Lucas Di Grassi secured his first ABB FIA Formula E World Championship win of the season in a dramatic second race of the 2022 SABIC London E-Prix double-header.
It looked to be a dream weekend for Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis in front of a packed home crowd as the Nuneaton man started on pole in search of back-to-back wins in London only for former champion Di Grassi to break down. the British party taking victory from second place in Round 14 at London’s ExCeL.
The lead changed hands between Di Grassi and Dennis several times as attack mode came into play, but it was the 37-year-old from Sao Paulo whose strategy paid off as he was able to get ahead and then show his experience to keep to the checkered flag.
It was also a great race, to cap off a great weekend, for Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished fourth and extended his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings to 36 points with 58 to play with Mitch Evans . (Jaguar TCS Racing), Jean-Eric Vergne and Edoardo Mortara failed to register a point. Evans in particular was left heartbroken after a mechanical failure saw his car drop to fourth.
But the day went to Di Grassi, finishing ahead of podium finishers Dennis and Nick de Vries, and he was quick to credit his team for a perfect race strategy after a superb display.
“It means everything,” Di Grassi said. “Thank you all for being here. Congratulations to all my competitors, to all the great drivers out there. It was a huge battle with Jake. It was very strategic – using attack mode at the right time, conserving energy at the right time. The team gave me the perfect feedback. The car was amazing today and after what happened yesterday I think we really deserve it.
“It really depends on how you use the energy as well – it’s not just attack mode. So today, we used the attack mode to build up the right energy buffer and when the time was right, we used the energy and opened the void and just kept it from there.
“Jake was struggling a bit at the back of his car I think and I saw that if I could push for two or three laps it was enough because here it was very difficult to overtake. So thanks to the guys for making it the perfect car today.”
Di Grassi emerged from the last of the three mandatory activations of attack mode with enough in hand to ensure he would manage the in-form Jake Dennis when the Brit jumped for his final 30kW boost. Home favorite Dennis had followed up yesterday’s win with a start from Julius Bär Pole Position, but the Brazilian extended his advantage in the final laps in the TAG Heuer Added Time to take the checkered flag.
Nyck de Vries came third, while his Mercedes-EQ team-mate – points leader Stoffel Vandoorne – moved up to fourth from 13th on the grid. Closest title challenger Mitch Evans had moved up to fourth from 14th at the start of the race, but a late technical problem prematurely ended his London race and dealt a hammer blow to his title chances with a crash and a non-scoring exit. .
Edoardo Mortara did his best to claim points from 17th on the grid, but a scrappy, struggling performance could only yield 13th. Jean-Éric Vergne retired early, apparently on contact, without ending his World Drivers’ Championship.
António Félix da Costa raced his way to fifth in the sibling DS TECHEETAH, with Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) producing his second best result of Season 8 in sixth, Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) seventh and Sam Bird in eighth for Jaguar TCS Racing. on the ground of the house.
Sérgio Sette Câmara finally scored his first points of the season for the DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT team after running out of useful energy at the death of Lap 13 yesterday, despite harassing the top four throughout. Pascal Wehrlein completed the top 10 for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem attended his first ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race since assuming the presidency in December 2021. He met executives, team principals and drivers from across the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship before being welcomed to the podium for to present the winning trophy to Di Grassi.
It now looks set to be a race between Evans and Vandoorne for the title with 58 points on offer in two weeks at the Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix doubleheader weekend, the final two races of season 8 on the 16-race calendar The Belgian now has a commanding 36 points clear of the Jaguar driver in the points table.
ROKiT Venturi Racing leapfrogged DS TECHEETAH to go second in the World Team Championship, although Mercedes-EQ extended their lead to 35 points.