Formula E Sao Paulo E Prix: Sam Bird takes McLaren’s Maiden Win in Formula E

After a 7 WEEK break, Formula E returned to our screens on March 15th and 16th with a lot of storylines heading into this race weekend, it is safe to say that we got our bang for our buck in terms of excitement!

Race Recap

The race started off with Pascal Wehrlein starting from pole after beating Stoffel Vandoorne in the Final Duel by 0.002 of a second! It was absolutely blockbuster content before we even went racing in Sao Paulo. Once we went racing, there was a lot of chaos. Wehrlein lead the field from Vandoorne in P2 and Micth Evans managed to jump up to P3 after overtaking Jean-Eric Vergne who started in P3. Wehrlein managed to stay in the lead throughout the early parts before the attack mode came in with Bird managing to make his way up to P6. Da Costa then managed to make his way up to P3 before Guenther had to take a 10 second stop and go penalty due to exceeding his allocated components. This meant he had a 20 place grid penalty AND the 10 second stop-and-go penalty. Dennis attempted to make his way up the field with Bird then managing to make his way up to P1. Once Bird took his attack modes, he stayed in P1. There was quite a lot od debris due to collisions which happened earlier in the race which then led to a safety car coming out. This spelt disaster in terms of attack mode for drivers including Bird, Buemi and Daruvala whereas Wehrlein, Vergne and Guenther were pleased. 

Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, leads Pascal Wehrlein, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3-Image Credit: Formula E Media Bank

At the safety car restart, Bird managed to retake the lead from Evans with Da Costa in P3 and his teammate of Wehrlein in P4. Several laps on, Nico Mueller managed to get a black and orange flag due to his front wing going under his car. Before Nico pitted, the entire grid was seperated by under 9 seconds! The Andretti driver of Norman Nato then receieved a 5 second penalty for causing a collision. Dennis managed to get up to P1 after many overtakes and attack modes before we saw a yellow flag for the championship leader of Nick Cassidy crashing out due to his front wing hitting his car. He was okay after the crash but it was a nasty hit against the wall. 


By the time we got to lap 17 out of 31, before added laps, Bird was leading ahead of his old teammate Mitch Evans in P2, Wehrlein in P3, Dennis, Da Costa and Vergne rounding out the top 6 with Rosland, Vandoorne, Guenther and Buemi occupying the final places of the field. Once we went green, Bird held onto the lead with everyone in the top 10 apart from Buemi having used both of the attack modes.  Drivers such as De Vries and Hughes had to take their second attack mode and, as a result, fell down the grid. 

Nico Mueller then stopped on track which brought out a yellow flag but he managed to get the car started again. Towards the end of the race, Evans managed to take the lead before it was announced that there would be 3 added laps. Rowland managed to make his way up to P5 ahead of Da Costa before the final lap. On the final lap, Bird was chasing Evans down for the win. Bird managed to make a move stick in the final sector of the track to take McLaren’s first win in Formula E! That was not where the drama ended however, as we had retirements from Hughes, Mueller and Cassidy, Sette Camara was disqualified due to an overuse of power! All of the results are down below!



Sao Paulo E-Prix Race Results

Position Driver Team Points
1st Sam Bird Neom McLaren Formula E Team 25
2nd Mitch Evans Jaguar TCS Racing 18
3rd  Oliver Rowland Nissan Formula E Team 15
4th Pascal Wehrlein Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 12
5th Jake Dennis Andretti Formula E 10
6th Antonio Felix Da Costa Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 8
7th Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske 6
8th Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske 4
9th Maximilian Guenther Maserati MSG Racing 2
10th SebastianBuemi Envision Racing 1
11th Sacha Fenestraz Nissan Formula E Team 0
12th Edoardo Mortara Mahindra Racing 0
13th Lucas DiGrassi Abt Cupra Formula E Team 0
14th Nyck De Vries Mahindra Racing 0
15th Jehan Daruvala Maserati MSG Racing 0
16th Dan Ticktum ERT Formula E Team 0
17th Norman Nato Andretti Formula E 0
18th Robin Frijns Envision Racing 0
DNF Jake Hughes Neom McLaren Formula E Team 0
DNF Nick Cassidy Jaguar TCS Racing 0
DNF Nico Mueller Abt Cupra Formula E Team 0
DSQ Sergio Sette Camara ERT Formula E Team 0




Formula E Season 10 Championship After Round 4

Position Driver Team Points
1. Nick Cassidy Jaguar TCS Racing 57
2. Pascal Wehrlein Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 53
3. Mitch Evans Jaguar TCS Racing 39
4. Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske 39
5. Jake Dennis Andretti Formula E 38
6. Sam Bird Neom McLaren Formula E Team 37
7. Oliver Rowland Nissan Formula E Team 33
8. Maximilian Guenther Maserati MSG Racing 22
9. Sebastian Buemi Envision Racing 20
10. Robin Frijns Envision Racing 19
11. Jake Hughes Neom McLaren Formula E Team 18
12. Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske 18
13. Norman Nato Andretti Formula E 9
14. Sacha Fenestraz Nissan Formula E 8
15. Antonio Felix Da Costa Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 8
16. Sergio Sette Camara ERT Formula E Team 2
17. Edoardo Mortara Mahindra Racing 0
18. Nico Mueller Abt Cupra Formula E Team 0
19. Lucas DiGrassi Abt Cupra Formula E Team 0
20. Nyck De Vries Mahindra Racing 0
21. Jehan Daruvala Maserati MSG Racing 0
22. Dan Ticktum ERT Formula E Team 0


