Stoffel Vandoorne believes his Mercedes-EQ team can deal with the pressure of being one of the favourites to succeed ahead of the new Formula E season.
The Belgian goes into Friday’s first race in Saudi Arabia having finished as runner-up in the drivers’ championship in the previous campaign, and won the final event in Berlin, too.
The new season, the first since the all-electric series gained official FIA World Championship status, begins with a double header in Diriyah, with back-to-back E-Prix taking place on Friday and Saturday.
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Vandoorne's preparation for the start of the new season in Saudi Arabia included a demonstration run of his Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 challenger along the Magna coastal road in NEOM, the sustainable smart city being built on the country’s Red Sea coastline.
Vandoorne has his sights firmly set on becoming Formula E’s first FIA world champion: “I really hope we can carry this momentum forward into Season Seven,” said the former McLaren F1 driver, speaking ahead of the season opener, live on Eurosport 2 from 4.50pm.
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“I would say there’s big ambitions for the whole team, partly because of the success we’ve had in Season Six. And obviously that win in the last race has put a bit of additional pressure on us to perform.
“I see that as a positive and I like being in a position where I have to perform. I have to deliver and hopefully we can carry forward the momentum we’ve had from last year and start the same way”.
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This week’s races are the first to take place at night, which will be staged with low-consumption LED floodlights, adding a new dimension to a circuit which Vandoorne was successful at last season.
“It’s going to be an interesting weekend of racing” Vandoorne added.
“It’s one of the trickiest circuits in the world and will test the drivers even more given it’s the first night race format we will have experienced.
“We’ve had success in Saudi in the past and will look to build on the two podiums we secured during last season’s double-header.”
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