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How can Jake Dennis win the Championship in the First Race of the London Double-Header?

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

More of this on Saturday? A real possibility. Image credits - Andretti Autosport

After months and months of waiting and speculation, here we are, at the final weekend of Formula E action for 2023, waiting to crown a champion.

Despite the championship looking closely poised at Rome, the events of the following day left Dennis with a 24-point lead over his nearest rival, Cassidy, and a whopping 44 point margin to Evans in third. Wehrlein took a brace of seventh place finishes across the weekend, but sits 49 points off Dennis.

With a maximum of 29 points available per race, and London being a double-header, it leaves 58 points up for grabs in total across the weekend. It has left Dennis in a position where he has almost got the championship sewn up, and to drive home his strong season, he could win the title in Saturday’s race itself, repeating Stoffel Vandoorne’s feat from season eight.

This would be sweet redemption for the events of Berlin two years prior, when Jake Dennis crumbled under immense pressure and hit the wall, in what was turning out to be a superb season for the then-rookie driver. Now into his third season, Dennis will be watchful, and look to have a clean weekend, given his current championship position.

What does he need to do to win the championship after Round 15 itself, though? And what does his nearest competitor need to do to take the title fight to the finale, on the following day? This article has got you covered.

Dennis must win to take the title after the first race; Image credits - Andretti Autosport

Dennis winning the title in race one: The odds in his favour

To estimate the scenarios that could see Jake Dennis crowned a champion at the end of race one itself, here is the points system in Formula E. The points system is the same as the system followed in Formula 1, only for one minor addition.

The race winner gets 25 points, second place gets 18, third gets 15, and then 12 for fourth place, 10 for fifth place, and then eight, six, four, and two for those finishing in positions sixth to ninth. Tenth place gets a solitary point, while a fastest lap point is also on offer, provided a driver finishes in the top ten. The winner himself can attain 26 points, if he snatches the fastest lap point too, as was the case for Dennis and Evans back in Rome.

However, in Formula E, the pole-sitter for the race gets three points. This can make for multiple permutations and combinations for this scenario, as you will see in the article.

At this moment, Dennis sits on 195 points in the standings, 24 ahead of his nearest rival in the standings, Nick Cassidy. Here’s what the Avalanche Andretti driver would need to do to win the title in the first race of the weekend itself.

Scenario One - Dennis takes pole position

Taking into account Dennis’s strong form around London, it would be a long shot to rule him out from getting a pole position. Should he take pole position, here’s how he can win out after race one itself:

He will extend his championship lead to 27 points over Cassidy, before the main race.

If Dennis wins race one, he will be crowned champion, irrespective of Cassidy’s finishing position. However, should he not take the win, here’s how the scenario plays out:

If Dennis finishes

Cassidy must finish

​P2 (with or without fastest lap)

P1 (with/without fastest lap)

P3 or lower (with/without fastest lap)

Ahead of Jake Dennis, or not get outscored by more than two points

In this scenario, Cassidy needs to finish ahead of Dennis to take the title fight to race two. For Dennis, it's a simple case, outscore Cassidy by at least three points in round 15, and he will be crowned champion.

In the event of Dennis not winning, and the gap between the two being 29 points, Cassidy will need to do what Dennis did in Rome, take 29 points (pole, win, fastest lap) and hope the Andretti driver doesn’t score a single point in the race. In that case, the two would be tied at the top, but Cassidy would win the championship on countback (having won more races during the season).

Cassidy faces an uphill task to win his first title; Image - Envision Racing

Scenario 2 - Nick Cassidy takes pole position

In this case, Cassidy would reduce the gap to leader Dennis to 21 points, giving him a bit more breathing space in the championship fight. From here, Dennis would need to outscore Cassidy by nine points to win the title outright, in race one, and rule Cassidy out of the title fight mathematically. With 29 points up for grabs on Sunday, and Dennis 30 ahead, should he score nine more than Cassidy, he will be crowned champion.

These are the scenarios for Cassidy to stay in the hunt, even mathematically, in this case:

Key - FL: Fastest Lap

For Cassidy, First case - If Dennis takes fastest lap, second - If Dennis doesn’t take fastest lap

If Dennis finishes

Cassidy must finish

P1 (with/without fastest lap)

P2 (with/without fastest lap)

​P2 (with/without fastest lap)

First or third (lowest - fourth, fifth + FL)

​​​P3 (with/without fastest lap)

​Top two (lowest - fifth, or P6 + FL)

P4 (with/without fastest lap)

On the podium (or lowest - P7, or P8+ FL)

​P5 (with/without fastest lap)

​Top four (or lowest - P8, or P9 + FL)

P6 or lower (with/without fastest lap)

Top five (or Lowest - ninth or tenth, with Fastest Lap)

Scenario 3 - If neither driver takes pole

In this case, the gap would still remain at 24 points, and Dennis would need to outscore Cassidy by six points to win the title outright. Here are the scenarios for both drivers, in this case:

Note that the lowest finish is just for Cassidy to be able to carry on the championship fight into Sunday’s race.

​​If Dennis Finishes

Cassidy must finish

P1 (with/without fastest lap)

Cassidy is out, even if he finishes second

P2 (with/without fastest lap)

On the podium

P3 (with/without fastest lap)

Top two (or lowest - fourth, or fifth + FL)

P4 (with/without fastest lap)

Top three (lowest - sixth, or seventh + FL)

P5 (with/without fastest lap)

Top four (lowest - seventh, or eighth + FL)

P6 (with/without fastest lap)

Top five (lowest - eighth, or ninth with FL)

P7 (with/without fastest lap)

In the points (with/without fastest lap)

A commonality for all the cases: If Dennis fails to score points in race one, the battle carries on to race two, irrespective of Cassidy's finishing position.

Evans championship hopes hang by a slender thread; Image credit - Jaguar Racing

The Curious Case of Mitch Evans and Pascal Wehrlein

Evans and Wehrlein sit 44 and 49 points off Dennis respectively, and both can almost kiss goodbye to their championship aspirations. One of the drivers will have to win the race, while Dennis doesn’t score a single point, in order to just stay in contention for Sunday’s season finale. After tomorrow, one or both of these drivers will be out of the championship fight, depending upon Dennis’s finishing position. Even if he doesn’t score a point, with only one driver capable of winning the race, the other will automatically be knocked out, even if they finish second.

Evans' charge will be made even harder, thanks to his five-place grid penalty for crashing into Cassidy at Rome.

Summing up the battle

For now, the ball is in Dennis' court. He just needs to finish ahead of his closest rival, Nick Cassidy, in order to win the title after the first race of the weekend. Even if he is forced to limit the damage to Cassidy, should the latter finish higher, he must look to finish close to his rival. If Cassidy takes all 58 points on the weekend, a highly unlikely scenario, all Dennis needs to do is finish second in both races to win the title.

But, as is the case with Formula E, anything can happen, so never rule out the impossible. Will Dennis be able to wrap up the title on Saturday itself? Or will Cassidy be able to take the fight to the season finale on Sunday? Only time will be able to tell us the tale.


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