Vergne slams 'unacceptable' d'Ambrosio
3 April 2017 – Techeetah racer Jean-Éric Vergne has criticised Jérôme d'Ambrosio's defensive driving during the Mexico City ePrix, believing his rival's approach denied him a realistic shot at a maiden Formula E victory.
D'Ambrosio completed his car swap earlier than his rivals, while the race was under Safety Car conditions, allowing the Dragon driver to move into second, when the erstwhile leaders stopped.
However, d'Ambrosio had to conserve more energy than the rest of the field, due to his earlier car swap, and put on a defensive drive in order to maintain second spot.
Vergne, having fought with José María López, emerged as d'Ambrosio's primary challenger after the DS Virgin driver spun under braking for Turn 1 in his attack of the Belgian.
Vergne was unable to pass d'Ambrosio for several laps, until a mistake from the latter exiting Turn 1 allowed the Techeetah driver to squeeze past through Turn 2.
However, the delay in overhauling d'Ambrosio prevented Vergne from challenging race leader Lucas di Grassi, who had built up a sufficient buffer after also stopping early.
"I have very mixed emotions, I think this race was ours – 100 per cent," said Vergne.
"What d'Ambrosio did was totally unacceptable, he just doesn't know how to defend, he crashed too many times into me, forced me to go off the track, so I'm not a fan.
"He changed direction many times, so I'm very frustrated."
Vergne was nonetheless encouraged by his second straight podium finish, which moved him to within 36 points of championship leader Sébastien Buemi.
"On the other hand I'm happy that I'm here [on the podium] for the championship," said Vergne.
"We started very far away but I know I'm in the right team with the right car to win the championship.
"I think we're coming back a little bit better and we're getting stronger every race as a team."
New team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez claimed a point on his debut by rounding out the top 10.