Formula E

Cassidy on Formula E podium again after heated Jaguar radio games: "Mitch should be sitting here today"

Svenja König

Svenja König

In a dramatic attempt to overtake Jean-Eric Vergne just a few corners before the end, Mitch Evans threw away what should have been a safe podium for Jaguar. The beneficiary was his team-mate Nick Cassidy who had put the team in a promising position thanks to a strong race overview. Nevertheless, Cassidy also caused a lot of discussion inside the Jaguar team during and after the race.

Five corners before the end of the race, things could hardly have looked better for Jaguar: Evans was right behind the rear of Jean-Eric Vergne - about to overtake the Frenchman for second place. Team-mate Cassidy was basically just waiting to overtake DS too in the final metres. However, it turned out differently.

In an all-or-nothing attempt, Evans set an attack on the long straight and tried to overtake Vergne from the slipstream. However, he did not manage to steer his Jaguar into the corner in time. Evans had to pass the run-off area and dropped back to fifth place. Everyone in the Jaguar garage realised that Evans had given away the podium as was shown on TV.

"Mitch drove an incredible race today," the team wrote on Instagram after the race. "The opportunity was there and we took it. But not every opportunity pays off."

Evans on switching games: "Don't f**k me over"

The strategy that had brought Jaguar into this promising situation with 3rd and 4th place was largely the brainchild of Cassidy. The Jaguar driver had been flushed into fourth place on lap 23 after many drivers in the midfield had used their attack modes in front of him. He was the only driver in the field who still had to use both attack modes.

He wanted to take advantage of this and suggested to his team via the radio that they swap positions with Evans, who was driving in front of him, which in turn gave him the chance to save energy in the slipstream. At the same time - he reasoned - the original order would have been restored the moment Cassidy activated his first attack mode.

A heated intermezzo followed on the Jaguar radio, as team-mate Evans was initially not at all enthusiastic about the idea. Phrases such as "I don't trust him", "Don't f**k me over" or "Give me more information" were uttered.

Cassidy proves great race overview

Cassidy explained his idea after the race: "Mitch wasn't my opponent today. We drive for the same employer and I had a really fast car. I just said: 'Hey, let me use the pace'." In the end, Evans bowed to the team's decision and let Cassidy past, whose strategy worked completely.

Just seconds after getting behind his team-mate, he suggested the same strategy to the team again - after all, he had to activate attack mode once more. However, this was where his racing acumen really shone through, as the trick to this idea was for Evans to hold off Sam Bird, who was driving behind the two Jaguars, so that Cassidy would return to the track ahead of the McLaren driver after activating attack mode.

Once again, his strategy paid off! It looked like a strong finish for Jaguar in 3rd and 4th place - with the chance of even attacking Vergne in the DS. But it wasn't to be.

Cassidy: "Would have been very happy with 4th place today"

After Evans' dramatic mistake on the final lap, Cassidy inherited third place and was able to celebrate on the podium after the race. "I feel sorry for Mitch," said the New Zealander after the race in the top 3 press conference. "I think he should be sitting here and not me. I would have been very happy with 4th place today." But luck was with the brave in Diriyah.

Cassidy began his first season with Jaguar in the same way that his last season with Envision ended - in the thick of the battle for victories and championships. With third place in the first race in Mexico and third place now in Diriyah, he is second overall in the world championship, just one point behind Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein.

"I've never started a season so well," said a delighted Cassidy. "We have a super fast car and a great team that supports us." At most, there is still room for improvement in qualifying: "I made a mistake in qualifying today," admits the New Zealander, adding with a wink: "Tomorrow I have to start from pole."

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