Written by Olivia Hicks, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne will continue at DS Penske for the 2024 Formula E season, as announced by the team today.
Vandoorne won his first Formula E championship during the 2022 season. The Belgian racing driver only managed to secure 11th-place in the championship standings the following season, and fell behind his teammate Vergne, who finished fifth with 107 points. The former McLaren racer failed to stand on the podium last season.
Vandoorne is a widely sought-after talent, having dominated the erstwhile GP2 series in 2015, and having a wealth of experience racing in other motorsport series too. He raced in Super Formula in 2016, before stepping up to a full-time McLaren race seat in 2017.
While he was axed from the team at the end of the following season, he made his way into Formula E, driving for HWA Racelab at the end of the season, which would go on to become the much-famed Mercedes EQ Team in 2019.
Vandoorne's stint with Mercedes would be a refreshing change from his tough McLaren days, the Belgian helping the German team clinch a constructors title in 2021, while he would bring home the drivers' championship a year after. He would also be a reserve driver for Mercedes, Racing Point, and Aston Martin since.
Vandoorne has also signed a lucrative deal to race in the World Endurance Championship for French manufacturer Peugeut, driving their #94 hypercar this season. Despite concerns over DS Penske and the parent organisation Stellantis allowing their driver to pursue a dual programme, the driver and team have managed to come to a mutual agreement to allow Vandoorne to dabble his Formula E duties alongside endurance racing.
Vergne, in contrast, brought home two podium positions in Berlin and Cape Town, and a win in Hyderabad. The French driver became the first Formula E racer to win two consecutive championships, one during the 2017-2018 season, and another the following year.
Despite both drivers driving with championship wins under their belts, the two had an unfortunate string of pointless finishes weaved throughout the season.
DS Penske shook the racing world at the inaugural Southwire Portland E-Prix, after the team used Radio Frequency Identification technology during free practice. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) ruled that the scanning equipment was illegal and accused the team of misusing the tech to collect data from rivals. The team was handed a hefty €25,000 fine, and a pit lane start for the race.
The team finished fifth in the standings in the 2022-2023 season. The two experienced racing drivers will hope to add more wins to DS Penske’s resume in the upcoming 2024 Formula E season.
Jay Penske, team principal of the DS Penske team, said:
‘I am very excited to continue with Jean-Éric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne behind the wheels of our Gen3 car. It was a straightforward decision for the team to keep intact what is unquestionably one of the strongest pairings on the grid. Season 9 was one of growth and we have learned from every success but also every setback. None of us were satisfied with finishing fifth in the Championship. We know we can do better and with JEV and Stoffel bringing an incredibly high racing IQ combined with an unwavering desire to win we intend to be challenging for the World Championship in Season 10.’
Vandoorne is set to continue into 2024 with the team, and was delighted to stay on for another year, to form a formidable line-up for season ten:
‘I am delighted to continue the journey we started a year ago with the team. Consistency and stability will be the foundations of our future success. JEV and I are one of the best duos on the set. We have made some significant steps over the last season and we are getting stronger together. Consistency in performance is our aim for this upcoming season. The ultimate goal is to win the championship. I am excited to help continue to build on that momentum and pick up plenty of trophies with the team!’
Vergne too expressed his happiness upon continuing at the team for 2024, saying:
‘Very happy to continue the adventure with DS PENSKE. Same team mate, same Gen 3 car. As one chapter closes, we have to focus on what is ahead. I love racing, and above all, I love winning, this is a very special feeling that I want to live again with the team. I have a real relationship of trust with the engineers and the mechanics, their dedication and hard work is truly inspiring. I want to reward the belief that Jay Penske and the rest of the team placed in me. At a start of a season, all the points start back to zero. With Stoffel, we form a solid duo. We had a couple of good races and we are working extremely hard to come back to the top.We just got to try and do better, we will not stop until we do. My absolute focus and determination are at the highest, my motivation totally intact, even greater than the years before to bring some new titles with the Team.’