Great Britain’s Jake Dennis has taken the Formula E title with a race to spare after New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy crashed out of contention in this morning’s opening London E-Prix.
Mitch Evans overcame a five-place grid penalty to take the race win, topping Dennis, who was third on the road but inherited second as Antonio Felix da Costa received a three-minute post-race penalty for a technical infringement. Envision’s Sebastien Buemi inherited third, as a result, to round out the podium.
Evans took three points for qualifying first after topping Cassidy in the final of the duels, reducing the gap to the championship leader to 41 points. Cassidy, meanwhile, started on pole after his compatriot incurred a five-spot grid penalty for causing a collision last race.
The penalty elevated Dennis to the front row, once again setting the scene for a tight championship contenders showdown.
Cassidy would lead Dennis from the pole once the race commenced, as the new champion was forced to fend off Buemi, who worked into second at Turn 4 for an Envision one-two on the track.
He was able to back the field up to allow Cassidy to take both attack mode activations early as the Kiwi cruised in the lead. With Envision also locked in a tight teams championship battle, Cassidy would allow Buemi past to repay the favour, only for Evans to follow through.
This compromised Envision’s strategy, as Buemi would return ahead of Cassidy after activating his first attack mode. Dennis was now directly behind his championship rival and began pressuring him, allowing Rene Rast to take third as Dennis relegated Cassidy to fifth.
The Kiwi would get his man a lap later, regaining fourth and falling in behind Buemi, who surprisingly defended the position despite his teammate remaining in contention for the title.
The two would make contact at the Turn 4 right-hander, with Buemi cutting in front and damaging Cassidy’s wing.
A Safety Car was called for to retrieve the debris, and Cassidy would retire several laps later.
Rast and Pascal Wehrlein came into contact late in the race, elevating Dennis to the podium places, only for a red flag to halt proceedings when Sacha Fenestraz and Sergio Sette Camara came into contact at Turn 16. The former’s car was launched into the air and hit the wall hard. The intervention was required to repair the barrier.
Evans and Buemi took their final attack modes shortly after the restart, with the Kiwi rejoining in the lead ahead of da Costa and Dennis while Buemi fell to fourth.
The front three would proceed to build a gap, only for another red flag to halt proceedings once again as Norman Nato and Sam Bird came into contact and blocked the track.
Evans would hold on to the win over a two-lap sprint to the line as Dennis wrapped up the title by finishing second at da Costa’s expense. Buemi was third, ahead of Bird, who finished minus a front wing from the earlier crash.
Victory and pole elevates Evans to second in the championship at the expense of Cassidy, while Dennis has an unobtainable 34-point lead.
The season-concluding second London E-Prix begins with qualifying at 11.30 pm and the race at 3.30 am.
Header Image: FIA Formula E