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Evans makes last-lap overtake to grab Shanghai victory

Written by Vyas Ponnuri


Mitch Evans shone in yet another peloton style Formula E race at Shanghai, to take victory ahead of Pascal Wehrlein and Nick Cassidy, but will be under investigation for allegedly cutting the left hander at turn 11 and gaining an advantage.


Despite upping his pace on the last lap, Wehrlein couldn't fend off the charging Jaguar behind, and only just managed to keep a charging Cassidy behind, to maintain second, and gain points on his championship rival ahead.


Cassidy, who started ninth on the grid, fell back to 14th at one point, in a bid to conserve energy, before climbing his way back up the field to finish on the podium, and limit the damage to his closest championship contender.


Another championship contender managed to finish fourth, in the form of Nissan's Oliver Rowland, who seesawed his way back from outside the top ten at one point, to finish fourth, ahead of Wehrlein's teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa.


Reigning champion Jake Dennis finished sixth for Andretti, as a late attack mode and being down on energy to his competitors caused him to fall back into the clutches of a chasing Jean-Eric Vergne, the latter taking pole earlier today, and finishing seventh on the road.


Another team cheering after round 11 would be Mahindra Racing, as Nyck de Vries held on to finish eighth, to take his first points of the season. Having led the race at one point, he had to drop back in a bid to conserve energy, and took a confidence-boosting points finish.


Max Gunther bounced back from a tough home weekend at Berlin to finish ninth for Maserati MSG Racing, while Sebastian Buemi held on to take the final point for Envision Racing.


A dramatic race, nonetheless, despite the absence of safety car appearances, and here's how it all unfolded.


AS IT UNFOLDED

DS Penske's Vergne topped an exciting qualifying session to take pole position for round 11 of the 2024 Formula E season, in Shanghai's inaugural weekend of hosting the all-electric racing series.


With Rowland by his side, and championship contenders Cassidy and Dennis further down the field, both drivers would be eyeing victory, one for their first of the season, and the other to claw back vital ground in the championship battle.


As the five red lights went out, Rowland wouldn't have the best of starts, dropping down to fifth at one point, before regaining ground to jostle with Evans' Jaguar around the sweeping corners, sitting third. However, he would quickly drop to seventh, in the midst of a number of cars battling for the lead, as Da Costa rose to third.


Another driver making up places was the returning Sam Bird, who had risen from 19th to 11th within the first two laps, as drivers began to take the first of their six minutes of attack mode available to them, on lap three.


The lead continued to switch hands, with Envision Racing's Robin Frijns taking the lead on lap three, from pole-sitter Vergne, while Wehrlein would soon snatch the lead, before losing it to teammate Da Costa. The drivers were managing their pace, in order to conserve energy for the latter stages of the race.


Lap 11 and the race would see a new race leader yet again — this time in the form of Mahindra's Nyck de Vries. Having started 13th, the Dutchman steadily made his way up into the lead, remaining in the position for a whole lap, before relinquishing the lead to Wehrlein on lap 13, on the advice of his race engineer.


At the halfway point, the race lead was still hotly contested, but one driver slowly bringing himself into contention was championship leader Cassidy. Having remained outside the top ten for the initial part of the race, the Kiwi steadily made up positions, to move up into the top six by lap 15.


De Vries teammate Edoardo Mortara became the race's first retirement on lap 17, coming into the pits to call it a day, with damage to his front wing rendering his Mahindra unable to continue. The Indian manufacturer's hopes now rested solely on the Dutchman, running a steady fourth at this point.


With ten laps to go, the two Porsche drivers Wehrlein and Da Costa attempted to replicate Jaguar's teamwork from the Monaco E Prix earlier, fending off Evans for a 1-2. However, their task would be amplified due to the sheer width of the Shanghai International Circuit aiding overtaking. Elsewhere, Frijns would have a spin at turn eight and drop down the order, outside the top ten.


With less than five laps to go, Cassidy once again began to heat up late in the race, making his way past Dennis to move up into third, as Wehrlein snatched back the race lead from Evans, squeezing the Jaguar in the narrow final sector, as the championship leader loomed large in his teammate's mirrors.


With no safety cars during the race, no laps would be added, and only three laps were left until the chequered flag, with Cassidy radioing to his engineer whether to hold position or to go for the race lead.


The two Jaguar and Porsche drivers had pulled away into a battle of their own, as Dennis was left to fend off the rest of the top ten with two laps to go.


With Cassidy up on energy compared to his competitors, he pushed on to take second from Wehrlein, who had lost out on the lead to Evans on the last lap. The duo battled hard in the final sector, almost making contact, as Cassidy attempted to put it all on the line to get second.


Despite being up on energy compared to the Porsche racer, he failed to get past, almost losing third to the charging Nissan of Rowland behind.


Nevertheless, Cassidy's teammate Evans would win once again, taking his second victory of the season, from Wehrlein and championship leader Cassidy. However, the race winning Kiwi's victory isn't yet confirmed, as he will be investigated for cutting the left-hander at turn 11 earlier in the race, and gaining a lasting advantage.


You'll want to keep an eye for any news on Evans, however, here is the provisional top ten classification after round 11:


  1.  Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing)

  2. Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) - +0.796s

  3. Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS Racing) - +1.498s

  4. Oliver Rowland (Nissan Formula E Team) - +1.743s

  5. Antonio Felix Da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche) - +2.165s

  6. Jake Dennis (Andretti Formula E Team) - +2.361s

  7. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske) - +2.599s

  8. Nyck de Vries (Mahindra Racing) - +2.818s

  9. Maximilian Gunther (Maserati MSG Racing) - +3.165s

  10. Sebastian Buemi (Envision Racing) - +3.610s



The championship standings after round 11 are as follows:


Drivers' standings:

  1. Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS Racing) - 155 points

  2. Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) - 142 points

  3. Oliver Rowland (Nissan Formula E Team) - 130 points

  4. Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) - 122 points

  5. Jake Dennis (Andretti Formula E Team) - 111 points


Constructors' standings:

  1. Jaguar TCS Racing - 277 points

  2. TAG Heuer Porsche - 211 points

  3. Nissan Formula E Team - 156 points

  4. DS Penske - 136 points

  5. Andretti Formula E Team - 135 points



That's it from round 11! Do make sure to tune in to round 12, happening at the same time tomorrow, to see the action unfold once again around the Shanghai International Circuit!


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