DS Techeetah take positives from Diriyah ePrix despite challenges

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Last season's champions DS Techeetah have responded to a tough weekend in Saudi Arabia where they were only able to pick up three points.

Drivers champion Jean-Eric Vergne had to retire from race one with a steering column failure, before coming from the back of the grid to finish eighth in a penalty-blighted second race.

Meanwhile, Antonio Felix Da Costa struggled in qualifying for race one and finished 14th, only to have a potential podium taken away from him in race two following a collision with Sebastien Buemi.

After race two, Vergne said: "The race was always going to extremely difficult today as I had a huge penalty placing me at the back of the grid plus a 10-seconds stop and go."

He later added: "It was a lot of fun overtaking those guys and I had a great moment when I overtook two cars in one corner two laps in a row, so I had my fun but it’s not the positive I wanted to take from a weekend like this.

"We’re going go back home and re-group, work really hard and come out of this difficult moment together."

Da Costa was also positive in his outlook at the end of his first weekend at DS Techeetah, with qualifying for super pole the clear highlight of his weekend.

Even though we didn’t end where we wanted, there are a lot of positives from today," he said.

"Being quickest in free practice, qualifying and working our way up the pack to second and fighting for the race win is a really good sign that we have good pace and an efficient powertrain.

"It also shows that we have a very good weapon to fight with this season."

DS Techeetah team principal Mark Preston agreed that there were positives to take from a difficult first weekend and reinforced that there is still plenty of racing to go this season.

He said: “Today looked really bright for Antonio after qualifying so it’s a real shame that he couldn’t repeat his win here from last year.

"Both drivers have ­­proven what we can do and that we have pace, Jean-Éric even overtook two cars in one go, twice, during the last couple of laps so on this front we’re not worried."

He added: "We know how long this season is and there is plenty of opportunities to recover in the championship standings.”

Formula E returns in Santiago, Chile, on January 18 2020.

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