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Vergne: Every driver hates ‘horrible’ Formula E peloton racing

Another chaotic Formula E race in 2024 drew the ire of drivers in Berlin including Jean-Eric Vergne, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans

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Jean-Eric Vergne has slammed Formula E‘s peloton-style racing, describing the first 2024 Berlin E-Prix as “horrible” and his strong comments were backed up by some of his rivals.

Vergne finished second in a chaotic race on Saturday in the German capital as Nick Cassidy came from 21st at the halfway point of the race to win for a second time in 2024.

The race featured contact throughout the field and nobody wanted to lead until Jaguar‘s Cassidy, who leads the drivers’ championship by nine points from Pascal Wehrlein, hit the front in Berlin with five laps remaining.

“It’s horrible,” Vergne told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “I really don’t like this kind of racing. I hate it and I think every driver hates it, but it’s the way we have to race.

“We are here to compete. We are here to win, so if we have to drive in reverse, we are going to learn how to drive in reverse.

“It doesn’t mean that I like this kind of racing. From a drivers’ point of view, you’re watching on the left, the side, behind, above, below, and it’s a mess.”

Cassidy: It almost wasn’t enjoyable

Cassidy chose to sit back at the start of the race and dropped to 21st, thinking the win was out of the question. The New Zealander saved a lot of his energy and found himself in seventh place with eight laps to go.

As someone who doesn’t like to make strong comments about the championship, Cassidy interestingly nodded along when Vergne was making his statement but revealed he couldn’t be fully satisfied to win that type of race.

“It was like the Daytona 500 out there,” said Cassidy. “It feels really weird to have won. The team did an amazing job, but it almost wasn’t enjoyable.

“It was crazy, there was carnage and it’s it’s really hard to be jumping up, over the moon right now because I’m a little bit with JEV, I wish it was a bit more on pace. I wish it was a balanced a bit better but that’s that’s how it is.”

Nick Cassidy of Jaguar at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E
Nick Cassidy of Jaguar at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

Evans: All about suvival

Cassidy‘s Jaguar teammate Mitch Evans was in amongst the lead battle throughout the race along with Vergne, Antonio Felix da Costa, Pascal Wehrlein and Oliver Rowland.

Evans initially missed his first attack mode and has also been vocal about Formula E‘s peloton racing. He thinks the racing overall wasn’t as bad as Misano, but the hairpins in Berlin made it awkward.

“The worst point here is Turn 9 because it’s a real slow-speed hairpin and it does back up a lot,” Evans exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “Turn 2 isn’t too bad because you can go three and four wide and it flows OK.

“It’s better than Misano in ways because Misano you had the first few corners then the chicane, which was the worst of it. I don’t know if it’s a great track.

“This peloton style is just so extreme. It’s literally about survival rather than raw pace and you just need to be lucky that the guys you’re racing don’t be silly or get caught up in a concertina effect, or T-boned.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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