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“A new challenge, but a nice challenge”: Nick Cassidy on his 2024 season for Jaguar Racing, and his formidable pairing with Mitch Evans

Conducted and written by Vyas Ponnuri, Edited by Sean McKean


Cassidy celebrated his podium at Mexico City on Jaguar debut | Image Credit - Alastair Staley

Formula E is largely known for its unpredictability, with drivers often experiencing plenty of ups and downs during their journey in the series. Drivers can often experience a sea change even 24 hours after dominating a Formula E race. With all the teams so closely matched, it comes down to the driver to make the difference, and deliver success for a team. 


Consistency is a major talking point in the series, and is one of the main attributes needed to become a champion of the series. This is why the series has witnessed a new champion almost every year, and a different set of drivers slug it out for the championship every season. 


It can be gut-wrenching for any driver narrowly missing out on a championship, having put in strong performances week in, week out, and remained consistent throughout the season. As Formula One legend Sebastian Vettel once said, “We have to remember these days, there’s no guarantee these days will last forever.” 


Would a driver be able to replicate such a championship charge in the following season given the circumstances? How long would they have to wait for ‘the perfect season’ – when the forces align in their favour once again?


However, Nick Cassidy has rebounded strongly from an agonising end to his championship fight in 2023, to sit in the lead of the drivers’ standings, despite smashing into the wall in São

Sao Paulo mid-race. Motivated as ever, his move to Jaguar has reaped dividends, as he podiumed at each of the first three races, even winning a race at Diriyah. 


In his chat with DIVEBOMB, Cassidy opened up about bouncing back from title heartbreak, his formidable partnership with compatriot Mitch Evans, and a track he would love to see on the Formula E calendar. 


Memories of Cassidy’s first win at New York City; Credit - LAT Images

The first win

The location: a sodden, rainy day in New York City, on the banks of the Brooklyn harbour. 27-year old Nick Cassidy had taken his maiden pole for the first race of the weekend, and held a steady lead. 


However, a sudden deluge towards the end of the race turned things right on its head.; Ffrom a comfortable lead, Cassidy would soon find himself in the wall at turn six, along with multiple other cars. With treacherous conditions, the race was red  flagged, and not restarted, giving Cassidy his maiden Formula E win, albeit under unique circumstances. 


A first win is always momentous for any driver, and for the Kiwi, a great moment in a fluctuating season.

 

It was super nice to get a win in Formula E,” Cassidy said, recalling the memory.. “My time in the championship had quite a lot of ups and downs, and it was nice to be able to tick that [(winner]) box."


Cassidy’s Monaco E Prix victory in 2023, from ninth on the grid; Credit - LAT Images

‘The Comeback King’ –-- the story of Cassidy’s 2023 season

Apart from his consistency, a defining trait of Cassidy’s season was his ability to bounce back from tough qualifying sessions to bring home silverware on. 


Three of his four victories were from sixth or lower, and the Kiwi brought home second in Hyderabad from ninth on the grid, to kickstart his challenge for the title. He would also move up from sixth to second in a chaotic Sao Paulo E Prix, forming part of an all-Jaguar-powered podium. 


Such resilience is important for a Formula E driver, as their fortunes can change from race to race. On double-headers, for instance, you can have a brilliant race one day, and only 24 hours later, your fortunes can take a complete U-Turn. 


In a series as unpredictable as Formula E, qualifying performances still hold plenty of significance. As Cassidy himself says, “It’s certainly a target, I want to qualify better” remarking on his performances from last season. He also dwells upon his excellent performance at a sodden London E Prix, a race he won from pole. 


The Kiwi was also quick to point out the rapidly-improving performances of other teams on the grid, and with a touch of wit, remarked about having to qualify higher to win more often, “We’re going to need to start from the front, than ninth if we have to win [(more often]),” the Kiwi chuckled, remarking of his Monaco E Prix drive from season nine. 


