Written by Elisabeth Brown, Edited & Photos by Umut Yelbasi
The 13th round of the 2022 Formula E season is a wrap, and despite the top three finishing in their qualifying positions, the race was not without action. Third place finisher Nyck de Vries picked up damage early on one after clipping a wall. de Vries explaining “It was a big disbalance from left to right-hand corners and that ultimately made my life very difficult.” Despite this and a bit of scrapping with Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy, he managed to hold onto third place behind his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Vandoorne could tell early on that Dennis was managing his lead, as any time Vandoorne attempted an overtake, Dennis recognised it and acted accordingly, maintaining his gap. Vandoorne said, “I was trying to stay as close as possible in case he was making any mistakes, but there were not (any).” Despite missing out on the win, Vandoorne is positive about the result, not only for himself but for his Mercedes EQ team, solid points being secured in the Teams' Championship. Vandoorne has just one victory so far this season, but nonetheless after today he has extended his lead in the championship to 26 points over Jaguar’s Mitch Evans.
British driver Jake Dennis secured his win in dominant fashion. Dennis said, “To replicate what we did last year was absolutely amazing — full house, obviously, this year with the fans, and just crossing the line and hearing the British fans was one of the best moments.” Despite feeling there are few things to work on for tomorrow, he emphasised feeling “very happy for myself and the team.”
Elsewhere, Evans made his way up to a sixth place finish, the highest place finish of the four title contenders aside from Vandoorne. Vergne was stuck in the midfield, finishing in 13th, and Mortara dropped down to last after a lap one contact.
ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Lucas di Grassi, who started at the back of the grid due to deleted laps in qualifying as a consequence of impeding Evans, had an impressive drive up to P9. After qualifying P18, Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein managed to score a point as a result of his P10 finish.
Drivers Sérgio Sette Câmara, Antonio Giovinazzi, Oliver Rowland, and Sam Bird failed to finish the race, Giovinazzi suffering a software issue from lap one that ultimately ended up being terminal. The possibility of rain tomorrow could throw a curveball, however. Giovinazzi said for his Dragon/Penske machine, “it could be fun to drive the car in wet conditions,” giving a good opportunity for a mixed-up grid.
Sunday brings a clean slate for all 22 drivers. The excitement is already building and the countdown has begun for the second round of the London E-Prix, a fresh set of opportunities on the table.
EDITOR’S NOTE (POST-RACE PENALTIES):
After this article was written, Nyck de Vries was given a five-second time penalty, dropping him from P3 to P6. Nick Cassidy fills his place on the last step of the podium, Askew moves up to P4 and Evans moves up to P5, further limiting the damage by scoring the second-most points out of all the title contenders.
In addition to de Vries, ROKiT Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi (who already had a nightmarish start to his day by getting all of his qualifying lap times deleted, forcing him to start last) also received a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns. This dropped him to 12th, allowing Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein to climb up to 10th place and gain a point.