Stoffel Vandoorne is keen for a “big reset” to take place at DS Penske during the off-season, following the conclusion of his miserable title defence.

Vandoorne’s stint as reigning World Champion came to an end at the recent London E-Prix, where the 2022/23 Formula E season came to a close. The 2021/22 World Champion actually showed strong pace at the ExCeL Centre, something he’s lacked virtually all year.

The Belgian finished 11th in the opening race of the London double-header, before claiming fifth in the final race of the season.

After the disappointing season he’s had, Vandoorne was pleased to end the year in a “good way” in what were horrific conditions.

“Today, in the final race of the year, we finished P5. It was a good way to finish off the season with some points,” Vandoorne said after the final race of the season.

“It was a tricky day, but we had a very good quali actually. Considering where we are, to qualify P5 was the best we could have done. It was important to execute that because the race was wet and very challenging in difficult conditions, with poor visibility and the grip on track.

“Obviously, qualifying at the front made it a bit easier. We had a solid race, there was not that much action to be honest, but we executed it well, particularly our strategy with the attack mode. Our pace was fairly okay, it was good enough to stay up there and be in the mix in case anything happened ahead.”

Despite his positive P5 in the last race of the year, Vandoorne’s title defence has been shocking. Whilst the introduction of the Gen3 era made his title defence more challenging, the 31-year-old never looked like a championship contender all campaign.

DS Penske in general have endured a disappointing campaign, especially as they looked incredibly strong at Valencia in pre-season testing. Apart from a surprise pole position at the inaugural São Paulo E-Prix, Vandoorne has offered little this season.

His best race result came in the opening race in Jakarta, which took place at the start of June. Vandoorne claimed fourth on that day in the Indonesian capital, with points having been a struggle for him for the bulk of 2023.

Whilst team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne clinched fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, Vandoorne had to settle for 11th. He only managed to claim a slim 56 points in his poor attempt at defending his crown, 51 points less than Vergne.

Vandoorne has seemingly struggled to adjust to the Gen3 machinery, something which has been the case for several drivers who had been a regular frontrunner in the Gen2 era. Had DS Penske’s Stellantis powertrain performed better, then perhaps Vandoorne would’ve enjoyed a more successful season.

The Stellantis powertrain was visibly weaker than Jaguar’s and Porsche’s last season, whilst it had the edge over Nissan’s, NIO’s and Mahindra’s.

A big off-season is needed for the Versailles-based team and for Vandoorne, who’s called for the team to “find a clear direction” on how to get amongst the leaders next year.

“P5 today after a difficult year, and we’ve got a lot of work to do for next year,” said Vandoorne.

“Over the break, we need a big reset and find a clear direction of where to go next season and hopefully come back stronger.”

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