Stoffel Vandoorne wins 2022 Formula E World Drivers Championship
The 2021-2022 Formula E Championship has crowned the Mercedes driver after the last race of the season took place in Seoul.
Winning just one race in an entire season is not the most practical way to conquer a racing championship, but Stoffel Vandoorne’s season proved that consistency can beat all as he made his way to lifting this year’s Formula E Drivers Championship after finishing second in the last race of the season at the Seoul E-Prix.
Vandoorne, a redeemed champion
There are a few ex-Formula 1 drivers competing in Formula E at the moment. The crown jewel of motorsport only has 20 available seats and even some of the best drivers in the world are not guaranteed one of them. That is, with a few jumpcuts here and there, Stoffel Vandoorne’s story, as he raced for McLaren Honda during the 2016 and 2017 F1 seasons after a great junior career. Those cars were not competitive due to Honda’s engines, as his teammate Fernando Alonso didn’t tire of pointing out, but it did not matter as Vandoorne’s F1 career came to a close when he was replaced by younger prodigy Lando Norris. He faced an uncertain future in the category, as a test or replacement driver at best, until he accepted a spot on Mercedes’ new Formula E team. He is now a World Champion, even if not where he would have expected a few years ago. Vandoorne showed how thankful to Mercedes he is for the opportunity with his helmet ahead of this weekend races, as the German brand will leave the team under McLaren’s control from next season onward.
The 30-year-old Belgian driver displayed his racing consistency this season, reaching the finish line at every GP and achieving a top-10 in all but one race. Vandoorne only won one race, the Monaco E-Prix, while runner-up Jaguar driver Mitch Evans clocked up four victories, including in the penultimate race at the Seoul double-header, but it proved sufficient to win the championship by a margin of 33 points after he finished second in the last race and Evans could only place seventh, making the final tally of points 213-180 in favor of the Mercedes driver.
Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team also won the Formula E Constructors Championship thanks to Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, the 2021 Formula E champion, as their drivers finished first and ninth in total points.
Formula E is a changing sport
Formula E is a driving championship on the rise, a bet for the future of both cars and racing, but the drivers fighting for wins each weekend are not thinking about that: there is no big picture for them, only a few rivals they have to beat to the finish line. The 2023 season is expcted to bring many changes to the races and cars in Formula E, but for now they race with what they have, whether the sport looks totally different a few years down the road or not. As Formula E nears a decade of existence it still has its problems, as the clip below proves whenever it rains, but Vandoorne’s name is now forever linked to it.
A look ahead as Mercedes celebrates
The 2023 season championship will feature more races and new courses, but Mercedes’ championship-winning team will be run by another F1 titan, McLaren, who will make their debut in the category as Mercedes rethinks their strategy in the sport. The first race will be the Mexico E-Prix on January 14th, with 18 races in total and the champion being crowned after the London E-Prix on 30 July, 2023.