Envisions’ Nick Cassidy takes the win in Monaco Formula E race
In Formula E, the form curve of the Jaguar teams continues to show an upward trend: Nick Cassidy won the E-Prix in Monaco in the customer Jaguar of the Envision team ahead of Mitch Evans. Porsche’s form curve shows a downward trend, as Pascal Wehrlein lost the championship lead to Cassidy.
The ninth race of the season in Monaco also marked the start of the second half of the season with its 16 rounds. After Formula E drove a shortened version of the street circuit in the early years, the entire Formula 1 circuit in the Principality is now used. In contrast to Formula 1, however, overtaking is possible in Formula E even on the narrow track: there were 116 overtaking manoeuvres in the race, which was not even 30 laps long.
After the Jaguar-powered teams had increasingly dominated the action in the current season (triple victory in Brazil, both races won in Berlin), the Nissan teams had found the best set-up for a fast lap in Monaco: Both factory Nissans made it into the top-4 in qualifying, Frenchman Sacha Fenestraz was even fastest in the knockout qualifying. In the final run, he beat Jake Hughes in the McLaren team’s customer Nissan.
In the race itself, Fenestraz and Hughes were able to hold on to the lead for a few laps, but as we know, with increasing race duration, pure vehicle speed becomes less important in Formula E, instead, efficiency and energy management come to the fore: While the Nissan race cars fell further behind, the factory Jaguar of Mitch Evans and the Envision Jaguar of Nick Cassidy, i.e. the two race winners from Berlin, were flushed to the front.
Cassidy himself had missed the knock-out phase of the special Formula E qualifying system on Saturday morning – the fastest four drivers from each of the two qualifying groups (divided according to the championship standings) compete in knock-out duels for the first eight grid positions. Cassidy only started the race from the fifth row of the grid – from where, for example, a top position would hardly be possible with the larger and faster Formula 1 racing cars in Monaco. In Formula E, Cassidy was able to pull away together with Evans after some sometimes daring overtaking manoeuvres (some of which can be seen in the linked highlights video) – only Jake Dennis in the Andretti Porsche was able to keep up the pace of the two Jaguars. However, a thrilling three-way battle at the end of the race did not happen: After Nico Müller in the Abt Cupra had an accident exiting the first corner on the penultimate lap, the safety car was sent out onto the track – so overtaking manoeuvres were no longer possible.
With his second victory in a row, New Zealander Cassidy replaced Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein at the top of the drivers’ standings. The German had also missed the knock-out phase in qualifying and managed to work his way up from 12th on the grid to tenth in the race. However, this one point was far too little to keep Cassidy behind him after his two wins in a row: With 121 points, the Envision driver now leads clearly ahead of Wehrlein (101 points) and Dennis (96 points). In the past four races Wehrlein could only collect 21 points, the best result was 6th place in the first Berlin race. Cassidy, on the other hand, has been on the podium three times in these four races as second in Brazil and with victories in Berlin and Monaco. Fifth place in the first Berlin race was his worst finish – he scored 78 points in those four races.
Envision Racing also passes Porsche in the team standings. Wehrlein’s teammate Felix Antonio da Costa finished 15th in Monaco without scoring any points, meaning that the Porsche works team only scored one point. Envision, on the other hand, scored 29 points, giving the Jaguar customer team a 182 to 169 lead. And behind Porsche, the Jaguar works team is closing in on 156 points.
Rounds 10 and 11 of the season will take place on 3 and 4 June in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.