Formula E

Is it Dennis' championship to lose now? The e-Formula.news driver ratings for the Rome E-Prix 2023

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

Cassidy-Dennis-Race-Start-Formula-E-Sunday-Rome

With only the fourth "Grand Slam" victory in Formula E history, Jake Dennis has put himself in the best possible position in Rome to win the title in the 2023 season. In both rounds in Italy, the Briton performed well, while his rivals stumbled. Our driver ratings.

After each round of the 2023 Formula E season, our editors award points on a scale between 1 and 10 for all drivers. They are then sorted according to their average score, and the best ten performances are commented on by our Formula E reporter Tobias Bluhm. Only the individual driving performances are included in the rating, taking the potential of the car or external circumstances out of the equation.

The e-Formula.news driver ratings for the Hankook Rome E-Prix 2023

1 | Jake Dennis | Avalanche Andretti | 9.0 points

Never has he been so close to the title. After yet another outstanding Formula E weekend in Rome, Jake Dennis is now the clear favorite for the championship ahead of the season finale. He particularly shone in Sunday's race in Italy, scoring a "grand slam" consisting of pole position, fastest race lap, completing all laps in first place, and the race win.

Even the day before, when the 28-year-old finished "only" fourth due to a strategy error, he showed all his individual class. Jaguar arguably had the better car in Rome, and yet Dennis was able to record two top results. Champions are made of this material.

BOTTOM LINE: After the Rome weekend, it's Dennis' championship to lose.

2 | Nick Cassidy | Envision Racing | 8.3 points

What a roller coaster ride of emotions! After Nick Cassidy drove from ninth to second place on Saturday - helped a bit by the sheer amount of retirements, of course - he was able to take on the Jaguar factory drivers and Jake Dennis on Sunday as well. After a suberb qualifying session, he was mixing it up at the front in the starting phase, before Mitch Evans crashed him out of the running turn 7.

The controversial accident will haunt Cassidy's mind for days to come. Yet, he himself could not have changed anything about the situation. Maturely, he accepted Evans' apology after the race, but the lost points hurt his world championship ambitions badly. In London, he faces a tough task.

BOOTOM LINE: Cassidy did everything right in Rome but lost ground to Dennis regardless. How bitter!

3 | Norman Nato | Nissan | 7.5 points

"Congratulations to Norman, too," Nick Cassidy radioed after Sunday qualifying. "This guy is so underrated." It's hard to sum it up any better than that. Although Norman Nato has "stood out" so far this season mainly with inconspicuousness, the Frenchman delivered bis best performance in a long time in Rome. A software update at Nissan helped him to finish at the front for the first time since his Berlin victory in 2021.

When he finished second on Sunday, his car's inefficiency against Jaguar became apparent, but clever defensive maneuvers and racing intelligence kept him ahead of Sam Bird until the end. Nato thus scored Nissan's first podium since the purchase of e.dams - a success that the team, led by Italian team principal Tommaso Volpe, must have duly celebrated.

BOTTOM LINE: Nato was among the best drivers on Sunday - not only on the final classification list, but also in terms of race pace.

4 | Maximilian Günther | Maserati MSG | 7.3 points

Staying focussed amidst transfer rumors about one's own person definitely deserves at least some recognition. Maximilian Günther also completed a good weekend in Rome, where he once again gave his Maserati team a podium - at their home race no less. He also scored important points on Sunday, thanks to which the team finally caught up with Stellantis Group rival DS.

BOTTOM LINE: Günther is and remains the better Maserati driver this year.

5 | Sebastien Buemi | Envision Racing | 7.0 points

Sebastien Buemi was among the drivers involved in Saturday's horror pile-up. After colliding with the stationary car of Sam Bird (Jaguar), the Swiss almost rolled over before taking another hit from Antonio Felix da Costa (Porsche). As fluids were presumably leaking in the drivetrain, his car even caught fire in the process: that's never happened before in Formula E!

After a complete rebuild of his car, Buemi started on Sunday with a spare chassis from Spark. The fact that he was then even able to bring the car, which had been patched together in a night shift, to the finish line in fifth place can rightfully be deemed nothing short of sensational.

BOTTOM LINE: An emotional roller coaster ride in Rome ends with a conciliatory ten points. They could become decisive in the fight for the World Teams' Championship.

6 | Mitch Evans | Jaguar TCS Racing | 7.0 points

For Mitch Evans, the Hankook Rome E-Prix was an event of two halves. Before the weekend, he was considered a big favorite in the paddock, not only because of his double victorylast year. But the fact that he repeated that feat on Saturday is testament to his great individual class.

