Vergne "super hungry" after last season's "pain" - Da Costa

Antonio Felix da Costa says his DS Techeetah teammate Jean-Eric Vergne is “super hungry” for success after the “pain” inflicted by last season's Formula E title defeat.

Vergne "super hungry" after last season's "pain" - Da Costa

Vergne won back-to-back titles with Techeetah in seasons 4 and 5 and has played an instrumental role in turning the Chinese outfit into an FE powerhouse, having been a part of the team since it was a Renault customer in the Gen1 era.

But the French driver endured a troubled 2019/20 season as the reigning double champion, scoring just over half the points of da Costa who took the drivers' crown in his first year with the team.

Asked by Motorsport.com how the rivalry with Vergne could play out as they go head-to-head in 2021, da Costa said he expects the French driver to "retaliate" and come back "stronger" and "hungrier" this season.

"JEV, he's a winner," the Portuguese driver said. "I can really understand the kind of pain he went through last year. He was winning year after year. Then I joined his team and I started winning. 

"I can really sympathise with what he went through. And it made him super hungry. He's really putting his head down. And I can see he wants to retaliate in a healthy way and it's made him strong and hungry. 

"So he's going to be coming for all of us, proper JEV style. We'll be here to race him and see at the end who wins."

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DS Techeetah is the only squad on the grid to have two Formula E championships in its line-up, with Vergne and da Costa having won three of the six drivers' titles awarded so far between them.

Team principal Mark Preston said he expects a clear team leader to emerge at some point during the campaign, but admitted that the situation could become stressful for the outfit.

"That's gonna be the most interesting discussion I'm sure during the season," Preston said when asked by Motorsport.com how he plans on managing the rivalry between Vergne and da Costa this year.

"In Berlin it became pretty clear fairly early on that Antonio was going to take the championship and so they can work together at that point. 

"We've had some pretty competitive times over the last few years as well, particularly with drivers like Andre [Lotterer] and JEV.

"At some point that's become sort of logical who is going to potentially win the championship or not win the championship, at least be the leader of our two drivers. 

"We'll see how that plays out. It will be stressful for everybody I'm sure."

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