Jean-Eric Vergne made no secret of his disappointment after missing out on his maiden Formula E victory in New York on Sunday, believing he was “clearly the fastest out on-track”.
Vergne finished a narrow second behind DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird in the Saturday race before qualifying third for Sunday’s second leg.
Contact with Maro Engel on the first lap saw Vergne receive a call from the stewards to come into the pits for repairs, causing him to drop down the order after having a new rear wing fitted.
Vergne was able to pick his way up the order, only for a mistimed pit stop during a full course caution to send him to the back once again.
A strong second stint allowed the Techeetah driver to pick up four points for eighth place, but it was of little consolation.
“I had the car to win today. I was clearly the fastest out on-track,” Vergne told Current E after the race.
“I got hit at the back on the start, and a piece of my rear wing was half-broken, and they decided within a lap to give me a black and orange flag. But yesterday three drivers kept driving the whole race with this issue, again today. So I don’t know why on my car they decided to pull me in.
“Then I came back with the full course yellow. It was a mistake of the team to call me in at the worst time, so I lost another 15, 20 seconds, because I had 20 per cent energy in the first stint saved at that time. Even with that, I was quickest on-track. I made a lot of moves, which was nice.
“All of this to finish eighth. Frustrating day.”
Vergne was particularly frustrated by the stewards’ decision to pull him in, believing there needs to be a solution to prevent drivers deliberately causing damage to their rivals’ cars.
“Today the win was absolutely possible. We have made a big step forward on the car compared to yesterday,” Vergne said.
“To see the race ruined by some other guys who just hit this weak part of the rear wing is like in the old days of karting when the rear bumpers came in, and you just had to touch it a little bit to make the tyre flat. It’s kind of the same.
“If that’s the game people are going to play, we’re going to hit this little part and everybody’s going to get a black and orange flag.
“So they need to find a solution for that because it hasn’t been fair.”