Formula E London E-Prix Round 15 and 16 Race Report: Dennis Appears the Home Hero with Title Win

Round 15 and 16 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship drew to a close in the British capital of London. The track certainly delivered as Jake Dennis became world champion, the first British world champion and the first world champion to win it at their home track. At the finale, it was Envision that picked up the prize, sealing the teams championship.

In the first race, it was an Envision front row lockout in the first lap with Nick Cassidy leading the way from Sebastien Buemi. Championship hopeful Dennis informed his team early on of his issues with contact in the opening laps, dropping down the pack. Mitch Evans battled Rene Rast after his 5 place grid penalty but the McLaren driver held position. The NIO 333 of Dan Ticktum had a home race to forget as he lost positions in the early stages,  allowing Rast and Pascal Wehrlein past him.  In the early stages, drivers began to take their attack mode as Dennis closed up on the rear wing of Buemi. Race leader Cassidy proceeded to take his first attack mode and remained in the lead as Buemi held off Dennis. Mortara and Vandoorne collided with one another, which brought out a yellow flag but no penalty was given to either driver.

Everything seemed to be going the way of Jake Dennis to claim his first championship title. But then…disaster struck for the championship leader. He started to fall down down the grid, with championship rival Evans overtaking him. Di Grassi and Frijns found themselves under investigation for their collision with the Abt Cupra driver pitting for a new front wing.  Things continued to get worse for Dennis as he missed one of the activation zones, and wasn’t able to take attack mode when prompted.  A yellow flag was brought out for a slippery surface with Vergne having to pit too as Evans held the lead from Buemi in P2 and Cassidy in P3.

As the time ticked on, Dennis overtook Cassidy for P4 with Rast fighting his way into the final podium position, then into second place as attack mode began to be taken with Evans still maintaining the lead.  Drama unfolded as Cassidy, who was hoping to fight for the title, picked up damage on his front wing after contact with his teammate, leaving the Kiwi furious. Cassidy had to pit for a new front wing as a safety car came out. Evans still continued to lead ahead of Buemi and Rast. Wehrlein was holding off a visibly frustrated Dennis for P4, a position he required to keep hold of his championship.

Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, leads Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6 Credit: Formula E’s Media

At the start,  Evans BOLTED away. Dennis and Wehrlein had not taken ANY attack mode and as it stood at that moment, Dennis was only 5 points ahead of Mitch Evans in the championship standings. Dennis attempted to take his attack mode again but missed again, with the Brit complaining to his team that it didn’t work, leaving the Andretti man in P5 as Sam Bird took over the lead of the race.  Cassidy never recovered from his damage, having to retire from the race due to his collision with Buemi, leaving his championship hopes in tatters.  Lotterer  received a 5 second penalty for causing a collision as a safety car was brought out for Fenestraz who collided into the barriers due to a break failure going into turn 16. Wehrlein hit the barrier before the safety car and dropped down to P13. Race Control brought out a red flag for barrier repairs as Rast, who was in P3, had to drop to the back of the field due to breaking parc ferme conditions.

The race restarted with Evans holding the lead ahead of Buemi and Da Costa. Dennis held P4, but required P3 to seal the title. Shortly after the race resumed however, Hughes called it to a stop, going into the barriers before a red flag was called with a multi car pileup after turn 16. Nato went for a lunge on a flagging Buemi, causing a collision with Bird and Sette Camara caught in the crossfire. The cars were called back to the pits with Scot Elkins instructing all cars except the top three of Evans, Da Costa and Dennis to do an extra lap. With two laps to go, the racing resumed with Dennis  closing in on Da Costa for P2. However, as the time ticked down, it was declared that Da Costa had a 3 MINUTE time penalty for a technical infringement, allowing Dennis to seal P2 and subsquently, the title. Jake Dennis was crownd the ABB FIA Formula E World Champion of season 9, finishing P2 with title rival Evans winning the race.

Round 16

The final race of ABB FIA Formula E Season 9 started behind a safety car due to the amount of rain on the track. Three laps were performed behind the car before a red flag was declared by race control.  Drivers then got into their cars at 5:45pm London time before doing two more laps behind the safety car before another red flag was declared. The race then got underway at 6:30pm London time before having two laps behind the safety car and a rolling start.

Norman Nato, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04 Image Credit: Formula E’s Media Bank

There was a huge amount of less grip on the track today due to the rain and many drivers immediately went for attack mode. By lap 10, Cassidy and Evans had a gap of over 2 seconds to champion Dennis in P3. As the time ticked down, Cassidy held the lead and took attack mode with Dennis following him close behind. At the half way point before added laps, Wehrlein and Rast both had 1 attack mode remaining. Fenestraz and Vergne were fighting with Fenestraz getting ahead of the DS Penske. The gaps began to open up in the latter half of the race, as Cassidy held a two second lead over Evans. The top two kept trading the fastest lap point as they battled for the teams championship.

Bird tried to attack Buemi but Buemi held onto the position. Ticktum also tried to get past Muller for the teams championship between NIO 333 and Mahindra. 4 added laps was added onto the race. Frijns had managed to get ahead of Di Grassi as we entered the final lap of the season. Cassidy managed to take victory over the rest of the field to seal the team championship for Envision.  with  Evans finished P2 and  Dennis P3. Norman Nato finished P4, ahead of Vandoorne and Buemi, Bird took a P7 in his final race with Jaguar with Muller in P8 and Ticktum and Wehrlein rounding out the top ten.

The top 10 in the championship were:

1st – Jake Dennis (Champion) (Andretti)
2nd – Nick Cassidy (Envision)
3rd – Mitch Evans (Jaguar)
4th – Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche)
5th – Jean-Eric Vergne (Penske)
6th – Sebastian Buemi (Envision)
7th – Maximilian Guenther (Maserati)
8th – Sam Bird (Jaguar)
9th – Antonio Felix-Da Costa (Porsche)
10th – Norman Nato (Nissan)

The Teams Championship went as follows:

1st – Envision Racing (Champions)
2nd – Jaguar TCS Racing
3rd – Avalanche Andretti Formula E
4th – Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
5th – DS Penske
6th – Maserati MSG Racing
7th – Nissan Formula E Team
8th – Neom McLaren Formula E Team
9th – Nio 333 Racing
10th – Mahindra Racing
11th – Abt Cupra Formula E Team

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