Hometown Hero! London ePrix Race 1 Report

Jake Dennis delighted the crowds of his home race in Formula E, by winning the London ePrix for the second year running. The penultimate round was held in the streets of London on an outdoor and indoor track, the first of its kind in international motorsport competition. The Andretti man held his nerve against championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne, who extended his lead in the championship, capitalising on his rivals’ failure to reach the duels. Nyck de Vries held off a late charge from New York race winner Nick Cassidy to round out the top three. However, the Dutchman was slapped with a last-minute penalty for using more than one manouvre against Cassidy who demoted him to sixth position.

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Credit: Andrew Ferraro

The hometown hero took his first pole position of the year, ahead of his closest rival Vandoorne by over a tenth. Vandoorne continued his impressive form to start in P2, a prime slot to extend his championship as rivals Mitch Evans and Edo Mortara’s campaigns faltered. Mercedes’ stronghold continued as Nyck de Vries held P3 ahead of Sergio Sette Camara. The Brazilian once again looked impressive during qualifying, progressing to the quarter-finals which earned him P4 on the starting grid. Lucas di Grassi was initially through to the duels, however, the Venturi driver had all his laps cancelled for impeding Evans during the session which promoted Max Gunther for his first outing in the new format. Gunther managed P6, with Oliver Askew slotting his Andretti into P5.

Dennis led from the front, and the Andretti man looked unbothered by the pressure from the dual Mercedes attack behind him. He held the lead from the start and never really looked like relinquishing it. Vandoorne also had a relatively quiet race, the Belgian holding P2 comfortably for the duration of the race. Whilst the race leaders slipped away comfortably at the start, others were not so lucky. Sam Bird ended up in a tangle with Mortara on the opening lap, ending his race prematurely – whilst Mortara limped back to the pits with his championship hopes in tatters and his car damaged. Sette Camara looked impressive early on, managing to snatch away P3 in the opening stages as the battle for power within the Techeetah continued with tempers flaring between Antonio Felix da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne. Da Costa was victorious in the battle as Vergne struggled, slipping down the order after contact with Sebastien Buemi, for which the Swiss driver was given a time penalty.

Credit: Sam Bagnall


However, ultimately, London was a battle of strategy – Cassidy took his attack mode later in the race and pulled off an incredible late charge, which brought him into podium contention. There was late drama in the dying stages, as Cassidy began to close in on the Mercedes of de Vries, but the current world champion held firm before his demotion. Evans employed the same strategy, producing an incredible recovery drive to surge up the order to P5 after starting in P14. Energy management strategy didn’t work for everyone, however. Sette Camara, after an incredible performance in the opening stages, slipped down the order and out of his first points on the final lap. Da Costa claimed P7 whilst Gunther held on to finish P8. Di Grassi and Wehrlein rounded out the top ten.

 

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