The Mercedes Benz EQ Formula E Team enjoyed a sensational debut qualifying for the ABB FIA Formula E season opening SAUDIA Diriyah ePrix race one on Saturday in Saudi Arabia where Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries will start the race from second and third place respectively.
The team tweeted:
YESSSSSSS!!!! How about that for a debut? @svandoorne and @nyckdevries finish our very first @FIAFormulaE qualifying in P2 and P3!!!!🎉
Speaking ahead of qualifying Mercedes team principal Ian James said:
Finally, the day has come that everyone in the team has been working towards. Our two cars will make their first competitive outing this week. We’ve worked hard over the last twelve months to devise the best possible setup and achieve the necessary consistency for our race debut at Diriyah.
The season opener is not the end of this journey but rather the beginning. We are conscious of our status as beginners. We therefore have to learn quickly from errors as they occur and to continue developing as a team. Consequently, we will be aiming to make our learning curve as steep as possible.
We are, of course, really looking forward to competing against the other teams, and finishing the two races somewhere in the points would obviously be fantastic.
But no matter how this first race turns out for us, I would like to express my gratitude here and now to the entire team for their tireless efforts. What I’ve experienced over the past few months has been the epitome of commitment in terms of teamwork.”
Stoffel Vandoorne commented ahead of qualifying saying:
We’re finally back in action. We have a long summer break behind us, during which time we had a lot to do. We did plenty of testing, and we got ourselves prepared as a team for the start of the season. I can hardly wait to get racing again. Testing is very nice, but it’s good to be switching back to race mode and to see where we are compared to the other teams. It’s not going to be easy, and it is hard to make any sort of forecast. We have to stay focused and try not to make mistakes. If we manage to do that, we should be in with a chance of a decent result.”
Nyck de Vries commented saying:
I’m very excited about competing in Formula E as a team for the first time and finding out how we shape up on our debut. After testing and the preparation time, I have the feeling that we have bonded together well as a team in the past few weeks. Now I’m ready to race again and to go up against our opponents on the track.