Written by Vyas Ponnuri Edited by Haneen Abbas
As the Formula E caravan heads into Seoul for the season finale, there are four drivers mathematically in the race to be crowned champion: Stoffel Vandoorne of Mercedes EQ racing, Edoardo Mortara of Rokit Venturi Racing, Mitch Evans for Jaguar, and Jean-Eric Vergne for DS Techeetah. Stoffel Vandoorne currently leads the standings with 185 points to his name. Mitch Evans sits in second place, a whopping 36 points adrift of Vandoorne, and Edoardo Mortara is 5 points adrift of Mitch Evans, on 144 points. Jean-Eric Vergne sits 57 points behind Vandoorne, and sees his championship hopes hanging by a thread. With 58 points up for grabs in the final weekend of the season, all these drivers have a chance to be crowned champion in mid-August.
And there is also the Constructors Championship which is being contested at the moment: Mercedes EQ lead the way with 291 points to their name, with Rokit Venturi sitting in second, with 255 points. DS Techeetah sit in third, with 244 points. Jaguar are a distant fourth, 91 points adrift of current leaders Mercedes EQ.
A look at the championship contenders’ record will give us an idea of how their season has panned out:
Stoffel Vandoorne is the best placed of the four contenders at the moment, and by some margin. He has 185 points to his name, and has a great chance to wrap up the title by the next round itself.
He has also been the most consistent driver this season, having scored the most podiums of any driver (6) and having finished every race. His season got off to a great start, taking pole, and finishing in 2nd place in the opening race of the season, at Diriyah. Vandoorne made his way up to seventh by the time the chequered flag fell. At Mexico City, he finished outside the points, in 11th place, in an eventful race. Vandoorne secured pole for the fourth race of the season, at Rome. However, he couldn’t hold off Mitch Evans and Robin Frijns, finishing in third place at the end. The second race at Rome saw Vandoorne finish the race in 5th place. The Monaco E Prix saw Vandoorne take his first, and only victory of the season till date. Starting in fourth place, he maintained his position early on in the race, before making great overtakes on Robin Frijns and Mitch Evans, before taking the lead when Pascal Wehrlein retired from the race. He held on to win by 1.2 seconds from Evans. Berlin saw Vandoorne take a brace of podiums, only being outscored by Edoardo Mortara throughout the weekend. Vandoorne managed to take a fifth place and eighth place finish at Jakarta and Marrakesh respectively. An eventful weekend at New York City saw the Belgian driver maximise his chances and take fourth place in a chaotic first race, despite crashing into the barrier at Turn six. The second race saw him take the championship lead from Edoardo Mortara by virtue of finishing second in the race, behind Antonio Felix Da Costa. Vandoorne aced the crucial weekend at London, picking up a second place in race one, and a fourth place in round 2, whereas his championship rivals struggled. Vandoorne has been the most consistent driver of the quartet so far, scoring points in all but one race of the season. He has a commanding lead in the standings, and will be looking to continue that into the final round of the season and win his first title in Formula E.
Another driver who has been very quick throughout the season is Edoardo Mortara, from Rokit Venturi racing. Having lost the championship last season to Nyck De Vries by a mere seven points, Mortara has shown a strong pace and consistency, in an attempt to win his first Formula E title. His season started off with a sixth place finish in the first race of the season at Diriyah, and the second race saw him take his first win of the season. Mortara took a solid fifth place finish in an eventful Mexico City E Prix. However, Rome and Monaco didn’t bring much luck for the Swiss driver, yielding only six points in Rome, and DNFs in the next two races. The weekend at Berlin was a turning point for Mortara, which saw him start from pole in both races. He maintained the lead to win in the first race, and saw him lose out to Nyck De Vries in the second. Two more podium finishes followed at Jakarta and Marrakesh, with Mortara cementing his position as championship leader at the end of the Marrakesh E Prix. The weekend at New York City, however, was a tough one for Mortara, which saw him take only three points over the course of the weekend, and lose his championship lead to Vandoorne. The weekend in London was completely the opposite of what Mortara needed. He recorded two non-scores, one due to a lap one incident with Sam Bird, and the other due to a poor qualifying and lack of pace in the race. He has fallen to third in the standings now, behind Evans, and has his work cut out at Seoul to win his first championship.
Like Mortara, Mitch Evans is also looking for his first Formula E title, after being in the championship fight in the previous season. The New Zealander had shown excellent consistency to be in the hunt for the title despite not having won a single race throughout the season. Evans has taken the joint- most wins this season (3) but has had up-and-down results throughout the season. His season got off to a poor start, with Evans amassing only one point from the first two rounds at Diriyah and Mexico. The weekend at Rome, however, was a watershed moment in the season for Evans, as he took victories in both races on the weekend. He had qualified in ninth place for race one, and made his way through the field before taking the lead of the race from Robin Frijns in the closing stages of the race. For the second race, Evans had qualified in fourth place, and had made his way up to second before taking the lead from Jean-Eric Vergne halfway through the race. A late race safety car prevented Evans from taking his only attack mode of the race, but he eventually took it, and made a great comeback to take the lead from Vergne and take the race win. He continued his great form into Monaco, taking pole position and finishing second to Stoffel Vandoorne. The weekend at Berlin saw Evans finish both races in fifth and tenth respectively. The New Zealander won at Jakarta after shadowing Vergne for most of the race, and taking the lead from him. Another podium at Marrakesh reaffirmed his presence as a championship contender. Evans had an eventful weekend at New York City though, finishing outside the points after having a big slide while trying to overtake Stoffel Vandoorne in race one. Race two saw him make a strong comeback to finish in third place. Evans had an unlucky weekend in London. Despite qualifying in 14th for both races, the New Zealander showed excellent fighting spirit and racecraft throughout the weekend. He finished eighth in race one, and was set to finish fourth in race two, until a brake-by-wire issue in the latter stages ended his race. He is the closest challenger to Vandoorne, and will be looking for a strong weekend at Seoul to have a chance of winning his first title.
The most successful driver in Formula E, the two-time Champion in Formula E, Jean-Eric Vergne is seeking a third world championship this season. He has been consistent for the most part of the season, but has seen his chances of winning the championship take a big hit after a tough weekend at New York City. He currently sits 27 points behind championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne. He is yet to win a race in this season. His season got off to a slow start, with an eighth and sixth place finish at Diriyah. Vergne then secured a podium finish at Mexico City, and this saw the start of a top four finishing streak for the Frenchman. He finished in the top four in the next four races, with podiums in the second race at Rome, the Monaco E Prix, and round one at Berlin. The second race at Berlin saw Vergne finish in ninth place. Vergne finished second in Jakarta after having led for most of the race. He took another top four finish at Marrakesh, finishing in fourth place. Vergne, however, had an 18th place finish and a DNF at New York City, thus scoring no points. London was another tough weekend for the Frenchman, scoring no points, after finishing 14th in race one, and being involved in a first lap collision with Sam Bird in race two. He now sits 57 points behind Vandoorne in the standings, and while he is mathematically in contention to win the championship, he is realistically, almost out of the championship battle. He needs to take all 58 points, and hope that his Vandoorne doesn't score even a single point, to take the title.