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My Formula E journey: Loïc Duval

After joining the series halfway through season one and achieving very good results straight away, Faraday Future Dragon Racing’s Loïc Duval has now become one of the electric championship’s most experienced and recognisable drivers. The ever-kind and talented Frenchman talked with our editor Andrea Perilli in Buenos Aires about his Formula E journey so far.

It was the fifth ever Formula E race when the then 32-year-old driver joined the series. He surprised everybody with a fantastic performance during the race, finishing in P7 and retaining the seat for the rest of the season. Ever since, Duval hasn’t stopped racing in the fully-electric championship, scoring two podium finishes and eighth overall in the championship in season two.

The 2013 WEC champion and Le Mans winner now has vast experience in Formula E, where he has always shared the journey with American squad Dragon Racing (now Faraday Future Dragon Racing). The results obtained, in addition to his focus and affable personality, make Duval a fan favourite and a respected driver on the grid, whose performances show his enormous talent behind the wheel.

You're one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. In your opinion, what makes Formula E so exciting?

“I think first of all, it’s a brand new technology that everybody is looking at; so for sure, that makes the series really attractive, especially for the car manufacturers. A lot of these guys are now looking at it, which is really positive for the series, as it was definitely needed in motorsports.”

“The second good point for me is to race on a track in a city centre. I mean, this is the DNA of Formula E and when you go to big cities like here in Buenos Aires or everywhere, actually: Hong Kong, Paris, New York, we are going to city centres, we see the people, and that for sure makes the series really attractive.”

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.

Jérôme and you are considered one of the strongest line-ups on the grid, do you think that having a good relationship with your teammate is crucial for your performance on and off track?

“It’s important that we have a good relationship on the working side, that’s the most important thing for the team, we are pushing each other to the limits. Again, unfortunately, the beginning of the season wasn’t really positive of us, but the performance is there, so I’m sure we will come stronger. I think it’s really good to have this level [of performance] on the team, and on top of that, we have a good relationship, even though sometimes it’s really close on track, but that’s part of racing.”

“I believe it’s also really positive to have a pair of drivers who can fight for points every weekend; we’ve seen in the past years that we might not have the overall quickest package, but in terms of the team, we always end on the podium or really close to it in the team’s championship, which for me, is definitely due to the non-existent rivalry on the team and the good working relationship that we have.”

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.

You have been racing in Formula E since 2015, what have been your favourite moments in Formula E so far?

“I think it is my podium in the last race of the first season: it was a good race and was cool to finish on the podium, a really nice one with lots of people over there in Battersea Park. I’ve had a few frustrations, as well, but that’s because of the performance. In Malaysia I was leading the race at one point and we were second with two laps to go, closing on Lucas [di Grassi], we were able to fight for the win, but unfortunately we had a problem.”

“But you know, it was a lot of fun in the end, even though there were some frustrations because we could have won the race or finished on the podium. So if I had to pick one now, it would be the podium in London, for sure.”

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.

Talking about your Formula E journey, what have you learnt from the series?

“I am coming back, let’s say in terms of mentality, to my first days in motorsports. I’d been racing in single seaters for many years racing for myself and only myself and then I joined the World Endurance Championship, which is completely different in terms of mentality.”

“As a team member, I had to make sure that me, my crew, and the other two team drivers, were the most competitive ones on the grid; you have to do a lot of compromises. And when I came to Formula E, I had to learn again to be a bit more selfish, which is definitely important in this kind of championship to think only about yourself, because in the end you have to beat everyone.”

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.

Formula E has taken your around the world, what have been your favourite cities visited with the series?

“I love it here in Buenos Aires, honestly, because the track is really cool, the location is nice, and the weather is really good for us European people when coming here, because it’s winter there and we come from the cold.”

“Paris was something special for me, as a French driver, also the location is great, you know, when you’re in the pits, sitting on your cars, you can see the Eiffel Tower, something really special. It was great to be there!”

“I’m also looking forward to going to New York, it will be my first time over there, even though I’ve been travelling a lot around the world, so I’m really looking forward to visiting New York.”

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.

The Chartres-born driver will combine his Formula E duties with DTM this year, as he joins the German touring car championship racing for Audi, the brand he achieved his World Endurance Championship success with. Laying 12th in the championship and having shown a brilliant performance in Buenos Aires, he now aims to get into the top ten and continue his fruitful Formula E journey.

Images courtesy of FIA Formula E Media
Audi WEC image courtesy of Rajan Jangda

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.