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"And then there were five." Assessing the tales of Formula E's five championship contenders

Written by Vyas Ponnuri


Formula E has travelled the length and breadth of the world in 2024, and we're on the cusp of the penultimate weekend of season ten. While 22 started the season chasing for the crown, only five remain in contention now. Who are the quintet in the running to become Formula E champion?


Nick Cassidy - Jaguar TCS Racing (167 points)


Cassidy has been the standout driver in the all-electric racing series this season, once again the epitome of consistency. The Kiwi moved from Envision Racing to Jaguar ahead of season ten, with his eyes firmly on the prize — a Formula E championship.


The heartbreak from last year doesn't seem to have deterred Cassidy, moreover, it has given him the extra motivation to push for glory. The Jaguar driver has finished outside the points only twice this year, failing to finish at Sao Paulo and Misano due to crashes midway into the race.


His results speak for themselves, though Third at Mexico City was followed up by another strong showing in the Diriyah double header, as Cassidy took another third position followed by victory, his first of the season. At this point, he was the championship leader, touted as the early favourite to win.


However, things didn't begin too well for the New Zealander once Formula E returned two months later in Sao Paulo. Running in the middle of the pack, his front wing dislodged underneath his car on lap 11, as Cassidy rounded the final sector of the circuit.


In a speedy section of the track, Cassidy smashed into the outside wall on turn nine, his Jaguar then veering into the run-off area at turn 10. He would score no points. The following round at Tokyo was another difficult outing, Cassidy qualifying a lowly 19th in a home race of sorts, before a spirited drive saw him finish eighth at the flag, limiting the damage to his competitors.


The tough spell seemed to spill over onto the Misano weekend, with Cassidy out after a crash with Jean-Eric Vergne in round six. He would drop below the top three in the standings, his campaign slowly snowballing into another tough year.


But Cassidy has done what he does best, ever since: Relentlessly consistent. It was once again a third-position finish kicking off a strong run of results, as he snatched a podium from Nico Muller's ABT Cupra right at the line. Cassidy would back up his Misano podium with another podium at Monaco, displaying excellent teamwork to get Jaguar a 1-2 finish.


The Jaguar racer would triumph in a relentless, manic Berlin weekend too, taking victory after being 21st and last at one point — a reflection of the nature of the race on Tempelhof's new layout.


He would finish second the following day, once again coming through the field, having qualified tenth this time around.


Cassidy backed up his scores with another stellar showing in Shanghai, finishing third and fourth in the double header. His streak of top-four finishes has helped the New Zealander open up a healthy 25-point gap at the head of the standings.


It's a strong margin heading into the final two weekends of the season, but Cassidy shouldn't just resort to damage limitation just yet. With 116 points still to play for, and the unpredictability of Formula E's races, a 25-point lead can be wiped out in no time.



Pascal Wehrlein — TAG Heuer Porsche (142 points)


It's been another up and down season for Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein. When he's on song, he's been unstoppable and extremely consistent. But on other days, he's experienced his fair share of struggles.


Wehrlein's championship charge may be stalling once again, as his recent form hasn't been the brightest, while his competitors have often finished further ahead in races. Yet, he remains second heading into the final stretch of the season.


His run of results have been strong, nonetheless: A special lights-to-flag victory at Mexico kicked off his season, and you wondered if it was all Porsche domination on the way once again.


While this didn't pan out quite as expected, Wehrlein has remained a consistent force in the championship battle. An off-colour weekend at Diriyah was followed by two stronger showings at Sao Paulo and Tokyo, with fourth and fifth in the latter two events seeing him seize the championship lead once again.


While he would make it to the flag in 16th at round six in Misano, after dislodging an endplate on his front wing early in the race, he would rebound in strong fashion, capitalising on a slowing Nissan of Rowland ahead to take victory, and 25 valuable points, putting himself into the lead of the standings once again.


However, Wehrlein has remained powerless to stop the Jaguar duo from taking wins and podiums, as he finished fifth at Monaco, before backing it up with fifth and fourth at Berlin, after a bitter squabble with fellow rival Jake Dennis in round ten.


The German would finish on the podium in round 11, losing out on a win to Mitch Evans' Jaguar late on in a peloton-style race, before pulling into the pits due to a suspected puncture that eventually consigned him to the rear of the running order in round 12.


With Portland expected to be another chaotic, peloton race reminiscent of last year's running, Wehrlein has a strong chance to eat into the 25-point gap to Cassidy ahead, and take the championship battle into the season finale at London.



Mitch Evans — Jaguar TCS Racing (132 points)


Another year of Formula E, and once again a championship battle involving Jaguar's Mitch Evans. Having been in the Jaguar fold since 2016, Evans has been potent to mount a championship battle, but falling short of winning the ultimate prize on more than one occasion.


However, he will have enough reason to believe this is his year. The seasoned Kiwi's recent form speaks volumes of the talent at his disposal — Two race wins in the last five races is the best run of any driver in the top five. Only one driver has been able to mirror such fortunes in the last five outings — Wehrlein's teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa.


While Da Costa is a long way off the Kiwi, and almost out of a late run for the title, Evans is still very much in the mix, despite a slow start to his season.


