‘Surprise’ Move from De Vries Leads to ‘Emotional’ Win in Berlin
For reigning champion and Mercedes-EQ driver Nyck de Vries, a dominating performance in the second of two races in the German capital closed off a difficult period in his ABB FIA Formula E World Championship career. Pulling off a ‘surprise’ move on Poleman Edoardo Mortara (ROKit Venturi Racing), the Dutchman returned to the top step of the podium and re-booted his title defence campaign.
“We’ve had a bit of a difficult ride the past three races, so honestly I’m just very very pleased to be here and to be back,” said an emotional Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries, moments before taking to the top step of the podium. The last time the Dutchman was here with Formula E, he was lifting the World Championship trophy, so the timing of his comeback in the German capital couldn’t be better.
Starting from third, the Dutch driver benefited from a strong start off the line where he spotted a gap between race leader Edoardo Mortara and the inside wall of Turn 1.
“It caught me a little bit by surprise,” admitted de Vries. “I had a good start – a little bit better than Robin [Frijns] and obviously I had the tow from Edo. The opportunity came as a surprise, but I took it and it worked out successfully.”
Following the move, de Vries put in a flawless performance to distance himself from the competition and eventually take the win from Poleman and yesterday’s winner, Edoardo Mortara.
“I think our base was very strong today. But it definitely helped to be in command and do your own race – I think that makes a huge difference.
“Today, we didn’t really have to fight and you do a clean race. You keep your tyres and energy in control and then you can see the results. So I’m very, very happy with a comeback.”
With a win under his belt, reigning champion de Vries’ title defence campaign received a much-needed boost. Before Berlin, the Dutchman had been grappling with a dry spell of only two points in four races between Rounds 3 and 8. When compared to his teammate and standings leader Stoffel Vandoorne, the Belgian has racked up an impressive 68 points in the same amount of time. Now sixth in the standings with 65 points, de Vries’ championship campaign is a little closer to being back on track, albeit still 46 points adrift of his fellow Mercedes driver.
“We just struggled in the past four races to execute a result,” he admitted. “I don’t think there was anything necessarily wrong. Of course, every time there was something missing, but nothing really fundamental and everything was there, but it just didn’t really work out.
“It starts to build up and people start to score points and you lose the momentum. I just felt like it was time for us to come back and turn it around. So to do it now, I think was was very important.
“I hate losing – it eats me. Especially when there’s nothing really wrong and it just doesn’t come together. To have a moment of calm back is nice.”
Now past the halfway mark in the season, the next stop on the Formula E calendar is Jakarta, Indonesia on June 4. With Mercedes out in front in the Team’s championship with 176 and frontman Vandoorne leading the Drivers’, it’s up to de Vries to hold on to his re-discovered form.
“It’s very good to get a good result in but we definitely have to try and keep the momentum from now on,” he added.
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