Antonio Felix da Costa took the win in Race 2 of Formula E Shanghai EPrix weekend ahead of Jake Hughes and Norman Nato.

A good start from Vandoorne saw the DS driver beat Hughes to Turn 1 with da Costa in tow. The Portuguese took Hughes’ second spot at Turn 10 a lap later, aiming to drag himself up to leader Vandoorne in the slipstream on Lap 2. Hughes, Nato, de Vries and Cassidy – third to seventh – all jumped for ATTACK MODE on Lap 3, though could stick with the lead pair with the race pace as it was early on.

Nato made immediate use of the first of his two mandatory 50kW boosts by sweeping right around the outside of da Costa and Hughes for second in Turn 1, before dispatching leader Vandoorne to hit the front on Lap 4 as the DS driver jumped for ATTACK. The Jaguars, running sixth and seventh, Evans from Cassidy, once again looked to play the team game, though the latter exclaimed over Team Radio at his unhappiness at the change of tactics for Round 12 – with the drivers’ plans differing from their Round 11 effort as Cassidy activated both 50kW ATTACK MODE boosts by Lap 6 versus his teammate’s one.

Nato led Vandoorne, da Costa, Hughes, de Vries, Cassidy, Evans, Guenther, Bird and Vergne – with da Costa a percent to the good on energy on those around him. Sure enough, the Portuguese’ progress started in earnest as he caught Vandoorne unawares with a dive around the outside into the final chicane complex to set about leader Nato.

On Lap 9, da Costa jumped to the front, beating Nato to Turn 1’s apex before ceding P1 again to take his first ATTACK MODE boost – a contrasting strategy for the Porsche driver. A tour later and he’d be back in-front, though, while the whole 22-car field was separated by just six seconds. The Season 6 champion jumped for ATTACK MODE number two on Lap 11, dropping briefly to second, with Nato moving ahead and Hughes held behind, though Vandoorne would take the latter for a provisional spot on the podium on Lap 13.

Drama on Lap 12 saw title contender Wehrlein forced into pitting to have his left-rear tyre replaced, punctured following contact with NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird. At the halfway stage, Nato led da Costa, Vandoorne, Hughes, Cassidy, Evans, Vergne, Guenther, de Vries and Frijns and the ante was upped along with the pack’s pace. Hughes took Vandoorne’s third spot back at the hairpin after the pair had exchanged blows through the chicane, on Lap 15.

Da Costa looked to be the man to beat given the energy he had in-hand on the rest – some three percent of usable energy to the good on the leaders, enabling him to jump to the front again on Lap 16 and looked to dictate. The Jaguars were the closest company in terms of energy remaining, and were sitting as pretty as they were for their podium double in Round 11.

Hughes in third got the call to spend energy to move forward and set about Nato in second and da Costa in first on Lap 18. A lap later, Cassidy tried to make a move on Hughes into Turn 1 and clipped his front wing in the process. Then at Turn 6, Hughes then hung it out around the outside of Nato to make it by the Frenchman for P2.

The battling in-behind da Costa was playing into the Porsche driver’s hands, despite being the car punching through the air first.  From Lap 16 to the end, da Costa had the energy, pace and temperature margin to hold fast and dictate to the end, despite severe pressure from podium debutant Hughes, who came home second and Andretti’s Nato.


Here’s how Race 1 in Formula E Shanghai EPrix panned out

[Note: The story is as per press release]