2023 ended on a heartbreaking note for the then 28-year-old Cassidy, the title just evading his grasp in the season finale at London, when Envision Racing were found guilty of being unable to swap their drivers at the right time, and Cassidy coming off worse after minor contact with teammate Sebastien Buemi mid-race. 


It was heartbreak in 2023. Will 2024 be Cassidy’s year?; Credit - Simon Galloway

The Jaguar story

Cassidy has moved to Jaguar this year, and will be pushing hard to win that elusive championship trophy. “We’ll continue to push, [I am] still trying to make myself better, trying to develop new things.” He is also quick to point out the rapidly improving competition, naming the likes of DS Penske and Porsche having fast cars, and reiterating his aim to remain in the fight. 


It’s always tough to get used to the environment and newer surroundings when a driver switches teams, and it usually takes a driver a few races to find his feet, and get up to speed in the series. 


They learn as the season goes on, something Cassidy is definitely experiencing in 2024, though, as he appreciates the challenge it brings., 


We are still learning, but that’s okay. We will get stronger, and the team will understand me more and more, and they will understand me too. It’s a new challenge, but a nice challenge, and I am really happy about the move.”


Cassidy’s switch to the works Jaguar squad has also seen him form an exciting partnership with his fellow Kiwi Mitch Evans, the incumbent at the Jaguar team. Having raced each other in their junior days, the duo have reunited, in their quest to bring that elusive silverware the team missed out on in season nine. 


Cassidy and Evans now form Jaguar’s 2024 line-up; Credit - Formula E

Both drivers appeared to be in the form of their lives towards the end of the 2023 season, with Cassidy finishing runner-up while Evans was only one spot behind, in third.


When the news of both Kiwis coming together for 2024 broke out, pundits and fans had been vocal about the driver pairing touted as the best on the entire 2024 Formula E grid, and wondered how the team would manage the dynamic between the drivers. 


Cassidy is quick to appreciate all the praise from the fans and pundits pre-season, pointing out the team dynamic for the season. “We also have a great time together, some laughs, it’s pretty enjoyable,” he says. One could say the current championship standings paint the same picture for the team. 


The season nine runner-up also talks about his relationship with Evans during their karting days, and says they have evolved ever since, into different drivers, but lets DIVEBOMB know his excitement for the season to come. 


Cassidy has had plenty of success racing in Japan before joining Formula E; Credit - Nick Cassidy on X

The Tokyo E Prix — a special homecoming for Cassidy

While Cassidy would certainly be looking forward to his times in the Jaguar overalls, another big event for the Kiwi on the Formula E calendar was the Tokyo E Prix, which took place in late March. 


Japan has been the Kiwi’s ‘second home’ for several years, as Cassidy remains the only driver to win the unofficial Japanese triple crown: Japanese F3, Super GT, and the Super Formula series. 


His outings in the Land of the Rising Sun have catapulted him into contention for seats across bigger championships and series, and paved the way for his entry into Formula E. 


Speaking about the event, Cassidy definitely outlined it as a special event, with plenty of friends and family cheering him on as he undertook the race. A special event called for a special drive indeed, as a sterling drive saw him finish seventh at the flag, having started down in 19th. 


He also appreciates and praises Formula E’s efforts in pulling off the feat, and how he would have always loved to race there. 


When they ask where you want to race, and you say Tokyo, you don’t always think it will come true, and the fact Formula E have made that happen is special for the championship.”


Now that Tokyo is on the Formula E calendar, Cassidy responds to the familiar question of a track he would love to see the electric series at, this time going with New York — a track that holds special memories for the Kiwi. It was the scene of his maiden Formula E victory for Envision Racing, joking that he “wants the street name” on the track, reflecting his feat. 



DIVEBOMB would like to thank Nick and his team for taking time out for this interview, and wish him all the best for the rest of the Formula E season, as the series heads into its final four races.


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