Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his first Formula E title at the finale staged in South Korea’s capital Seoul this weekend. The Belgian scooped another podium to cement victory, with Mercedes also claiming the spoils in the constructor’s championship, a perfect swan song for the departing manufacturer. The Mercedes man held off a late charge from title rival Mitch Evans who won the race yesterday to take the championship as the curtain fell on the Gen 2 era. Vandoorne started the race from P4, with Evans in an insurmountable P15, but it was Edo Mortara who claimed victory in the final race of the Gen 2 era, a stark difference to the day before where his Venturi stopped on track. Jake Dennis continued his incredible form and shrugged off a five second time penalty to round out the podium.
Da Costa took a dominant pole position, the departing Techeetah man looking impressive through qualifying. He made light work of Robin Frijns in the opening duel but Dennis was a more difficult challenge, the Portuguese man scoring a place in the final by a mere two tenths. Mortara, another dominant force throughout the new qualifying format had to settle for lining up in second position as Da Costa delivered an all but perfect pole lap, a fitting end to this generation as the Portuguese driver was the first to secure a pole position in the Gen 2 era. London ePrix winner Dennis also looked impressive in qualifying, but he just fell short having to settle for P3. Behind Vandoorne, Frijns and Lucas di Grassi rounded out the top six. Evans struggled as the clock ticked down and a brief impact with the wall left the Kiwi out of the duels as Dan Ticktum surged up the rankings at the last moment in a surprise inclusion, Nio’s first appearance in the duels. The Brit started the race in a respectable seventh position.
Da Costa held the lead at the start of the race, however, he soon came under pressure from Mortara. The Venturi man, hungry to shrug off the disappointment of his race ending from mechanical failure the previous day, surged past Da Costa on the third lap and after that, he never looked back. Mortara continued to manage his energy to seal victory in Formula E’s 100th race – fittingly, Mortara also won the 50th race of the electric series. On the other side of the garage, it was a race to forget for London podium winner Di Grassi as he was forced out of a points-paying position due to a puncture which all but handed victory in the team’s championship to Mercedes for the second year running. Former world champion Nyck de Vries was also forced out early on after a tangle with Pascal Wehrlein put both of them out of the race.
As the time ticked down, the leaders settled into a rhythm until the dying stages when Max Gunther’s Nissan stopped on track, forcing a late safety car. However, despite the squeeze, Mortara held firm against the pressure whilst Dennis and Da Costa tangled together, which sent the Portuguese driver to the back of the pack after he was forced wide. The incident handed Dennis a five second time penalty, with the Brit looking like he would lose his hard fought podium, but the Brit managed to hold off Robin Frijns, who rounded out the season in P4. Oliver Askew had a relatively quiet race, finishing in P5 ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne. Title hopeful Evans could only manage P7, with Nick Cassidy getting a few points to add to his tally in P8. Sebastien Buemi monopolised on other’s failure taking P9 and Da Costa rounded out the top ten, taking the final point.