Jean-Eric Vergne had steering issue from the very first lap

Jean-Eric Vergne says he had an issue with his steering from the very first lap of the opening Diriyah E-Prix and that immediately knocked his confidence in the car.

The reigning Formula E champion was forced to retire from the race despite making up a couple of positions from his starting grid slot of 11th.

Although he thought that initially he could live with the issue, it gradually became worse and the Frenchman feared a high-speed failure before taking the decision to pull off into the pits to retire the car.

"From the beginning, I felt something wrong with the steering wheel and I was not confident with the car," said Vergne.

"I could live with it but I knew something was wrong and I had the fear that something would break in a high-speed corner and wreck the car but I just wanted to bring some points home.

"It became impossible to steer and then, in my last lap, I had to give it all the strength I had to bring it back to the box safely."

His DS Techeetah team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa went on to finish 14th.

Diriyah hosts a double header event with the second race taking place on Saturday. Click here for all session times.