January 18, 2023



Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E championship got underway this weekend in Mexico with our brand-new GEN3 vehicles.

Our two DS E-TENSE FE23 cars showed a strong level of performance throughout free practice and the race, with Stoffel Vandoorne scored his first point for DS Automobiles and the PENSKE AUTOSPORT team by finishing 10th.

Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E world championship got underway in Mexico. Despite a race made complicated by a difficult qualifying session, the DS Automobiles drivers were able to demonstrate the strong level of performance of the new DS E-TENSE FE23 entered with PENSKE AUTOSPORT. This first race of the season marked the debut appearance of the GEN3 single-seaters, more powerful and efficient than their predecessors, which also underline the constant technical evolution in the field of electric mobility. By taking home a point in Mexico City, the premium French manufacturer opens its account in a championship that looks set to be more competitive than ever.

Proof of the capabilities of the new car developed by DS Performance was given by Jean-Éric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne, who were at the forefront of the two free practice sessions with a fastest time and a second-fastest time for the Frenchman, and two fifth-place classifications for the Belgian. While everything was looking good up to qualifying, that trend did not continue when it came to the actual session. Both DS Automobiles drivers were held up by traffic and had to settle for 11th and 14th places on the grid, with Jean-Éric Vergne ahead of his team mate.

In the race, the DS E-TENSE FE23 cars confirmed that they will form an integral part of this year’s action. Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne never gave up. In the end, he made up four positions and grabbed 10th place on the very final lap. Conversely, Jean-Éric Vergne lost out considerably in the closing stages. Having made up two places, the French driver was affected by a technical problem relating to the battery: one of the common components on all the cars prescribed by the regulations. The incident cost him a place in the top 10, where he had been throughout the race. His 12th place at the finish left a slightly bitter taste in his mouth.

After the opening round of the season at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, the ABB FIA Formula E championship will now head to Saudi Arabia for two races at the Diriyah track, with the second and third races of the year taking place on January 27th and 28th respectively.

Eugenio Franzetti, DS Performance Director:

“We learned a huge amount from this first race of the season. This information will be very useful to us in the future. One thing is sure: our cars are competitive! Now it’s down to us to capitalise on that in order to shine at the next races.”

Stoffel Vandoorne, reigning Formula E champion:

“Obviously it wasn’t a perfect weekend. I think everyone in the team hoped to leave Mexico with more points in the bank. Nonetheless, a point is worth having and it’s better than nothing. Things started off well with a very good pace in free practice and our two cars in the top five on each occasion. The feeling was good but during qualifying things didn’t go to plan, mainly because of traffic. We didn’t manage to optimise every aspect. Starting from 14th, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The race was lively, with several Safety Car periods and we learned a lot. It was still very difficult to overtake though and I wasn’t able to climb up any higher than 10th.”

Jean-Éric Vergne, 2018 and 2019 Formula E champion

“It’s clearly not the result we were looking for. I fought really hard to finish in the points and unfortunately I had a battery problem just before the chequered flag. It’s frustrating after having given everything to score points that could make all the difference at the end of the season. Nonetheless, I want to take away the positives: our car is born well and there are a lot of interesting lessons from this weekend. It’s going to be a very long season. With a competitive car and everything that we have learned today, I am sure we will do better in the next races.”