Mitch Evans took the win in Race 1 of Formula E Shanghai EPrix weekend with Nick Cassidy in P3 behind Pascal Wehrlein.

Polesitter Vergne launched cleanly and led into Turn 1 while Rowland bogged down from second, passed immediately by Wehrlein and Evans. Through Lap 1 the field ran three cars wide. Vergne led the Porsches of Wehrlein and da Costa – the pair looking to work together early on as the latter jumped a group of cars into the final complex of corners.

Wehrlein was the first driver to take his first mandatory 50kW ATTACK MODE power boost – only he and Rowland jumping for it of the top 10 runners on Lap 3. Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) briefly found himself in P1, before he took an initial two-minute ATTACK MODE boost, handing the lead back to Wehrlein on Lap 4 – the German heading Vergne and da Costa.

The Porsche’s teamwork continued as da Costa hit the front at the start of Lap 5 before taking his initial ATTACK MODE activation, and dropping back behind teammate Wehrlein. A tour later, the spots swapped again with Wehrlein activating his second 50kW boost. Running two by two allowed both drivers to take advantage of the more efficient running in the slipstream in turn, while retaining track position out-front.

Jaguar’s Evans fired himself into the top three on Lap 7, splitting the Porsches with a move through Turn 1 and a lap later, the Kiwi took the lead as it stood around the outside of Wehrlein into that long, sweeping right-hand Turn 1. On Lap 8 it was three wide for the lead into the final chicane, with Vergne jumping both Evans and Wehrlein to retake P1.

The DS driver took ATTACK MODE on Lap 10 and dropped back into the pack, with the whole field split by just a few seconds. Mahindra’s de Vries lead the pack, from Wehrlein, Rowland, Evans, Dennis and da Costa the top six, though everything was changing corner to corner. The top six looked the place to be with the pack jostling to hit that front quarter of the field, steering clear of the mid-pack melee and positioning themselves for a potential podium push.

Evans led once again on Lap 13, with the Porsches and Vergne still in that top four biding their time and waiting for their moment. The top 10 runners at the half-way stage had used all of their 50kW ATTACK MODE boosts, except reigning champion Dennis – what remained was a 15-lap battle to the flag for the highest possible finishing position.

Berlin winner Cassidy found himself in the top six and two percent of usable energy to the good. Having clambered from 21st to the win in Germany, could the standings leader do it again? The Porsche pair, Wehrlein from da Costa, swept back to the lead on Lap 16, by Evans – the Jaguar driver their closest company, though absolutely nothing split the field with each car running nose-to-tail. The Stuttgart outfit ran in tandem, preventing any forward move from Evans behind, blocking the Jaguar into Turn 1.

However, on Lap 19, Evans had a percent of energy in-hand and managed to slice by da Costa through Sector 1, while the sister Jaguar TCS Racing of Cassidy had two percent energy over the leaders ahead. Come Lap 23, Cassidy had crept up to fourth, and had three percent energy on the lead trio. Wehrlein outbraked himself into the hairpin, allowing Evans to pounce and bolt into the lead, while Dennis finally went for ATTACK and made it into third. The Brit then set about Wehrlein for second – not a battle in which either driver would give an inch.

However, Dennis would have his hands full of Cassidy, who made a move stick into the final complex while Wehrlein outdid Evans for the lead heading into the final three laps – the top 10 split by just a second. Evans made the leap for the lead on Lap 27 into the hairpin but Wehrlein fought hard to hold him off – the lead pair edging Cassidy despite the latter’s energy advantage with two laps to go while da Costa kept himself in contention for third, right under the Jaguar’s gearbox.

Wehrlein had it all on to hold P1, with all of the defensive moves in the book on show but into Turn 1 of the final lap, Evans broke the German’s resistance – right around the outside of Turn 1. Evans then slowed Wehrlein into the hairpin to allow Cassidy to attack the Porsche for second but the standings leader couldn’t make it by, fending off Rowland at the last to hold third after clipping his front wing through the final turn.


UPDATE: Antonio Felix da Costa has been given a five-second penalty for forcing Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) off the road at Turn 12, demoting the TAG Heuer Porsche driver to 19th position.


[Note: The story is as per press release]