Vandoorne: Replicating São Paulo pole not the ‘ultimate target’

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Stoffel Vandoorne has admitted that claiming pole for a second year in a row in São Paulo is not the “ultimate goal”, given the awkward position it put him in last season.

The Season 8 World Champion enters the São Paulo E-Prix having finished sixth here last season, despite having started on pole. Vandoorne was the unfortunate victim of the first ever peloton-style race, as nobody wanted to take the lead from him.

As a result, he preserved less energy than those behind him, resulting in several places being lost late on.

Despite this, his pole in Brazil last season does give him confidence ahead of qualifying for the 2024 race in São Paulo.

“I mean it brings confidence, but it’s never a guarantee that it’s gonna be the same,” Vandoorne told RacingNews365. “We just have to do our job or work.

“I hope we can pretty much repeat what we did in qualifying last year, although it’s not the ultimate target to be on pole position here, because of the way the race is going to be with the energy management slipstream.

“So still targeting to be up there, I think it’s still good to be in the top five, which will be a bonus if we can start there.”

‘Pretty crazy’ race ahead

The three races so far this season have been relaxed, although that is all set to change on Saturday afternoon.

Vandoorne and the entire paddock are expecting a crazy race, although the DS Penske driver believes racing in the peloton will now be even harder, given how much more everybody understands the style of racing.

“It’s so unpredictable, you don’t really know what is going to happen until you’re dealing with it,” Vandoorne added.

“It’s gonna be pretty crazy, I think we’re gonna see a lot of cars side by side. Everyone knows about this, so that also makes it more and more challenging because everyone is in the same boat.”

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