Jaguar roar back to dominate podium at Brazil’s inaugural Formula E race

Jaguar roar back to dominate podium at Brazil’s inaugural Formula E race
Jaguar roar back to dominate podium at Brazil’s inaugural Formula E race

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing led home a one-two-three for the Jaguar powertrain, with Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) and Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) crossing the line virtually together.

The trio finished just half a second apart to close out a dramatic inaugural Julius Baer Sao Paulo E-Prix in front of more than 23,000 passionate motorsport fans.

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 to take the checkered 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 extra laps following multiple safety car incidents.

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 consecutive podiums for the first time in his Formula E career.

The victorious Evans said: “This has come at the perfect time. We had a tough start but the car has been quick so to finally get the victory and some points is incredible. A Jaguar one-two-three. Nick pushed me all the way — we pushed each other — both teams executed brilliantly. This is down to a lot of hard work, there is a lot of graft that goes in with simulations. To try and put these races together regarding strategy is not easy. I wouldn’t have wanted it much closer than that.”

Defending world champion Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) started in pole position and led the way early on, fending off Antonio Felix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) during the first round of ATTACK MODE activations until the race reached its halfway stage.

The lead was almost impossible to track on lap 14 with three or four changes over that tour alone and Cassidy coming out on top.

But Vandoorne would end up sixth after struggling for usable energy from his time at the front. Da Costa had slipped to fourth and briefly made designs on the podium but wound up settling just outside the podium positions. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) headed his teammate home for an eventual fifth spot.

Standings leader Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) had it all to do from 18th on the grid and managed to slice his way through the pack to seventh position at the checkered flag, with Jake Hughes (NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) finishing eighth, just ahead of teammate Rene Rast in ninth and with Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) rounding out the top 10.

Meanwhile, Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti Formula E) suffered another non-finish after contact from Dan Ticktum’s NIO 333 saw his 99X Electric shoved into Wehrlein’s Porsche.

Wehrlein maintains his Drivers World Championship lead on 86 points from Dennis with 62 points, while Cassidy moves into third just a point behind the Brit. TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team heads Envision Racing 144 points to 103 points with Jaguar TCS Racing third on 83 points.

Runner-up Cassidy said: “I am super happy with the podium today, with a race like that you can’t not be happy right. That was Formula E at its best, so much fun in the car, I hope it was a good watch. Very strategic, Sam did a great job as well, one-two-three Jaguar, pretty cool. I knew (how much energy Sam Bird had), that was a lot of the reason for getting Mitch to go on. I knew to get the win would be pretty difficult and that I would have to do something special on Mitch to turn that round, but I was at a high risk of finishing third.”

Germany is the next stop in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for rounds seven and eight and the 2023 SABIC Berlin E-Prix double-header on April 22 and 23.

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