Mitch Evans won Rounds 4 and 5 of the season in the Italian capital. With the two victories, the Jaguar driver moves up in the overall standings, but the lead in the championship has been taken over by the two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah).
Jaguar driver Evans was able to convince in both races with his good speed in the race trim (with 220 kW power) and the best energy management, but on one lap others were faster: In the fourth race of the season on Saturday the driver from New Zealand could only qualify for ninth place on the grid, in Sunday’s race he at least started from fourth place.
Envision Virgin driver Robin Frijns (Netherlands) and Mercedes EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium), who started from the first row of the grid in Saturday’s race and finished second and third behind Evans, managed to remain fast all weekend. How superior Evans was is not only shown by his victory from ninth on the grid: He also crossed the finish line 5.7 seconds ahead of Frijns – an unusually large lead for Formula E.
In the fifth race of the season on Sunday, Evans’ lead over the runner-up was significantly smaller: The Jaguar driver finished 0.584 seconds ahead of DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman also secured the extra point for pole position. Frijns finished third ahead of André Lotterer in the Porsche, Mercedes driver Vandoorne and Pascal Wehlein in the second Porsche. Especially Lotterer and Vandoorne had a duel worth seeing over several laps.
In both races, the safety car rule, which is new for this year, was applied: To ensure that energy management remains an important element even during a safety car phase in the race (during which the cars save a lot of energy when driving slowly), the usable energy content of the battery was previously reduced for each lap behind the safety car. Since this season, the race, which is scheduled for 45 minutes plus one lap, is extended by the time behind the safety car – both races therefore lasted over 52 minutes, which forced some drivers to save energy towards the end of the race.
In the drivers’ championship, DS driver Vergne took the lead with 60 points thanks to Saturday’s fourth place and Sunday’s podium. With Evision driver Frijns on the podium in both races in Rome, the Dutchman moves into second place on 58 points, with Mercedes driver Vandoorne third on 56 points. He is followed by double winner Evans (51 points) who scored only one point in the previous three races of the season. Edoardo Mortara (Rokit Venturi Racing), who was leading the championship before the double event in Rome, could only collect six points in Rome (retirement in Sunday’s race) and is now only fifth in the championship – ahead of the two Porsche drivers Lotterer (43 points) and Wehrlein (42 points) as well as the current Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries in the second Mercedes-EQ (38 points).
In the team standings, Mercedes leads with 94 points ahead of Porsche (85) and DS (80). The Formula E season continues on 30 April with the E-Prix in Monaco.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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