Mercedes: Vandoorne's Berlin E-Prix qualifying won FE teams' title

Mercedes Formula E boss Ian James has credited Stoffel Vandoorne for winning the 2021 teams’ title for the manufacturer but reckons “brutal honesty” is needed to evaluate an inconsistent season.

Mercedes: Vandoorne's Berlin E-Prix qualifying won FE teams' title
Listen to this article

The Silver Arrows squad won the teams’ crown in its second full season in the series by four points over Jaguar Racing, while Nyck de Vries claimed the inaugural FIA drivers’ world championship.

Teammate Vandoorne ranked ninth - having finished runner-up in 2019-20 - but on top of a podium in the second Berlin race, he earned four points by topping group qualifying and scoring pole position.

Although Vandoorne was already out of title contention heading into the last race, following clashes with Andre Lotterer and Oliver Rowland while leading in Rome and London, Mercedes team principal James paid tribute to the role the Belgian’s one-lap pace had played in the success.

James told Motorsport.com: "[Vandoorne] really did have the brunt of that misfortune] this season.

“But if I look at what he has achieved over the season, and if I look especially at his qualifying performance on Sunday [in Berlin], he won the teams’ championship for us at that point.

“There's no two ways about it.

“The focus over the last few days has been absolutely, quite rightly on Nyck and his world championship.

“He did a stunning job all season, his consistency, his speed and his approach.

“But Stoffel deserves recognition because without those four points, it would have been a very different story. A superb delivery by him.”

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, Oliver Rowland, Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO3

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, Oliver Rowland, Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO3

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Although Mercedes did iron out many of the operational error that blighted its 2019-20 season, with de Vries much more severely impacted last year, it still endured sizeable swings in its competitiveness through the middle part of the campaign.

De Vries (two) and Vandoorne (one) scored victories in each of the opening three double-headers but failed to win again, including five point-less results from a run of six races.

Asked to evaluate the season, James continued: "It went right down to the wire.

“Do I want to repeat that next year? Absolutely, in terms of winning the double.

“But God, do I want to do a lot earlier in the season, in a much more straightforward manner.

“We will have that brutal honesty in terms of what we didn't do well, and we've already had those discussions and they started [the day after the Berlin finale].”

Speculation persists that de Vries could move to Williams for the 2022 Formula 1 season, should the incumbent George Russell replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes.

That would leave Vandoorne to lead the Mercedes Formula E driver line-up in what will be the manufacturer’s last season in the all-electric series.

However, James and team chief executive officer Toto Wolff are leading plans to find a buyer for the outfit so that it can continue in an independent guise into the Gen3 era.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Rowland 'a different person' after three FE seasons with Buemi

Formula E to vote on safety car changes after Valencia farce

The key factors behind Porsche's strong start to Formula E's new era

The key factors behind Porsche's strong start to Formula E's new era

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Inside Porsche's strong Gen3 start The key factors behind Porsche's strong start to Formula E's new era

How Wehrlein's Diriyah double reveals Formula E's form book shake-up

How Wehrlein's Diriyah double reveals Formula E's form book shake-up

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Diriyah ePrix II
Jake Boxall-Legge

2023 Diriyah E-Prix analysis How Wehrlein's Diriyah double reveals Formula E's form book shake-up

The first impressions of Formula E's brave new era

The first impressions of Formula E's brave new era

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Mexico City ePrix
Jake Boxall-Legge

First impressions of FE's new era The first impressions of Formula E's brave new era

How Dennis dominated Formula E's new generation opener

How Dennis dominated Formula E's new generation opener

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Mexico City ePrix
Jake Boxall-Legge

How Dennis dominated FE opener How Dennis dominated Formula E's new generation opener

Is this a Formula E 'nearly man's' best chance yet at title glory?

Is this a Formula E 'nearly man's' best chance yet at title glory?

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Is this Evans' best chance yet? Is this a Formula E 'nearly man's' best chance yet at title glory?

10 things we learned from Valencia Formula E testing

10 things we learned from Valencia Formula E testing

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Analysis: Valencia pre-season test 10 things we learned from Valencia Formula E testing

How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Jaguar's big opportunity in FE How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

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

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

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

How Vandoorne won the FE title The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title