When unveiling the first visuals of the Peugeot 9X8, the absence of a rear wing had intrigued. This stylistic and aerodynamic choice made by the French manufacturer was surprising in Endurance. But to know if this bet is the right one, you still have to pass the track test. In Italy at the 6 Hours of Monza, Jean-Éric Vergne is one of the 6 drivers at the wheel of the new creation of the French manufacturer. So inevitably, he was asked about the look of his new Hypercar.
” The good thing is that a lot of people are talking about it, admits the Habs. I like the look of the car. I think a lot of people like it here too. In terms of pure aerodynamics, it’s exactly the same as having a rear wing. With the BoP there is a certain amount of downforce we can have and the engineers have planned for the same amount of downforce on the floor without having a rear wing. »
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If he will make his return to Endurance this year, Jean-Éric Vergne had no trouble finding his bearings despite the absence of this famous rear wing. ” In terms of feeling, in the car when I first drove it it’s exactly like there’s a rear wing, with the same level of downforce the handling is the same, although I don’t know how other Hypercars behave », Explains the French driver.
No difference on the Peugeot 9X8 on the track for Vergne
At Monza, Jean-Éric Vergne does not think the Peugeot 9X8 will have any grip problems. ” Handling is very good in high-speed corners. I never had a moment where I lost grip all of a sudden in a corner. So this aspect is very safe from a pilot’s point of view. So it’s not just a technical choice that Peugeot made. »
In Italy, Peugeot has decided to field two crews. On one side, we find Loïc Duval, Gustavo Menezes and James Rossiter. On the other, Jean-Éric Vergne can count on Paul di Resta and Mikkel Jensen. Two pilots he has already worked with during his career. ” Paul has a lot of experience, we have known each other since we raced together in Formula 1. He is the oldest in the team, so he will bring his wisdom. Mikkel is the youngest, he doesn’t have the experience we have, but he learns quickly. He’s there to listen to everyone on the team and he’s doing a good job on the track. With G Drive Racing in LMP2, I was really surprised by the way he listened and his behavior, it was very good for a young driver “, underlines the Habs.
With this choice, Peugeot therefore sought to make a mix between experience and youth. A decision that seems to delight the French driver. ” My teammates and I balance each other out and are very happy to ride together “explains Jean-Éric Vergne. If all the signals are green for the moment, it remains to be seen whether they will still be after the first practice session of the Peugeot 9X8 which begins at 3:30 p.m. in Monza.
T. Trichereau (with V. Glo)
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