Pascal Wehrlein just held off Jake Dennis despite lower energy to win Race 1 in Formula E Jakarta EPrix, with Maximilian Guenther in third.
Maximilian Guenther held fast with Wehrlein attacking him from the off around the outside of Turn 1 having leapt by Dennis’ Avalanche Andretti. The pair led Vandoorne who himself jumped to third from sixth on the grid. Cassidy made up ground to end Lap 1 eighth and most importantly, his Envision Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 was unscathed.
Lap 4 saw the lead change hands. No driver had led for more than 11 laps from pole in Season 9 and Guenther ceded the spot to Wehrlein – the TAG Heuer Porsche bypassing the German up the inside of Turn 1. Meanwhile, Vandoorne was the first to jump through the ATTACK MODE loop – six minutes with the 50kW boost this time, of eight total to be split between a pair of activations. Wehrlein followed from the lead two laps later, as did Vandoorne’s teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, Brit Dennis and polesitter Guenther. Wehrlein from Guenther, Vandoorne, Dennis, Mortara, Vergne, Cassidy, Frijns, Evans and Mueller the top 10 once the first round of ATTACK MODE began to shake out, and just seven seconds between them.
With 11 laps down, Guenther hit the top again as Wehrlein took his second 50kW boost – the German going early, and still five spots to the good of Cassidy – the driver he is trying to depose at the top of the standings. Lap 12 saw the pair swap again though as Guenther used up his second ATTACK MODE activation.
At the half-way stage, it was proving a cagey encounter. The top 10, and much of the field in fact, ran with relative energy parity – Cassidy the one outlier with a couple of percent more in-hand than the cars around him and the lead pack ahead. From sixth, he’d be eyeing a late-race push as the Jaguar powertrain has managed at more than a few events this season but he had the defensive driving maestro and double champion Vergne to get by ahead, first.
With progress hard to come by, Dennis was the driver making moves as the race headed into Lap 17. The Avalanche Andretti driver produced a textbook pass out of the slipstream of Vandoorne’s DS into Turn 1. With four minutes left on his final 50kW ATTACK MODE boost, the Brit would now be eyeing the top two from third, just 1.5 seconds back.
Cassidy lost his patience behind Vergne on Lap 20 and it nearly ended in tears for the Kiwi as he so narrowly avoided the inside wall of Turn 1 as the DS driver, unsighted, headed for the apex. Cassidy came from some way back and can think himself lucky he escaped with his front suspension intact.
With 12 laps to go, Dennis had made his way by Guenther but the Maserati MSG Racing driver wasn’t done. He was all over the back of the Andretti, who had been chasing leader Wehrlein. The pair’s squabble allowed the Porsche driver to break a second clear, while Vandoorne, Vergne and Cassidy were able to home in on the back of Guenther in the battle for the German’s third and final spot on the podium. All of that lead seven were within a percent or so on energy – the leaders managing things expertly in the Jakarta heat.
Inside the final half dozen laps and the leaders were in a sprint, running nose to tail and trying to force the error from one-another. Wehrlein headed Dennis and Guenther, all within a second and not giving an inch.
On Lap 35, it happened again. Sam Bird clouted teammate Mitch Evans as he tried to pass his teammate for eighth – a repeat of Hyderabad and Team Principal James Barclay left less than impressed as the current team leader in the standings was sent spinning to the back of the pack and out of a valuable points-paying position. As the laps whiled away, neither Dennis nor Guenther had enough to unseat Wehrlein out front – the Porsche driver biting back after losing top spot in the standings in Monaco.
#ABBFormulaE #JakartaEPrix #Round10 Provisional results of the first EPrix of the weekend, which had a yellow flag at the end when Bird tagged out his teammate Evans. Bird himself went out on the final lap. #MsportXtra @FormulaEZone @sarahshdn pic.twitter.com/zu5Yebz7zL
— #MsportXtra © (@MsportXtra) June 3, 2023
[Note: The story is as per press release]