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Rome E-Prix Race Review (Round 13)

Mitch Evans takes crucial victory in elongated Rome E-Prix

After a massive collision that resulted in a long red flag period, Mitch Evans pulled himself right back into Championship contention with his third victory in a row on the streets of Rome. Envision’s Nick Cassidy finished 2nd and took the lead of the Drivers’ Championship in the process whilst Maximilian Gunther rounded out the Podium (for Maserati MSG).

The Most Notable Moments

Sam Bird overtook his Jaguar teammate Mitch Evans into the first corner in a move that looked very choreographed. This was smart because it meant that Mitch was able to save more energy whilst sitting behind his teammate. Championship contenders Jake Dennis and Nick Cassidy both gained a few places from the start whilst Pascal Wehrlein, the other man in with a shot of the title, got damage on the first lap which resulted in the German having to box and pretty much ending his chances of scoring any points. However, Pascal would have the chance to join back up with the field as Avalanche Andretti’s Andre Lotterer crashed on the run up to Turn 7 which brought out the Safety Car. When the race got back underway on Lap 5, Mitch Evans overtook Sam Bird to take the lead of the E-Prix before Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz followed him through a lap later. Evans was the first driver out front to take Attack Mode and he ended up getting jumped by Fenestraz who took his first Attack Mode a lap later and managed to stay in front of the Kiwi. And then, on Lap 9, Sam Bird crashed heavily at Turn 6/on the run-up to Turn 7 before Sebastian Buemi and Antonio Felix da Costa collided with the stricken Jaguar. However, it only got worse as Edoardo Mortara smashed into Bird’s car which resulted in the red flag being called out. Bird, Mortara, Buemi, da Costa, Lucas di Grassi, and Robin Frijns were all out of the race as a result of this incident whilst Pascal Wehrlein and Stoffel Vandoorne suffered a lot of damage. This is without question one of the scariest crashes I’ve ever seen, particularly when you watch Sebastian Buemi’s view from “Drivers’ Eye”.

The race restarted with only 14 cars on the grid and Sacha Fenestraz led from Mitch Evans, Jake Dennis (who overtook Rene Rast at the restart), Rene Rast, and Maximilian Gunther with Nick Cassidy running in 6th. Jake Dennis then started making moves as he overtook both Evans and Fenestraz to take the lead of the Rome E-Prix and he stayed ahead even after taking his first Attack Mode. Rene Rast, who was running really well in his NEOM McLaren, entered the pits to retire due to an unfortunate issue. Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy, and Max Gunther all then got past Sacha Fenestraz who was really struggling for energy before Dennis dropped behind Evans after taking his second Attack Mode, this time for 6 minutes. However, it was clear that the Brit was struggling for energy, but he got a slight reprieve when Evans failed to activate his second Attack Mode. However, the Kiwi wouldn’t make the same mistake a lap later before he overtook the struggling Avalanche Andretti to lead the Rome E-Prix with just 5 laps to go. Envision’s Cassidy then overtook Championship rival Jake Dennis to move into P2 before Maserati MSG’s Gunther followed through to all but end Dennis’ Podium streak. The final few laps saw Dennis put on a defensive masterclass to keep DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne and ABT CUPRA’s Nico Muller behind and those 4 extra points could be crucial come the final race of the season in London. Also, Pascal Wehrlein came home in P9 which is a prime example of why you never give up in motorsport (or any sport for that matter).

Drivers who Impressed

Mitch Evans is clearly the “New King of Rome” as he always delivers the good’s around here. Evans took maximum points yesterday (29) and he’ll look to do the same again today as he battles to become ABB FIA Formula E World Champion. Nick Cassidy had yet another strong race for Envision and he’ll be delighted to take the lead of the Drivers’ Championship whilst Max Gunther should be happy with another Podium. Jake Dennis deserves to be applauded for his excellent defensive work in the final few laps whilst Jean-Eric Vergne managed to avoid all the chaos (just about) to climb up 11 places and finish 5th. Nico Muller also deserves a lot of praise for recording ABT CUPRA’s best result of the season whilst Sergio Sette Camara scored 4 points after starting last on the grid.

Drivers who Struggled

Sacha Fenestraz was superb in Qualifying and the first half of the race. However, he used up too much energy early on and that resulted in him only scoring a point despite leading the race at around the halfway point. NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes crashed in Qualifying which meant he wasn’t even able to start the race which was clearly a massive opportunity missed whilst Sam Bird and Andre Lotterer both crashed out. Bird’s one was particularly costly as it resulted in another 4 drivers DNF’ing from the E-Prix.

Overall Race Results

  1. Mitch Evans: 37:02.976

  2. Nick Cassidy: +1.639

  3. Maximilian Gunther: +9.126

  4. Jake Dennis: +21.010

  5. Jean-Eric Vergne: +21.482

  6. Nico Muller: +21.858

  7. Norman Nato: +24.071

  8. Sergio Sette Camara: +25.427

  9. Pascal Wehrlein: +28.582

  10. Sacha Fenestraz: +30.342

  11. Stoffel Vandoorne: +44.961

  12. Roberto Merhi: +1:05.048

  13. Dan Ticktum: +1:34.800

  14. Rene Rast: DNF

  15. Sam Bird: DNF

  16. Sebastian Buemi: DNF

  17. Antonio Felix da Costa: DNF

  18. Edoardo Mortara: DNF

  19. Lucas di Grassi: DNF

  20. Robin Frijns: DNF

  21. Andre Lotterer: DNF

  22. Jake Hughes: DNS

Drivers’ Standings:

  1. Nick Cassidy: 171pts

  2. Jake Dennis: 166pts

  3. Mitch Evans: 151pts

  4. Pascal Wehrlein: 140pts

  5. Jean-Eric Vergne: 107pts

Teams’ Standings:

  1. Envision Racing: 243pts

  2. TAG Heuer Porsche: 233pts

  3. Jaguar TCS Racing: 213pts

  4. Avalanche Andretti: 189pts

  5. DS Penske: 149pts


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