Formula E fans, however, got to see relatively little of that on the second lap of the Sunday race, when he was "surprised" by Nick Cassidy braking before a corner and lost control of his car. Evans apologized after the race and acknowledged his mistake.

BOTTOM LINE: The weekend got off to an outstanding start, but Evans still leaves Rome as the bogeyman. It will now be very difficult for him in the title fight.

7 | Sam Bird | Jaguar TCS Racing | 6.5 points

Rarely has Sam Bird been as emotional publicly as he was after the Sunday race. Fighting back tears in the press conference, he said, "I've looked in the mirror a lot in the last few weeks. What I saw there was just a mediocre driver." On the second day in Rome, however, the Briton proved that he is still capable of great restults after all: A top qualifying was followed by P3 finish in the race, the next podium of his season.

His individual performance is likely to be too little, too late to still be able to contribute to Jaguar in 2024. It might have been one of his last podiums for quite some time, given Bird's options for next year (Nissan, Mahindra, maybe Andretti). And yet, coming back this way after his serious accident on Saturday, which could have had far worse consequences, is a testament to how classy and quick he still is.

BOTTOM LINE: Looking at the season as a whole, the podium seems like a Band-Aid on a gaping laceration. And yet, last Sunday did Bird and his self-confidence good!

8 | Edoardo Mortara | Maserati MSG | 6.5 points

It took (too) long for Edoardo Mortara to make a serious impact in the Formula E world championship standings. Although Maserati team boss James Rossiter never tired of emphasizing Mortara's role in Günther's Jakarta success, the Swiss driver has recently lacked the results to justify his purported two-year contract.

On Sunday in Rome, however, the knot finally seemed to burst for Mortara. With fourth place, he achieved his best result of the season and almost doubled his 2023 points tally. Keep it up!

BOTTOM LINE: Good things take time. Hopefully Mortara can build on his Rome pace in London.

9 | Nico Müller | ABT Cupra | 6.5 points

ABT Cupra's powertrain partner Mahindra seems to love putting obstacles in the way of themselves and their customer team. A software problem in the rookie free practice session affected ABT still in FP1, which meant Müller and Frijns started the weekend with a handicap. Nevertheless, the Swiss in particular performed well, kept a cool head in the heat of Rome and scored championship points on both race days. At the beginning of the season, that would unlikkely have been possible.

BOTTOM LINIE: Whoever drives at the back has to work the hardest. All efforts paid off for ABT Cupra in Rome.

10 | Sacha Fenestraz | Nissan | 6.3 points

In the drivers' championship, Fenestraz fell behind Norman Nato over the weekend, but that's largely due to his teammate's podium result. Fenestraz himself is still waiting for his first top three result, which would have been fully deserved on the Rome weekend as well. A battery change on Sunday thwarted his plans, however. Starting from last on the grid, no better result than 16th place was possible for him.

FAZIT: Fenestraz's Rome highlight was probably third on the grid on Saturday. Nevertheless, a promising weekend from the Frenchman. Once again.

How our editors voted:
Driver Tobias Bluhm Timo Pape Svenja König Tobias Wirtz Average Score
01. Jake Dennis 9 9 9 9 9,00
02. Nick Cassidy 9 8 9 7 8,25
03. Norman Nato 7 8 7 8 7,50
04. Maximilian Günther 7 7 7 8 7,25
05. Sebastien Buemi 6 7 7 8 7,00
06. Mitch Evans 7 7 7 7 7,00
07. Sam Bird 8 6 6 6 6,50
08. Edoardo Mortara 6 7 6 7 6,50
09. Nico Müller 7 7 5 7 6,50
10. Sacha Fenestraz 7 5 6 7 6,25
11. Rene Rast 5 7 5 6 5,75
12. Sergio Sette Camara 6 6 5 6 5,75
13. Dan Ticktum 5 6 5 5 5,25
14. Jean-Eric Vergne 4 6 5 6 5,25
15. Lucas di Grassi 5 6 2 6 4,75
16. Pascal Wehrlein 4 6 3 6 4,75
17. Stoffel Vandoorne 4 4 5 6 4,75
18. Antonio Felix da Costa 5 4 5 5 4,75
19. Andre Lotterer 5 5 2 5 4,25
20. Robin Frijns 5 4 3 5 4,25
21. Jake Hughes 4 4 3 3 3,50
22. Roberto Merhi 2 3 2 3 2,50

 
* Tie-Breaker bei Punktegleichstand: höhere Einzelwertung im Fahrer-Rating. Tie-Breaker bei identischen Punkten: besseres Rennergebnis.

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