Evans has won two races — Monaco and Shanghai, but his slow start to the season has been a contributor to the gap at the head of the standings. He was unable to match teammate Cassidy's form at Mexico City and Diriyah, taking two fifths and a tenth position finish in the opening three races.


He would lose out on victory to a charging Sam Bird at Sao Paulo, to a last-lap pass, but would be glad to take his first podium of the season. A desperate lunge at Tokyo would cost him, though, as Evans damaged his front wing mid-race, recovering to 15th by the flag.


Misano would be more of the same, as he would finish fifth in a peloton race after starting from pole in round six, while a reliability issue would put him out of round seven, resulting in no points.


Evans has been on a strong run ever since, leading home a Jaguar 1-2 in Monaco, before taking fourth and sixth at Berlin. He would win again at Shanghai ahead of Wehrlein, crucially lowering the gap to his closest competitor ahead, continuing to do so with a fifth-position finish in round 12, while the Porsche driver failed to finish in the points.


While Evans would look to continue his run of form and win more races to close down the gap, it could leave Jaguar with a dilemma in the offing, should the two New Zealanders remain in the championship battle right till the business end of the season.



Oliver Rowland - 131 points (Nissan Formula E Team)


The biggest revelation of 2024 has been a highly rejuvenated Oliver Rowland, on his return to Nissan. It's almost as though the Barnsley native has found an extra gear at his old team, forming an integral part of season ten's storyline.


The chips were down for Rowland after he suffered a hand injury at Monaco in season nine, after a crash with Maserati's Edoardo Mortara ruled him out of the running, as he left Mahindra before the next round in Jakarta.


However, he was fortunate to have retained some connections with his former employers, finding his way back to the Japanese squad for season ten alongside Sacha Fenestraz. A fairytale return, it would be.


While he would start slow at Mexico City, Rowland started to come into his own at Diriyah, taking pole for round three, before finishing the race third, a significant result for Nissan in the context of their Formula E history.


However, it would appear that Nissan were making giant strides too, improving the reliability and efficiency of their Formula E machine. The form guide too began to turn a corner.


Podiums in Sao Paulo and Tokyo would only be evidence of their development, as Rowland maximised the pace in his Nissan to finish ahead of more fancied competitors such as the Jaguars and the Porsche teams.


He would finish second to Da Costa at Misano, however, he would become the sixth different winner in six races as his Portuguese rival was stripped of victory, hours after the race concluded. This result gave him the championship lead, marking him out as the championship favourite.


It hasn't been smooth sailing ever since, though. A major miscalculation saw Rowland run out of energy in round seven the following day, a heartbreaking DNF from the lead of the race on the final lap leaving the support staff with heads in their hands, while a distraught Rowland could only watch as his closest rivals finished on the podium.


While he wouldn't have the pace to challenge in Monaco, finishing only sixth, Rowland would bounce back in Berlin, taking a brace of third places in both peloton-style races, having qualified down in 16th for both races. His comeback drives highlighted the efficiency of the Nissan powertrain.


Rowland wouldn't be in the mix at Shanghai, however, finishing fourth and tenth, losing ground to Evans in the standings. Portland is expected to be another weekend where the peloton racing could return, and you can expect another mega drive from the Briton, as he chases after championship glory in a special season.



Jake Dennis - Andretti Formula E Team (113 points)


After a below-par showing at Shanghai, reigning champion Jake Dennis alluded to the fact that the title may just have slipped out of his hands. The Briton had finished just outside the points, losing ground to his competitors ahead.


He lies over 50 points off championship leader Cassidy, but remains an outside contender, with as many as 116 points still available in the season. Dennis will know what happened last year, when his championship rivals clashed at Rome, the penultimate round of season nine, leaving the Andretti racer a free run to the title.


It's just proof of how unpredictable Formula E can be. Yet, Dennis would still be cautious about his title chances, more so given his record this season isn't quite the form guide to mount a stern championship challenge.


A difficult season opener in Mexico City was followed by a dominant victory in Diriyah, before the next day's race in the Saudi Arabian city saw Dennis finish outside the points, demoted after a post-race penalty for overtaking under yellow flags.


He would bring home two strong finishes at Sao Paulo and Tokyo, though, finishing fifth and third respectively, before returning from Misano with two further runner-up spots. Tied with Wehrlein on 89 points for the championship lead, it was as though Dennis had found his mojo once again, and on his way to becoming the second double-world champion in the series.


Although, it has gone downhill for the Andretti racer ever since. Three non-scores in the last five races severely crippled his championship charge, and his best result of fifth came at Berlin when he finished behind three of his fellow championship contenders.


Shanghai wasn't too kind for Dennis either; he would finish fifth once again in a peloton race, coincidentally behind all his championship contenders, while he failed to score in round 12 the following day, leaving him well adrift in the standings.


While he heads to Portland, a venue where he secured pole and was in the mix for victory in season nine, Dennis still enters the race weekend as an outside contender and will be banking on plenty going his way to remain in the fight heading into London.



That rounds out the five drivers gunning for world championship glory in Formula E this year. Who's your pick to win the championship? Don't forget to tune in to the events at Portland later this weekend to find out who remains in the fight going into the season finale at London next month.



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