Jake Dennis reflects on winning the Formula E title which was a huge relief after a season long back and forth scenario.
Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept his cool in an action-packed race to clinch his very first ABB FIA Formula E Drivers’ World Championship in front of his home crowd. The Brit navigated intense battles on track, two red flag periods, failed ATTACK MODE activations and had to finish on the podium to be named the champ on Saturday.
Dennis’ closest championship rival Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) started from the first place grid slot, with his Envision teammate Sebastien Buemi in third. Buemi got a great start to emerge in second and help Cassidy pull a gap to the field, pushing Dennis down into third. However, in a crazy twist, the two Envision teammates ended up clashing together which resulted in Cassidy damaging his front wing and ruining his championship chances before ultimately retiring from the race.
“It’s a huge relief,” Dennis said after finishing second to secure the title. “I didn’t expect it coming into today with Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) on pole and Sebastien Buemi in third. I knew the race was going to be extremely difficult, and then by lap 8 I was like ‘yeah this is gonna be hard’. Nick had taken both ATTACK MODES and Sebastien was the best wingman for Nick possible. But then it all fell apart for them and we managed to keep out of trouble.
“A very scrappy race for everyone but a perfect race for us in the end, but very difficult.” As Dennis had to be cautious as a result of fighting for a title, he mentioned that “people like to exploit” the fact he was having to be careful and calculated with his moves up the grid. “They can and they’d be stupid not to [exploit it], so they divebomb and take high risks manoeuvres even if they think realistically it’s not on but you’ll probably give space. There were some moves which I had to allow to happen because I would have crashed, but I am looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.”
During the London E-Prix, Dennis radioed that he was surprised at TAG Heuer Porsche’ Pascal Wehrlein who failed to move out of the way for him despite previous conversations. Porsche supply Andretti with their powertrains, but when quizzed about the details of their agreement this weekend, Dennis remained tight-lipped.
“That was a private conversation but ultimately, I felt like we had a bit of an agreement going into the race and it just obviously didn’t quite pan out the way I expected it. It was just one of those things, but a very high-stress moment for me but we came out on top and I’m wearing the World Champion t-shirt.
“That race had everything thrown at us, honestly. I felt like everyone was racing against us but we have just become World Champion and I am so so happy for myself, the team and everyone, we deserved it so much.
“I only joined the championship three years ago and we almost won it in our rookie year, but now to come back and properly have the year that we had, you know break all the podium records and to become World Champion, it’s just mind blowing. I mean, I really didn’t think it coming into this year and full credit to my boys. I mean, I love them so much. And they’ve given me an absolute rocketship all year. And this is the least I can do for them.”
[Note: The story is as per press release]