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Vergne admits he “tried too hard” to wrap up title early

Formula E championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne admitted that he “tried too hard” to seal the championship early in Zurich.

The Techeetah driver had his points lead slashed by DS Virgin’s Sam Bird after qualifying 17th on the grid, having an issue in his pit stop and then receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding under the full course yellow.

The gap sits at 23 points ahead of the New York double header finale, but Vergne says he has learned from a tough weekend.

“I realised I wanted it a little bit too hard, to win the championship already there. I don’t feel under that much pressure anymore,” he said.

“In qualifying I honestly don’t know what happened there because I had a very quick car. We looked after the race and we discovered the average position of a driver in group one was 17th, so maybe that explains why I was so slow.

“Then I guess I was very frustrated to start nearly last and behind Sam, and then the pit stop issue and the penalty, but my frustration came down after Zurich.”

His title rival Bird says he does not feel under pressure to deliver. He believes that the circuit, which has been extended by 0.3 miles with four additional corners compared to last year, no longer suits his car.

“It’s going to be very difficult. Last year was a different circuit with a shorter race distance. We’ve made the track longer and with a longer race distance, it falls into the hands of other manufacturers that have a more efficient powertrain,” Bird said.

“Going into this championship I had very little expectations of what we’d achieve. I feel like we’ve massively overachieved and it’s great to be in this position.

“Of course I’m going to want to try and fight but it is what it is, I’ll give it my best. If it doesn’t happen I will still hold my head up very high going into next season.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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