In the third – and last – part of our exclusive interview with Mercedes - EQ Formula E Team driver and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team reserve and test driver Stoffel Vandoorne, we talk about Formula 1.
If you haven't checked the first two parts, here there is the first one: https://www.motorlat.com/notas/wec/22800/motorlat-s-exclusive-interview-with-stoffel-vandoorne-part-1-winning-wec-s-lmp2-title-is-possible-in-bahrain-this-weekend-we-are-in-the-right-position-to-win-the-championship and click here to read the second part too : https://www.motorlat.com/notas/formulae/22810/motorlat-s-exclusive-interview-with-stoffel-vandoorne-part-2-fe-new-regulations-will-be-trickier-in-the-race-but-it-is-great-to-have-some-changes
The Belgian have arrived in FE after having been in Formula 1 for two official seasons, 2017 and 2018. We asked him what are the biggest differences between the two categories.
“Obviously, there are many differences between F1 and FE. Firstly, racing in Formula E in electric cars requires a great management of batteries. Secondly, the circuits are very narrow in comparison to F1 ones we are used to, and we take them at full speed, – he explains – The biggest difference between the two categories is the racing style: in Formula E, we have to do a lot of energy management and it makes racing quite different. FE produces very challenging races, a bit too crazy sometimes, it’s a good show. F1, on the other hand, remains the one with quickest cars, the most powerful ones and they race in many different circuits. They are two different categories and I obviously enjoyed the experience in both!”
Lewis Hamilton is one of the major promoters of sustainability in races and FE is all about that. Motorlat asks him if he would see F1 and FE merging in the future.
“It’s tricky to know, because they are two very different categories. Formula 1 is going on the sustainability direction but I think there is enough room for both, as they have different cars, different technologies, even different teams involved. The future is going towards the electric but Formula 1 is already perfectly fine as it, very powerful cars, much downforce and hybrid engines.”
The 2022 will see Formula 1 changing regulations. What is his opinion about them? We think about Sprint Races, for example.
“To be frank, I don’t have a very clear idea on them. To analyse Sprint Races, if they are to be put in, they could give great fights over the weekends, especially in qualifying. I don’t know if there’s really the need of them, as the racing of this season was already amazing without the need to add anything.”
Asked if he feels like he has some “unfinished business” in F1, the Mercedes driver opens the way to new possibilities but makes clear that his priority remains Formula E.
“My chances to come back to F1 right now are very slim but I am Mercedes’ reserve driver and test driver so I am still in the environment. If an opportunity shows up I am ready to jump in but the chances are very minimal and to be honest my main focus is Formula E, and I’m giving it all in Formula E and endurance, that’s where I want to see what I can do.”
Stoffel is one of the most well known Belgian drivers and he already obtained great results in Spa. Would he think Spa should be ever added to the Formula E calendar if the cars are capable of doing it in the future?
“I would love to have a homerace in FE, it would be great. Now Spa is not the place for it to happen any time soon, as usually the perfect place for a race is a capital city but yeah, it would be great if it would come into the radar.”
We close our talk with Stoffel Vandoorne with a look at his future: we asked him what is the dream to fulfil that it is still on his racing bucket list.
“First of all, I would love to win a Formula E championship, and then to win a 24 Hours of Le Mans would be also great. I’m really open-minded so I have so many different categories I would like to try and win.”