Dennis and di Grassi win the London Formula E races
Andretti driver Jake Dennis and Venturi driver Lucas di Grassi won races 13 and 14 of the Formula E season in London. In the battle for the championship, Stoffel Vandoorne and his Mercedes team were the big winners even without a race win.
Saturday’s season race 13 was started from pole position by Brit Dennis in the Avalanche Andretti (with last year’s BMW power unit) ahead of championship leader Vandoorne in the Mercedes-EQ and his teammate, current world champion Nyck de Vries. After 45 minutes and one lap, the top three crossed the finish line in that order – Dennis won by 2.2 seconds and the extra point for the fastest race lap ahead of Vandoorne.
De Vries finished about ten seconds behind in third place and also took part in the podium ceremony. After the race, however, the Dutch driver received a five-second time penalty from the race stewards for defending himself unfairly in a duel with Nick Cassidy in the Envision Virgin. As a result, Cassidy was retrospectively classified third, de Vries dropped back to sixth place. Jaguar driver Mitch Evans thus moved up to fifth place and scored ten points instead of eight in the battle for the championship.
The 14th race of the season on Sunday turned out to be even more important than Saturday’s leg: Vandoorne fought his way up from 13th on the grid to fourth on the special circuit, which runs partly through an indoor hall. His rivals for the world championship title all came away empty-handed – partly through their own fault. Jean-Éric Vergne had to park DS Techeetah after a collision at the beginning of the race on the second lap with a defective radiator. Mitch Evans retired with a technical defect on his Jaguar with two laps to go in the points. And Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara had a weekend to forget in London: After a collision including a repair pit stop on Saturday, he also failed to score points on Sunday: Starting from 17th on the grid, he caused another collision (for which he received a five-second penalty) and later spun off the track during an overtaking attempt.
Sunday’s race was won by Mortara’s Venturi teammate Lucas di Grassi. The former champion and Audi factory driver had overtaken Jake Dennis from second on the grid, who had also secured pole position on Sunday. The British driver finished a strong weekend in second place, third was Nyck de Vries – this time he got to keep his podium position.
Before the season finale in Seoul with two races on 13 and 14 August, Vandoorne leads the championship with 185 points – the Belgian scored 30 points in London. Evans is now in second place with 149 points (in London +10 points in Saturday’s race) ahead of Mortara in the customer Mercedes (144 points, no points in London) and Vergne (128 points, also no points. With a maximum of 58 points still to be scored by the drivers, Vergne, 57 points behind, probably only has a theoretical chance of winning the championship. Mortara, Evans and Vandoorne will probably decide the title among themselves – with the best starting position for the Mercedes driver.
The situation is similar for the teams: With 291 points and a total of 53 points from the two London races, the Mercedes-EQ team leads here two races before its withdrawal from Formula E. The customer team Venturi is in second place with 255 points, followed by DS Techeetah (244 points) and Jaguar (200 points).
fiaformulae.com (Saturday race report), fiaformulae.com (Saturday race results), fiaformulae.com (penalty de Vries), fiaformulae.com (Sunday race report), fiaformulae.com (Sunday race results), fiaformulae.com (driver rankings), fiaformulae.com (team rankings)