Formula E is just the best open wheel racing the world has to offer right now, it’s incredible how close and tight this racing action is. With massive OEM participation, some of the best racers in the world, and exciting sprint-style racing, it’s no wonder FE is gaining new fans every weekend. This is the seventh E-Prix of the season, and has netted the seventh different polesitter and seventh different winner—from seven different teams, no less.
The race started out with a bang as former touring car star Jose Maria Lopez slid into the wall at the extra tight turn 17 turn 18 chicane complex, which in turn caused a stack up of all the cars behind him as the track was completely blocked. The 45 minute race was delayed by 45 minutes of red flag to clean up the crash and replace some of the barriers at the chicane.
Lotterer started the race from pole position, and held his own into the first corner on both the start and the delayed restart from red flag. First and second place stretched out a bit of a gap over the rest of the field as the race continued under green, with Mitch Evans hounding the back of Lotterer.
Smartly using his attack mode 12% power boost at the right time, the young Kiwi driver closed up to the back of Lotterer, and then made his move. Here’s the, ahem, ambitious pass for the lead that saw young Mitch Evans force his way down the inside of Andre Lotterer’s DS Techeetah for the lead of the race. Evans was given a reprimand by race stewards for the divebomb, but ultimately no action was taken and he continued on in the lead.
Evans still had one further attack mode to use up before the end of the race or face penalty. He missed the activation zone on his first attempt, which nearly allowed Lotterer to regain the lead, but ultimately Evans stayed ahead, grabbed his activation on the next lap, and stayed in the lead.
From there it was a power strategy game. Because the race is run to a 45 minute timer plus one additional lap, and Evans was running low on juice, his team on the pit wall warned him that he needed to run a slightly slower lap to run out the clock and not have to take one more run of the circuit. If he’d continued on at full chat he would not have had enough in the “tank” to complete the race.
It was really compelling stuff to watch, and if you missed it, you should find the replay once it’s available on YouTube. It was an excellent example of what formula racing should be. Close racing, tight battles, and exciting driving the whole way through.
Besides, they had a section of the circuit where the cars were getting four wheels off the track vertically!
How can you argue against it? Even Bernie Ecclestone, renowned hater, thinks that EVs are the future of racing. Get on board!
Stoffel Vandoorne, taking full advantage of his Fan Boost, ended up third for the HWA AG team. Former championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa could finish no better than 9th. Jerome d’Ambrosio takes the points lead by dint of finishing 8th. Evans’ maiden win launches him from 11th in points to fourth.
There are five rounds remaining in the season, and it’s truly anyone’s game.