Jean-Eric Vergne credited his DS Techeetah team’s new powertrain for its DS E-TENSE FE21 Formula E entry with giving him a winning edge in Saturday’s opening race of the ABB Formula E World Championship doubleheader on the streets of Rome.

The Frenchman’s 10th win in Formula E amid tricky, damp conditions in which he made the most of his two Attack Mode power boost activations. A technical issue for Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) put paid to the Brazilian’s challenge shortly after he’d made it beyond Vergne for the race lead, but Vergne was adamant he’d have bested the Audi driver in a straight fight, which looked set to be a battle over energy management.

“Today was our first race day with the new powertrain and it started well, it felt really good,” said Vergne — who also credited the team with its quick work to repair his car after he crashed during the morning’s first practice session. “I thought I’d have a bit more speed in the race and it was a question of keeping in control in tough conditions — it was very, very tricky in the race and on the way to the grid you’re just feeling the track.

“My engineer was very good in giving me directions on energy management and Attack Mode. The team told me the best window to take it in and got it just right. From there, it was a case of looking at energy consumption as it was going to be tight. So, I did not block Lucas when he attacked me as I was already trying to save energy.

“I knew he had a bit less, so I just let him go and would wait. I thought I could get him again at the end — so it’s unfortunate he had his problem. It’s never nice to see, especially with a such a good race.”