Mitch Evans led a Jaguar 1-2-3 in Formula E Sao Paulo EPrix from Nick Cassidy and Sam Bird in an entertaining finish.
It was a flat out push to the finish at the rapid 11-turn Sao Paulo Street Circuit, with Evans managing to navigate his way through constant position changes up-and-down the pack to take the chequered flag first from third on the grid. The New Zealander took the initiative and the race lead from his compatriot Cassidy as the race headed into laps added on.
His move on Lap 32 proved to be decisive, with neither Cassidy nor Evans’ teammate Bird able to undo the leader’s defensive driving – despite Bird having collected a couple of extra percentage points of usable energy during his climb from 10th on the grid at the start. Cassidy had led the race more than once, but will be more than satisfied to score three podiums on the spin for the first time in his Formula E career.
Polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) had led the way early on, fending off Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa during the first round of ATTACK MODE activations until the race reached its half-way stage, with the lead impossible to keep track of on Lap 14 – three or four changes over that tour alone and Cassidy coming out on top. The Belgian would end up sixth after struggling for usable energy from his time out-front. Da Costa had slipped to fourth and briefly made designs on the podium but wound up settling for that berth just outside the podium positions. Jean-Eric Vergne headed his teammate home for an eventual fifth spot.
Standings leader Pascal Wehrlein had it all to do from 18th on the grid and sliced his way through the pack to 11th position at the chequered flag with Jake Hughes finishing eighth, just ahead of teammate Rast in ninth – Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) rounding out the top 10. Meanwhile, Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) suffered another non-finish after contact from Dan Ticktum’s NIO 333 saw his 99X Electric shoved into Wehrlein’s Porsche.
All that saw Wehrlein keep a hold of his Drivers’ World Championship lead on 86 points from Dennis’ 62, while Cassidy clambered into third just a point behind the Brit. TAG Heuer Porsche heads Envision Racing 144 points to 103 with Jaguar TCS Racing third on 83 points.
#ABBFormulaE #SaoPauloEPrix After a lot of drivers ran into the back of other cars, here's the provisional result of the EPrix. (Wehrlein/Rast investigation after the EPrix) #MsportXtra @FormulaEZone pic.twitter.com/ogWuggn9J9
— #MsportXtra © (@MsportXtra) March 25, 2023
[Note: The story is as per press release]