|D.o.B.||25 April 1990|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||2014 Punta del Este ePrix|
|First Win||2017 Montreal ePrix II|
DS Virgin Racing
|Formula E Career|
|Entries||90 (89 Starts)|
Jean-Éric Vergne, born 25 April 1990, is a French racing driver whom won the 2017/18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship on behalf of Techeetah. Known popularly as JEV, Vergne would go on to successfully defend his title during the 2018/19 season, becoming the first driver in FE history to do so, having remained with Techeetah as the Chinese squad gained manufacturer backing from DS.
Vergne, first appeared in the FE Championship fresh from losing his seat in Formula One, and duly claimed pole for his debut race during the 2014/15 season with Andretti. The Frenchman subsequently switched the DS Virgin Racing team for the 2015/16 season, and would remain with them until the end of the season, before making the switch to the new Techeetah team in 2016/17 having threatened to claim a win several times.
Vergne would finally win an ePrix during the 2016/17 campaign, winning the season ending race in Montreal. He was to re-sign with the team in 2017/18, partnering newcomer André Lotterer, and duly won the title with a round to spare with record points total. A year later and the Frenchman repeated the feat in New York City, as well as scooping the 2018/19 Teams Championship.
Vergne, like many a racing driver, began his career in karting, starting at his father's track from the age of four. At the age of eleven, Vergne claimed the Junior French Kart Championship, and within four years was runner-up in the European ICA Championship. After a single attempt at the World Karting Championship (finishing seventh overall), Vergne was promoted into single seaters.
Six wins was enough to give Vergne the 2007 French Formula Renault Campus title, which was followed by the French Formula Renault Eurocup a year later. A promotion in the European Formula Renault Eurocup followed, with Vergne finishing runner-up, before moving to British Formula 3. It was to be another impressive display by Vergne, as thirteen victories gave him the title at the first attempt, becoming the first Frenchman to do so.
Forwards to Formula One
Armed with sponsorship from Red Bull Racing, Vergne entered the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 championship, with the promise of a drive in Formula One should he be competitive. And so Vergne proved, taking five wins on his way to second in the championship. In the winter that year, Vergne was promoted to Red Bull's junior Formula One team, Toro Rosso, making his debut at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix .
Sixteen points were Vergne's initial return in the 2012 championship, giving him seventeenth in the final standings. A career best finish of sixth place followed in 2013, although he scored fewer points overall that season, and missed out on promotion to the main Red Bull Racing team. For 2014, partnered by the débuting Danil Kvyat, Vergne may have had concerns about his progress in Formula One, as the three years that ed Bull often gave to their young drivers was rapidly coming to a close. And so it proved, as Kvyat was promoted to Red Bull in the wake of Sebastien Vettel's departure, despite Vergne outscoring his young team mate.
Formula E History
Vergne was announced as a Andretti Autosport driver shortly before the 2014 Punta del Este ePrix on the 13th of December 2014. He would partner Matthew Brabham at Andretti, and surprised everyone by taking pole position on his debut. He followed this with an excellent performance in the ePrix itself, only to fall foul of a suspension failure on the final lap.
His qualifying performance remained strong throughout the season, with further poles coming in Miami and Moscow, but it was his race pace that caused him problems. Indeed, despite starting from pole in a third of his races (and inside the top ten in all but two of them), Vergne only took two podiums, and failed to win a race outright. A poor qualifying result for the 2015 London ePrix II at the end of the season caused Vergne to finish on 70 points, with the only other three time pole sitter, Sébastien Buemi, missing out on the title by just a single point.
During the pre-season for the 2015/16 Championship, Vergne signed a deal to replace Jaime Alguersuari at DS Virgin Racing, joining Sam Bird in the team. After a quiet time at the 2015 Donington Test, Vergne would be outclassed by his new teammate in the early stages of the season, scoring for the first time at the third race in Punta del Este. Another barren run followed, however, with Vergne unable to score at all until he managed to battle his way onto the podium at the 2016 Paris ePrix.
The result at his home race seemed to be the confidence boost that the Frenchman required, with Vergne sweeping to pole at the 2016 Berlin ePrix a couple of weeks later. Unfortunately, Vergne could not convert his one-lap pace into another podium due to mechanical problems, although he would still record a strong fifth place finish. His late season flurry continued on into the season finale in London, where Vergne secured a second podium of the season in the 2016 London ePrix I.
