Formula E

Bold maneuvers & Cape Town click: The e-Formel.de driver rating for the 2023 Formula E race in South Africa

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

The Formula E paddock is unanimous: Hopefully Cape Town will remain on the electric series calendar in the long term! In one of the most exciting final stages in a long time, Antonio Felix da Costa scored his first victory with Porsche. But even away from the leadership battle, there were some remarkable driving performances to watch in South Africa. We have evaluated them.

Once again, the editors of e-Formel.de will award points on a scale of 1 to 10 to all drivers after each race weekend of the season. The drivers are then sorted according to their average "rating score", and the best ten performances are commented on by our Formula E reporter Tobias Bluhm. Only individual driving performances are included in the rating, not the potential of the car or external circumstances.

The e-Formel.de driver rating for the Cape Town E-Prix 2023

1st Antonio Felix da Costa | TAG Heuer Porsche | 9.3 points

With maneuvers that should make even the great Nigel Mansell proud, Antonio Felix da Costa extended his entry in the Formula E history books in Cape Town. How he skillfully passed first Nick Cassidy (Envision) in the high-speed passage of turns 7/8 and then, shortly before the end, passed his ex-teammate Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske), left just about everyone/everyone involved in the paddock speechless.

Homely, quietly, the Portuguese had previously worked his way through the field from 11th on the grid. But it was precisely this starting position that was Felix da Costa's only weak point in South Africa: once again, things did not go according to plan for the Porsche driver in qualifying. His pace was not enough for the duel phase. Nevertheless, the great efficiency of his Porsche and uncompromisingness in the race of the 31-year-old did not go without appreciation from our panel.

FAZIT: Thanks to a picture-book maneuver Felix da Costa brought himself in Cape Town in a promising chasing position in the world championship.

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2. Jean-Eric Vergne | DS Penske | 8.7 points

After the race, praise was rightly heaped on Antonio Felix da Costa's overtaking skills. However, one factor must not be forgotten: It was only thanks to Jean-Eric Vergne's circumspection that the Porsche driver's courageous maneuver did not result in an accident. The Frenchman knows his former teammate inside and out and, by backing down at the last second, was instrumental in ensuring that the leadership battle ended smoothly. If not in his own favor.

Apart from that, Vergne drove at the top level in the race as usual. The Hyderabad victory, it now seems clear, did his self-confidence good. In third place in the championship, Vergne is now only twelve points behind the front runners Pascal Wehrlein and Jake Dennis thanks to his renewed podium and the bonus point for the fastest race lap. There's still a lot possible!

FAZIT: Vergne drove a smart race in which he preferred scoring points to a possible victory. With exactly this foresight, you can win championships.

3rd Sacha Fenestraz | Nissan | 8.7 points

Only Daniel Abt was younger when he took pole position in Long Beach in 2015: Sacha Fenestraz made it to row 1 for the first time in his sixth Formula E race! The Frenchman then drove a level-headed race and did not let himself be shaken off the leading group in Cape Town, thanks in part to good coaching from his engineer Johann Aime.

On the final lap, Nick Cassidy (Envision) put an early end to Fenestraz's race with a nudge at turn 7. That left no points for the Formula E rookie, although he probably would have made it to the podium on his own merits.

FAZIT: For Fenestraz, things "clicked" in Cape Town. Should Nissan's drive efficiency in South Africa not have been an exception, we can expect even more from him this season!

4th Nick Cassidy | Envision Racing | 7.7 points

Five races, two podiums, 43 points, 5th overall: the start to the 2023 season may have been to Nick Cassidy's liking. The New Zealander drove at the front in Cape Town after a good qualifying session and even collected leading kilometers before his efficiency deficit to Felix da Costa and Vergne became apparent.

In the closing stages of the E-Prix, he clashed with Sacha Fenestraz and the Frenchman retired. Cassidy thus secured a place on the podium and sealed a remarkable statistic: the same three drivers have now stood on the podium in two consecutive races, albeit in a different order. This has never happened before in Formula E.

FAZIT: Another good weekend from Nick Cassidy, he'll be happy with that!

5 Rene Rast | Neom McLaren | 7.7 points

In view of the fact that Rene Rast struggled with fever symptoms on race Saturday, his recovery from 10th to fourth place is all the more impressive. In the process, the German hardly overtook on the track himself, but rather benefited from retirements in front of him. But because he stayed out of all the skirmishes in the race and remained efficient, he was a candidate in the fight for the podium until the checkered flag.

FAZIT: You might find it hard to believe that Rene Rast has had a year off Formula E. He is among the best drivers of the first third of the season!

