Fenestraz 'studied more than school' for late Seoul FE call-up

Sacha Fenestraz says his 6:30am Seoul Formula E finale call-up to replace the injured Antonio Giovinazzi at Dragon meant he 'studied more than school' to get up to speed.

Fenestraz 'studied more than school' for late Seoul FE call-up
Listen to this article

Giovinazzi sustained an injured thumb after clashing with Antonio Felix da Costa in the Saturday race at the Seoul Sports Complex, and was thus ruled out for what could have been his final race in Formula E after a trying year.

Fenestraz, who had already been called up to the race as Jaguar's reserve late on as Norman Nato replaced the injured Sam Bird, was granted the opportunity to race the #99 Dragon despite no prior knowledge of the circuit.

Thus, the Franco-Argentinian driver was forced to learn the circuit and the car's systems in the space of about three hours before taking part in practice, ending the session last but just 0.035s away from Maximilian Gunther.

Fenestraz was further off in qualifying, finishing last in his group, but ultimately kept his nose clean in the race and finished at the back in 16th.

"Honestly, they called me at 6:30am and were like, 'come quickly' and I was still like opening my eyes!" recalled Fenestraz. "It was a tricky one, I was racing in Japan last weekend [in SUPER GT at Fuji] so I didn't manage to do any simulator work before the race.

"Everything was just in a rush. But about today, it was good. We couldn't expect much as everyone raced yesterday, and I didn't drive a Formula E car in a very, very long time apart from the Gen3 shakedown - but shakedowns are generally very few laps and you're not pushing.

"I didn't expect much, I know the team had a difficult year on that side of the garage without finishing many races, so I really wanted to just finish the race - also for me just to take experience.

"Also with qualifying, putting the lap together with so little experience is difficult. I had a few little mistakes in the lap which cost me a few tenths."

Sacha Fenestraz (FRA), Dragon | Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5

Sacha Fenestraz (FRA), Dragon | Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Explaining the speed at which he had to get his head around the Dragon's systems, Fenestraz says it was tough to take all the information on board in such limited time - and "was studying more than I ever studied in school".

Read Also:

He also acknowledged the difference between the slick tyres he races on in Japan and the all-weather Michelins of Formula E, which meant he had to adapt his driving.

"The safety car came up which kind of helped us to be honest, because I was really struggling with the rear tyres, degradation was massive.

"I'm used to Japan and having Bridgestone [in SUPER GT] or Yokohama [in Super Formula] and a lot of grip and a lot of downforce and this is a whole different thing; it's very little downforce and very little grip.

"But it makes the car nice, that's why it makes the battles and the qualifying so interesting and everything, but it's a very different car to what I'm used to.

"I was studying more than I ever studied in school! I honestly haven't studied this much for many years, I was just trying to put all the information on board in my head and try my best.

"But it was a tricky one because as I said, this morning they called me up pretty soon and I was at the track, but had to focus on the pedal set but then also learn the steering. I think I will sleep pretty well tonight."

shares
comments
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge
Previous article

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

Next article

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Prime

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes teammate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Prime

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Prime

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Prime

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Prime

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks.

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Prime

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there.

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London Prime

How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale.

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight Prime

The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Motorsport.com, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022