For the third season of Formula E, Vergne signed with the new Techeetah outfit, who had agreed a deal with Renault to use their Z.E. 16s for the season. Partnered by Ma Qing Hua for the season, Vergne showed that the new package would be just as quick in his hands as it would be in the factory's grasp, with the Frenchman ending the 2016 Donington Test in between the factory efforts of Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost.
After retiring from the first race of the season, Vergne secured Techeetah's first points finish in Marrakech. He then went and claimed the team's first podium finish in Buenos Aires, a feat he repeated in Mexico City. Vergne was also running competitively in 2017 Monaco ePrix Monaco, only to be taken out by Nelson Piquet Jr.
Vergne would fare little better in his home race, the Parisian left heartbroken after a steering failure caused him to crash out of the Paris ePrix while running in second. He would respond with a double points finish in Berlin, beating new teammate Stéphane Sarrazin, before claiming a third podium of the season in New York. Vergne followed that result up with an eighth place in the second of the weekend's races.
It seemed as if Vergne would have to wait another season for his breakthrough win, an assumption seemingly proved when the Frenchman finished second, again, in the first Montreal ePrix. However, an excellent start in the second race of the season finale put Vergne in prime position, if he could best Formula E rookie Felix Rosenqvist having already passed Sam Bird. Better energy consumption in the first half of the race allowed Vergne to challenge in the closing stages, sweeping past the young Swede to claim a maiden victory.
The Title Tour?
Shortly before the 2017 Valencia Test Vergne was announced as Techeetah's lead driver for the second consecutive season, partnering Porsche WEC racer André Lotterer. Vergne and Techeetah revealed their mutual hopes of taking the 2017/18 crown, with Vergne leading the charge. The Frenchman would duly show his title credentials early on in the season, taking pole and second place at the season opener in Hong Kong.
Vergne followed that up with fourth in the following race, before battling up to fifth in Marrakech having messed up his group qualifying lap. Three weeks later and Vergne was claiming his first victory of the season in Santiago, the Frenchman going toe-to-toe with teammate Lotterer in a bruising battle between the two in the closing stages. That triumph, combined with pole, put Vergne at the top of the Championship, with the Frenchman backing up his performance with fifth in Mexico City.
A second battling victory came for Vergne in Punta del Este, with the Frenchman fending off Lucas di Grassi in the closing stages having started from pole. Another quiet afternoon in Rome followed, before Vergne claimed a memorable victory at his home race in Paris, having once again started from pole. The Frenchman was then powerless to prevent Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler claiming a dominant one-two in Berlin, but his third place finish, having beaten Sébastien Buemi in a race long duel, put him within reach of the Championship.
A controversial race in Zürich, however, would keep the title fight alive, for Vergne was one of a number of drivers to be punished for speeding during a FCY, despite the fact that the entire field had entered the pits at the same time. Yet, Vergne would enter the penultimate race of the season in New York City with a 23 point lead over Sam Bird, although both would qualify poorly for the race, with Vergne right at the back. However, Bird would simply lack the pace to get higher than eighth in the race, while Vergne charged through to claim fifth, earning him the title with a race to spare.
Vergne would head into the final race knowing that he and Lotterer could secure the Teams' Championship for Techeetah too, although their hopes of doing so were dashed right at the start when the German jumped the lights. Lotterer was dumped to the back of the field as Vergne snatched the lead from Buemi, and duly fended off the attentions of di Grassi once again to claim his fourth victory of the season. Yet, with di Grassi second and Abt third, Vergne's victory was not enough to secure the Teams' title although, in truth, that was not something to worry the newly crowned Formula E Champion.
Vergne would defend his hard earned crown in 2018/19 with Techeetah, whom revealed that they would partner with DS for the fifth FE season. The defending Champion duly got off to a strong start, claiming second in the season opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix, before claiming fifth in Marrakech, having two trouble free races. However, the Frenchman's form would collapse at the 2019 Santiago E-Prix, with a retirement ensuring the Vergne failed to score for the first time since the 2017 Paris ePrix.
