Jean-Eric Vergne’s flawless victory around the streets of Monte Carlo, allied to teammate Andre Lotterer’s sterling drive from the back of the field to an amended seventh position, means that DS TECHEETAH holds a strong 38-point advantage over Envision Virgin Racing in the team standings.
It also means that Vergne now leads his teammate by a solitary point at the top of the drivers’ standings with only four rounds of the championship remaining. In a series as close and unpredictable as this, with such a high propensity for accidents, the question over team orders inevitably rears its ugly head.
Yet, when asked in the post-race press conference whether the drivers would not be allowed to race one another, Vergne was adamant that would not be the case.
“It is good to be fighting at the top of the championship and being in the team we share everything and that’s not going to change anything from that point of view,” said the Frenchman. “I think you guys are going to try and create quite some stories between him and I starting to fight but we are good friends.
“On the track, we have to do our job, there is no friendship but there is a lot of respect between the two of us and that’s all that matters. As I said, everything can change so fast in Formula E and it doesn’t mean we’re going to be fighting in the last race in New York and maybe we’re even going to be out of the title race. You never know, but that’s not going to change anything.”
Only 1️⃣ point separates them at the top of the championship but @JeanEricVergne and @Andre_Lotterer are going to stay friends, not rivals #MonacoEPrix #ABBFormulaE pic.twitter.com/IGOUaej4Cl
— ABB Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) May 12, 2019
For his part, Lotterer echoed the sentiments of his teammate in saying that both drivers would push as hard as possible for further race wins in this most unpredictable of series.
“Last year you could predict, more or less, who would be at the front,” Lotterer told Motorsport Tech after the race. “There were a few good performing teams and there was a trend. But here, this year, you cannot do team orders or anything. It’s just so random with the top guys being in the first group, I don’t think it’s possible. And we both have a shot at it so it’s not like I’m miles away and I have to help him or the other way around.”
Talking to Motorsport Tech in Hong Kong after DS TECHEETAH announced a new technical partnership with Acronis, Vergne and Lotterer hailed the importance of data sharing between the two drivers in an effort to push them to further success. So far, it certainly seems to be working!