Vandoorne kept his cool in the searing heat in Seoul, South Korea to finish second in the race and make it back-to-back Teams’ titles for Mercedes-EQ, in addition to his own victory.
The race itself was won by ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara, who finishes third in the drivers’ standings behind runner-up Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing).
This podium was remarkably Vandoorne’s eighth of the season – and it is that consistency which has set the Belgian above his rivals throughout the championship and delivered a comfortable 33-point gap to the top in the final standings.
And speaking after the race, an emotional Vandoorne acknowledged that consistency has been key to his title win.
“World Champion – wow. It is just the best feeling ever,” he said. “Just look at the season we have had, the consistency, the car has been amazing. The team has done an amazing job and I think every single one of us deserves this. What we have accomplished is something special.
“Mitch has pushed me all the way along – the same with Edo – they were there all the time. It was really about the consistency in the end, they all have more wins than me, but I have the most podiums I think.
“It was difficult to focus because the pace at the end was so high, I knew Jake had a five-second penalty, so I had to stay close enough to him to secure P2. It was an awesome day, a lot of concentration. I am drained after this year, it has been a lot of effort, the effort I have put in and the team has put in – it is incredible.”
Vandoorne navigated the Lap 1 melee and kept it clean throughout the rest of the race to bring the Silver Arrow 02 home second – plenty enough to see him take a maiden Drivers’ crown and hand Mercedes-EQ back-to-back Drivers’ and Teams’ titles on the German marque’s Formula E swansong.
Mortara checked out once he hit the front via a stunning dummy saw him complete a successful switchback on Julius Baer Polesitter Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) on Lap 3. From there, he managed the gap and his usable energy perfectly to sign off his and Venturi’s campaign in style – the Monegasque outfit taking second in the Teams’ running ahead of DS TECHEETAH, and Mortara third in the Drivers’.
Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) drove to a strong third position, despite a tough-to-take five-second penalty following a coming-together with da Costa.
Robin Frijns (Envision Racing), Oliver Askew (Avalanche Andretti), and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) rounded out the top six, with Evans coming home an eventual seventh – a strong drive with little else he could have done.
The inverter issue on the Kiwi’s Jaguar in London coming back to haunt him. Nobody won more than Evans’ four races this season, but it was Vandoorne’s consistency – just one non-score and a record eight podiums – that sealed the deal.