That sparked a pointless three-race run for Vergne, with the Frenchman only returning to form at the 2019 Sanya E-Prix, having notably dropped out of the first qualifying group. There, Vergne would sweep to his first victory of the season, with bonus points for fastest lap further increasing his tally. The caveat for his triumph, however, was that it put the Frenchman back into the first group of qualifying for the Rome E-Prix, resulting in Vergne once again failing to score.
It was, however, to be over the next four races that Vergne established himself as the lead driver in the title hunt, following up a sixth place at his home race in Paris with victory in Monte Carlo, having had a race long battle with Mitch Evans. Third at the Berlin E-Prix followed, before Vergne battled to his third win of the campaign in Bern, once again fending off the attentions of Evans' Jaguar. That result would leave the Frenchman some 32 points clear at the head of the field, with just the two races in New York City to go.
Ultimately qualifying would dictate the opening race of the New York weekend for Vergne, with the Frenchman lining up well down the field. A miserable race followed, with Vergne picking up a puncture early on, courtesy of contact with teammate Lotterer, before climbing back up the field only to be taken out of the race on the final lap by Felipe Massa. That allowed Vergne's main title rival di Grassi to remain in the fight heading into the final race, although Vergne still held a commanding 22 point lead.
Ultimately, however, the Sunday race would favour Vergne, with the Frenchman keeping di Grassi in sight throughout as the Brazilian's title charge ultimately faltered. Indeed, a last lap accident for di Grassi while fighting Evans would hand Vergne the title, with the Frenchman becoming the first driver to successfully defend his FE crown. Furthermore, Vergne's seventh place finish would also ensure that he claimed his maiden Teams Championship with DS Techeetah.
The Triple Titan?
Full Formula E Record
Shown below are a series of tables outlining Jean-Éric Vergne's career in Formula E in statistical form.
Formula E Entries
The list below includes all of the teams and cars, as well as overall finishing positions for Jean-Éric Vergne during their FE career:
|Jean-Éric Vergne's Overall Formula E Record|
|2014/15||Andretti Autosport||27||Spark-Renault SRT_01E||7th||70|
|2015/16||DS Virgin Racing||25||DS Virgin DSV-01||9th||56|
|2016/17||Techeetah||25||Renault Z.E. 16||5th||117|
|2017/18||Techeetah||25||Renault Z.E. 17||1st||198|
|2018/19||DS Techeetah||25||DS E-Tense FE 19||1st||136|
Below is a table showing Jean-Éric Vergne's full Formula E record.
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- Georges Biard, 'File:Jean-Eric Vergne 2016.jpg', commons.wikimedia.org, (WikiMedia: Commons, April 2016), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-Eric_Vergne_2016.jpg, (Accessed 25/04/2018)
- 'Driver's Club: Jean-Eric Vergne', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/drivers-club/jean-eric-vergne.aspx, (Accessed 06/07/2015)
- von Tobias Bluhm. 'Exklusiv: Andre Lotterer bestätigt Techeetah-Vertrag für 5. Formel-E-Saison', e-formel.de, (e-Formel, 02/05/2018), https://e-formel.de/news/formel-e-lotterer-bestaetigt-techeetah-vertrag-fuer-saison-5-3514.html, (Accessed 07/05/2018)
- 'Jean-Eric Vergne to compete with Andretti in Uruguay', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/12/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/december/jean-eric-vergne-to-race-with-andretti-in-uruguay.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'SECA SECURE FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRY: JEAN-ERIC VERGNE AND MA QING HUA CONFIRMED AS DRIVERS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/seca-secure-fia-formula-e-championship-entry/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- 'Vergne victorious, Di Grassi wins title', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/vergne-victorious-di-grassi-wins-title/, (Accessed 30/07/2017)
- 'Lotterer and Vergne complete TECHEETAH line-up', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/lotterer-and-vergne-complete-techeetah-line-up/, (Accessed 26/09/2017)
- 'Jean-Eric Vergne', f1.wikia.com, (F1 Wiki, 11/02/2015), http://f1.wikia.com/wiki/Jean-%C3%89ric_Vergne, (Accessed 06/07/2015)
- 'Brilliant Buemi wins in Punta del Este', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/12/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/december/brilliant-buemi-wins-in-punta-del-este.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'Vergne secures pole for Moscow ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 06/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/vergne-secures-pole-for-moscow-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 08/06/2015)
