Formula E: Vergne pleased to score first podium since 2011


Jean-Eric Vergne was left satisfied after ending a podium drought that had stretched all the way back to 2011 in yesterday’s Formula E Long Beach ePrix.

The Andretti driver made his Formula E debut at the third round of the year in Punta del Este, but had only recorded a best finish of sixth despite scoring two pole positions in the three races leading up to the Long Beach round.

After qualifying sixth on Saturday, Vergne produced an impressive display to finish the race in second place behind race winner Nelson Piquet Jr.

When racing with Toro Rosso in Formula 1 between 2012 and 2014, Vergne stood very little chance of finishing on the podium, meaning that the result on Saturday was his first top-three finish since the penultimate race of the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 season.

“It’s good, it’s been four years since I stood on the podium,” Vergne said. “In my three years with Toro Rosso in Formula 1 it wasn’t possible so I’m really happy to be here.

“Maybe I should have been here earlier but that’s racing and you never know what can happen and I’ve been quite unfortunate in the past three races.”

Vergne’s weekend in Long Beach was far from perfect, with a crash in practice leaving his team with a sizeable repair job ahead of the race.

However, the Andretti mechanics managed to get the car ready in time, and the Frenchman felt that the podium went some way to making it up to them.

“This result is good points for the team, they are pushing hard in the championship and the podium is always the objective,” Vergne said.

“It was a difficult start to the day with me crashing heavily in practice but I have to say thanks to the guys for fixing it and hope this podium serves as an apology!”

The next Formula E race takes place in Monaco on May 9.