Stoffel Vandoorne is preparing for the most important weekend in arguably his motorsport career, with the Belgian driver on the verge of becoming the Season Eight Formula E World Champion.
Vandoorne has been the class driver throughout the season, and will be hoping for a strong weekend at the brand-new Seoul E-Prix. The season finale looks set to be completely unpredictable, with it being the first time Formula E has visited South Korea, meaning a new track to learn. The weather has also been shocking in Seoul over the last few days, with the city having experienced its worst flooding and rainfall in eighty-years.
The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team are also close to wrapping up the Constructors’ Championship, putting added pressure onto Vandoorne to deliver. It’s also Mercedes-EQ’s last weekend in the all-electric series, with the team leaving at the end of the season.
Vandoorne is aiming to treat this weekend like any other; however, with so much on the line, that could be extremely difficult to do.
“It looks like we are in for a tricky weekend in Seoul, partly because of the weather, but also with it being a new track for all of us. So, there are quite a few unpredictable factors in the run-up. For me, though, it’s just a race like any other.
“Sure, it’s the last race weekend of the season, so maybe it’s a bit more important in terms of deciding the championship, but that doesn’t change my mindset or my approach; I don’t want to change what I have been doing since the start of the year. I think it even represents an opportunity for us: it’s a new track with new conditions, and as a team, we do quite well in preparing for those kinds of events. Hopefully we can capitalise on that ability this time as well.”
“We will need to finish the task at hand” – Nyck de Vries
For Nyck de Vries it’s the last weekend of his championship defence, which in all honesty hasn’t happened. The Season Seven champion will be hoping for a strong weekend to wrap up the Constructors’ crown, in what could be his last weekend in the championship.
De Vries hasn’t yet got a seat in Formula E for Season Nine with the brand-new Gen3 cars, with the Dutch driver hoping of a switch to Formula 1 with Williams Racing. Mercedes-EQ are being replaced in the championship by an all new McLaren team, who will be run by Mercedes-EQ Team Principal Ian James, with the majority of the team being the same. Despite this, it’s believed that the side aren’t looking at signing De Vries.
So with it looking likely that this might be the end of De Vries in the series, the Dutchman is hoping to deliver a “beautiful” and “fitting end” to the Mercedes-EQ Team.
“I’m sure most people will have seen the weather conditions and predictions for this week in Seoul by now. Hopefully the conditions improve soon, so the impact on both the city and our race weekend stay to a minimum. Personally, I am optimistic about the prospect of that – I’m looking forward to driving at a new track. Seoul is already the last race of the season, it’s come quickly.
“As a team, we are in a really good position currently, however, we will need to finish the task at hand. We cannot rest yet, and the past success this season is no guarantee for a good result this weekend. However, the capabilities and strengths of the team make me feel confident that we can deliver a beautiful and fitting end to this chapter as a team.”