillian Guenther behind him until being passed with three corners to go, his available energy remaining dwindling to zero.

“This was definitely my most difficult weekend in Formula E,” said Vergne in his team’s press release. “Nevertheless, the team did a very good job preparing the car, so I felt like I was in a good place when I jumped in this morning after missing FP1. I did a good qualifying lap despite the circumstances, only three tenths off and in the race, I just went for it.

“At some point I asked my engineer about my position and I couldn’t believe I was up in P4 by then, the race just flew by and it’s so good to finally be back on the podium but now I will need some time to recover before the next race.”

Such was the severity of Vergne’s condition, he even thought he may even have coronavirus and was suffering with a fever running 39-40 degrees when he awoke on the morning of the race.

“I spent the last three days in bed with this fever and I was unable to move or have the strength to even get some water,” Vergne told The Race. “They brought me to this hospital to have some tests including coronavirus. I wasn’t scared because if I had it, then I had it – I didn’t think I had it but you never know.

“I was stuck for the whole day being treated and being in quarantine at a hospital in Marrakesh and I could not get out of my room for ten hours but I watched the practice session. I was going crazy and I think there are still marks on the walls!

“I still have a big fever now and when I got out of the car I almost fainted. I extracted everything I had. When I woke up this morning I was like 39-40 degree fever so I knew it was not going to be an easy day.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.

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