- 'Visa London ePrix race two highlights', youtube.com, (YouTube: FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mNOSOJXDJs, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- 'Jean-Eric Vergne moves to DS Virgin Racing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/jean-eric-vergne-moves-to-ds-virgin-racing.aspx, (Accessed 08/08/2015)
- 'Buemi back on top', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/december/buemi-back-on-top.aspx, (Accessed 25/12/2015)
- 'Di Grassi triumphant in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/di-grassi-wins-visa-paris-eprix/, (Accessed 23/04/2016)
- 'Buemi win cuts di Grassi's lead to just one point', fiaformula.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/05/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/may/buemi-win-cuts-di-grassi-s-lead-to-just-one-point/, (Accessed 21/05/2016)
- 'BUEMI AND DI GRASSI CHARGE UP THE ORDER, BUT IT’S PROST WHO LEADS THE WAY', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/prost-wins-in-style-as-di-grassi-inches-closer-to-title/, (Accessed 03/07/2016)
- 'Buemi magnificent in Marrakesh', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/11/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/november/buemi-magnificent-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 12/11/2016)
- 'Buemi becomes hat-trick hero in Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/february/buemi-becomes-hat-trick-hero-in-buenos-aires/, (Accessed 19/02/2017)
- 'Di Grassi fights Buemi to the finish in Monaco', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/di-grassi-fights-buemi-to-the-finish-in-monaco/, (Accessed 14/05/2017)
- 'Buemi hands Renault e.dams emotional Paris win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/buemi-hands-renault-edams-emotional-paris-win/, (Accessed 21/05/2017)
- 'Bird soars to historic Qualcomm New York City ePrix win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/bird-soars-to-historic-qualcomm-new-york-city-eprix-win/, (Accessed 18/07/2017)
- 'Di Grassi wins, Buemi disqualified', fiaformuale.com, (FIA Formula E, 29/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/di-grassi-wins-buemi-disqualified/, (Accessed 30/07/2017)
- 'Bird clinches victory in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/bird-clinches-victory-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
- 'Rosenqvist victorious in 2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/rosenqvist-victorious-in-2018-abb-fia-formula-e-marrakesh-e-prix/, (Accessed 13/01/2018)
- 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
- 'Abt finally clinches first victory in Mexico City', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/abt-finally-clinches-first-victory-in-mexico-city/, (Accessed 04/03/2018)
- 'JEV holds off di Grassi in battle for Punta del Este', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 17/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/jev-holds-off-di-grassi-in-battle-for-punta-del-este/, (Accessed 17/03/2018)
- 'Fairytale ending for home race hero Vergne in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/fairytale-ending-for-home-race-hero-vergne-in-paris/, (Accessed 29/04/2018)
- 'Abt leads Audi one-two win at home race in Berlin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/abt-leads-audi-one-two-win-at-home-race-in-berlin/, (Accessed 19/05/2018)
- 'Di Grassi clinches first season victory in historic Swiss race', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/di-grassi-clinches-first-season-victory-in-historic-swiss-race/, (Accessed 11/06/2018)
- 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
- 'Champion Vergne victorious as Audi scoops the teams' title in New York finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/champion-vergne-victorious-as-audi-scoops-the-teams-title-in-new-york-finale/, (Accessed 16/07/2018)
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- 'Bird storms to victory in sweltering Santiago showdown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report-santiago-2019, (Accessed 27/01/2019)
- 'Vergne victorious in Sanya showdown, championship blown wide open', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-sanya-2019, (Accessed 23/03/2019)
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- 'Vergne victorious in frantic battle for Bern ahead of Championship finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/06/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/june/race-report-bern-2019, (Accessed 23/06/2019)
- 'Buemi wins in New York but disaster for Champ Vergne extends title challenge', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2019, (Accessed 14/07/2019)
- 'Frijns wins while Vergne claims historic two-time Championship title in New York', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2-2019, (Accessed 15/07/2019)
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne's Techeetah contract extended', autosport.com, (Motorsport Network, 14/12/2018), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/140671/vergne-techeetah-fe-contract-extended, (Accessed 08/06/2019)