Most Impressive Race

I think there are a lot of candidates for this part of the article but I am going to go with Max Guenther. He started in P22, had a 10 second stop-and-go penalty and STILL managed to get 2 points in a competitive field. While yes, the safety cars caused by debris and Nick Cassidy did definately play to his advantage (apart from him using attack mode before the safety car came out), he still had to go through the field and battle many drivers.

Driver who needs to improve the most after Sao Paulo

After Sao Paulo, I feel like Norman Nato needs to step up a little bit. He had a few collisions which he was penalised for as well as starting further down the grid in comparison to his teammate. While his teammate may be a Formula E World Champion and embedded at that team, Norman needs to show that he can do his part to help the team and manufacturers in the championship, otherwise questions could be raised given the drivers who are not in as competitive machinery as the Frenchman. 

Formula E Sao Paulo E Prix Race Report: Evans holds off Cassidy for the Win


The first ever FIA Formula E Qualifying in Sao Paulo started off badly for Sergio Sette Camara. In his home race, he stopped on track but managed to get going again. Lucas Di Grassi hit the wall and found himself out of qualifying too. Vandoorne, Cassidy, Mortara and Hughes all managed to get through to the duels from group A. Bird, Guenther, Da Costa and Evans were the victors from Group B after Frijns stopped on track earlier on in the session.

Mortara and Cassidy went head to head for the first quarter final with Mortara taking victory. Vandoorne took victory over Hughes in the second quarter final, Da Costa won over Guenther and Evans over Bird in the 3rd and 4th quarter final respectfully. Vandoorne claimed the win against Mortara in the first semi final and Da Costa over Evans in the second semi final. It was a battle between Da Costa and Vandoorne for the final and the reigning world champion Stoffel Vandoorne took victory over Da Costa.


The Sao Paulo E Prix got underway and from the get go, it was 31 laps of chaos. Da Costa got a good start fromthe front row, however, it was Vandoorne who lead the pack. The chaos continued as the front pack went 4 wide through the first two corners. Norman Nato got pushed into the back of another car and had to retire from the race. Eduardo Mortara’s misery continued as he picked up damage in the opening lap and had to retire. Lotterer was another casualty – starting from the back of the grid, his race ending in retirement in the early stages.  It was a slip stream frenzy down towards turn 1 on the opening lap, with Guenther going wide.  His race didn’t improve as he was handed a penalty for not following the race directors procedures.

Bird was on the charge from P10 as he wanted to make the most post penalty from Hyderabad as he passed the Neom McLaren of Rene Rast. His success continued when he dispatched of Jake Hughes, making his way up the order. Championship leader Wehrlein started in P18 and was a man on a mission to make the most of it, trying to attack Muller. Once he had dispatched of the ABT car, he proceeded to climb the order, getting past Guenther on the next lap. Vandoorne and Da Costa switched positions throughout the opening stages, with Mitch Evans in the Jaguar joining the battle for the top prize.  Fenestraz stopped on lap 7, leading to a safety car but before it was activated, Bird managed to sweep past Hughes.

Norman Nato, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04
clashes with
Jake Hughes, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, e-4ORCE 04
(Image Credit: Formula E Media)

After the short safety car period, Da Costa made a move on Cassidy at the front, before passing Evans and began to challenge Vandoorne for the lead. Cassidy then made a two car overtake for the lead  and championship protaganist Dennis got hit by Ticktum, ending his chances of a good result. Vandoorne, Evans and Da Costa all passed Cassidy, dropping the Kiwi back out of the podium places.

However, Cassidy fought back to snatch the lead away, holding it throughout a brief safety car period. Da Costa disposed of  Vandoorne for P2. Da Costa, Rast, Wehrlein and Evans were all under investigation for overtake under yellow flag conditions but these were ruled to have no further action. Wehrlein continued up the order, fighting his way past Vergne as Da Costa made a mistake in the latter stages of the race, losing his shot at a podium place. Cassidy continued to excel, pulling a gap at the front of the race as Wehrlein took attack mode but he was instructed to hold position and to save energy behind his teammate Da Costa.

Four extra laps were added onto the race due to the safety cars as Bird managed to pass Vergne to take a potential podium in the dying stages of the race. He then proceeded to snatch away P3 from Vandoorne. However, Evans was beginning to show momentum, passing Cassidy in the last added laps, the pair had afight to the line as they went side by side towards the penultimate corner of the race but Evans held off the Envision to take victory.  Bird finished P3 with Da Costa, Vergne, Vandoorne and Wehrlein finishing off the top 7. The Neom McLaren duo of Hughes and Rast finished P8 and P9 respectfully whilst Buemi snatched P10 to round off the points positions.

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