Opinion: Vandoorne back on form as Formula E hit Monaco

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Vandoorne capitalised on Monaco mishaps

Formula E star had much more success this time around than he did in Formula 1

Stoffel Vandoorne’s best result from his two appearances in the Monaco Grand Prix for McLaren was a forgettable 14th in 2018. But the Belgian’s largely miserable and all-too-brief Formula 1 career is a fast-shrinking memory, especially after the recent Monaco ePrix.

At the most famous street track of them all, the Mercedes-EQ driver played it cool to walk away with the Formula E win that every driver desires more than any other. Not only that, but Vandoorne (who did win in Monaco in GP2 in 2015) now also leads the world championship standings.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans was targeting a third straight Formula E win following his Rome ePrix double and led Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein from pole position, with Vandoorne starting fourth behind DS driver Jean-Éric Vergne.

But Evans was caught out by an overuse of energy, Wehrlein lost all drive while leading and the subsequent safety car caught out Vergne, who was unlucky with the timing of his second dose of Attack Mode.

It all played into the hands of Vandoorne, who assumed the lead and fended off Evans and Vergne to claim his third career Formula E win and first of the season. The result takes him ahead of Vergne in the standings by six points, with Evans a further three behind.

Motorsport greats: Carlos Pace

Had Carlos Pace survived the light aircraft crash that claimed his life early in 1977, Bernie Ecclestone reckons he would never have felt compelled to sign the great Niki Lauda for Brabham later that year. That was how highly he rated Pace, who surely would have scored many more than the single grand prix victory that remains against his name in the record books.

A rival to fellow Brazilians Emerson and Wilson Fittipaldi, Pace arrived in Europe to make his name in 1970 and was ready for his F1 debut two years later, in a March run by Frank Williams. He broadened his horizons by driving for Ferrari in sports cars, racing the glorious 312PB, and played a cameo in the Gulf Mirage while furthering his F1 reputation with Team Surtees.

Frustration at poor reliability led him to quit in mid-1974, switching to a Brabham run by privateer Goldie Hexagon Racing before Ecclestone moved quickly to snap him up for the works team.

His day of days came on home soil at Interlagos early in 1975, when he led home Emerson Fittipaldi’s McLaren for a Brazilian onetwo. Fittingly, in 1985, the circuit was renamed the Autodrómo José Carlos Pace in his honour.

Source: Autocar

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