6th Dan Ticktum | Nio 333 | 7.7 points

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In Hyderabad, Sergio Sette Camara was still getting all the attention of the Nio 333 leadership, but in Cape Town, Dan Ticktum reported back. The fact that in our community betting game several participant:s are now regularly betting on the Brit in qualifying is testament to the development he and the team have made

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Under certain circumstances, such as an accident in the leadership battle, Ticktum might even have been a podium candidate! In the end, he crossed the finish line in an outstanding sixth place. It is the best result of his Formula E career to date (so far: 10th place in Rome 2022 and Diriyya 2023).

FAZIT: Ticktum has to fight less and less to achieve good results. The trend clearly points upward - gladly more of it!

7th place Mitch Evans | Jaguar TCS Racing | 7.3 points

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After the accident of his teammate in qualifying, it was up to Mitch Evans at Jaguar to take points. In the opening stages of the race, it looked as if the New Zealander would succeed in doing just that after another very strong qualifying session. But then the FIA ordered him back to pit lane for a drive-through penalty. Evans' car had called up more power than permitted for a brief moment. For the 28-year-old thus remained at the finish only position 11.

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FAZIT: An unsatisfactory end to a race that had started so promisingly.

8th Sebastien Buemi | Envision Racing | 7.3 points

Just moments after the start of the 1st Free Practice, Sebastien Buemi's session was already over. Until late in the night, his team was busy repairing the car that the Swiss had damaged in a crash at turn 8. Saturday started much better for Buemi: he made it through the 2nd free practice session unscathed, and in qualifying he ended up in 7th place on the grid after a quarter-final duel.

In the race, however, his car took another hit when Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) braked on the starting lap and Buemi hurtled into the rear. Miraculously, the Swiss driver was able to continue. After a strong recovery he even reached the finish in 5th place!

FAZIT: A strong weekend from Sebastien Buemi, who managed to score double-digit points despite the starting accident.

9th Maximilian Günther | Maserati MSG | 6.0 points

The disappointment was obvious to Maximilian Günther after the race. For the first time in the 2023 season, the German drove at the top level in the lead group of a race. At times he even collected lead kilometers. Then, however, after a driving error, he self-inflicted into the wall of turn 1, damaging his car's suspension so badly that he had to abandon the E-Prix.

It is after qualifying in Diriyya his second serious mistake of the season. In Cape Town, the crash cost Günther a possible victory as well as important championship points. Along with the three ABT drivers Nico Müller, Robin Frijns and Kelvin van der Linde, he thus remains one of only four drivers who have not yet finished in the top 10 this year.

FAZIT: With a costly driving error Günther ended his race himself. Knowing him, however, he is probably most annoyed with himself for the misstep.

10th Jake Dennis | Avalanche Andretti | 5.7 points

After an outstanding start to the season, Jake Dennis suffered two setbacks in Hyderabad and Cape Town: In India, he only made it to the finish line in 16th place after an accident, and in South Africa a penalty robbed him of crucial points. Particularly bitter: the Briton was unable to do anything about the tire pressures, which the FIA found to be too low on Dennis' car.

FAZIT: Two "zeros" in a row, that hurts.

Die weiteren Positionen im Fahrer-Rating:

 

Position Fahrer Note Startplatz Endergebnis
11. Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske) 5.7 12. 7.
12. Jake Hughes (Neom McLaren) 5.3 13. 10.
13. Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) 5.3 6. DNF
14. Norman Nato (Nissan) 5.0 9. 8.
15. Andre Lotterer (TAG Heuer Porsche) 5.0 15. 9.
16. Sergio Sette Camara (Nio 333) 4.7 16. 12.
17. Edoardo Mortara (Maserati MSG) 4.7 17. DNF
18. Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) 4.7 - DNS

* Da die Fahrer von Mahindra und ABT Cupra nicht am Qualifying und Rennen teilnahmen, wurden Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Rowland, Nico Müller und Kelvin van der Linde im Fahrer-Rating zum Kapstadt E-Prix 2023 nicht berücksichtigt.

So hat die Redaktion abgestimmt:
Fahrer Tobias Bluhm Timo Pape Tobias Wirtz Durchschnitt
01. Antonio Felix da Costa 9 10 9 9,33
02. Jean-Eric Vergne 9 8 9 8,67
03. Sacha Fenestraz 7 9 9 8,33
04. Nick Cassidy 7 8 8 7,67
05. Rene Rast 8 7 8 7,67
06. Dan Ticktum 7 8 8 7,67
07. Mitch Evans 6 7 9 7,33
08. Sebastien Buemi 8 7 7 7,33
09. Maximilian Günther 6 6 6 6,00
10. Jake Dennis 5 5 7 5,67
11. Stoffel Vandoorne 6 6 5 5,67
12. Jake Hughes 5 5 6 5,33
13. Pascal Wehrlein 5 5 6 5,33
14. Norman Nato 4 5 6 5,00
15. Andre Lotterer 6 5 4 5,00
16. Sergio Sette Camara 5 4 5 4,67
17. Edoardo Mortara 5 4 5 4,67
18. Sam Bird 5 4 5 4,67

 

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