Formula E

Cassidy takes championship lead as DS & Porsche struggle: The e-Formula.news driver ratings for the Monaco E-Prix 2023

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

For the fourth consecutive time, a New Zealander won a race in Formula E. And for the fourth consecutive time, they did so with Jaguar power. Nick Cassidy (Envision) managed his victory in Monaco thanks to a clever overtake at a tactically important part of the E-Prix. But also behind him, there have also been some other drivers with outstanding individual performances.

e-Formula.news evaluates every driver's performance after each race weekend of the season in our "driver ratings" series. For this, 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 2023 Monaco E-Prix

1st Nick Cassidy | Envision Racing | 9.0 points

The very moment he stormed past Mitch Evans (Jaguar), Nick Cassidy already regretted his decision. Had his overtaking maneuver cost too much energy? Would his opponent and longtime friend be able to strike back just a little later? Everything suggested that the answer to these questions would be a firm "yes".

And yet Cassidy managed to stay ahead in typical Formula E fashion. At exactly the right points, he took his foot off the accelarator to recover the energy he had previously invested. When the Safety Car pulled onto the track in the closing stages of the E-Prix, relief finally spread through the Envision garage. First place for Cassidy had been sealed, as was the lead in the drivers' championship. The result is all the more impressive considering the major rebuild his car required after vibration problems in Free Practice 2.

BOTTOM LINE: From seventh on the grid to the top step of the podium, plus some spectacular overtaking maneuvers. Cassidy will be overjoyed!

2nd Mitch Evans | Jaguar TCS Racing | 8.8 points

Once again in Monaco, it was just not enough for Mitch Evans to win. But the Kiwi still got off to an excellent start to the second half of the 2023 season. He set the tone for his weekend with P1 and P2 in the two Free Practice sessions, and in qualifying it was enough for 6th place on the grid.

The New Zealander underlined his very good pace on push laps with 300 or 350 kW with customary efficiency in the race. Similar to Cassidy, Evans did everything right in the race - but ultimately, luck was on the Envision driver's side.

BOTTOM LINE: Evans could have won just like Cassidy, maybe even should have. But the 18 points scored could still decisively revive his world championship hopes come the end of the year.

3rd Jake Dennis | Avalanche Andretti | 8.3 points

The suggestion that Porsche's powertrain had somehow "worsened" out of the blue was impressively countered by Jake Dennis in Monaco. After the E-Prix, race winner Cassidy described the Briton as "probably the fastest driver today" and declared Dennis could have won the E-Prix as well as himself or Evans.

The race deciding factor for Dennis was most likely his performance in qualifying, in which he could only qualify for 11th place on the grid and was beaten for the first time this season by his teammate Andre Lotterer. With a better starting position Dennis could have saved energy earlier to take the lead in the closing stages.

BOTTOM LINE: This season, the motto for Dennis appears to be "all or nothing." Either he misses the points, or he drives to the podium. In Monaco, he managed the latter.

4th Sacha Fenestraz | Nissan | 8.3 points

Overjoyed, Sacha Fenestraz faced the media after the race - and quite rightly so. The Franco-Argentinean attracted attention already in practice, when he was able to set excellent 300 kW lap times. He confirmed the good impression in qualifying when he initially drove to pole position, but had it revoked due to an overpower infringement.

From second on the grid, Fenestraz was able to keep up well in the race. Not undeservedly, but somewhat surprisingly, he was one of the few drivers who kept up with the lead group for long stretches. He crossed the finish line in fourth, which was his best result of the year.

BOTTOM LINE: In Monaco, the 23-year-old probably drove the best weekend of his season!

5th Jake Hughes | Neom McLaren | 7.3 points

After some regulatory back and forth, Jake Hughes was awarded pole position. Although the Briton had had his time disallowed for shortcutting the Nouvelle Chicane, the McLaren driver was awarded pole position since Fenestraz was also disqualified from qualifying and Hughes did his lap first. The rookie thus became the first McLaren driver since Fernando Alonso in 2007 to start a race in Monaco from pole position.

Unlike the Spaniard, who won the Formula One Grand Prix the following day, Hughes lacked the race pace to keep up at the front. Finishing fifth, he repeated his best result of the current season (he already recorded P5 results in Mexico and Diriyah). In the overall standings, he now leads his teammate Rene Rast.

BOTTOM LINE: It doesn't at all feel like Hughes is contesting his rookie season in Formula E. A superb weekend from him!

6th Jean-Eric Vergne | DS Penske | 7.0 points

You can't overtake in Monaco? Jean-Eric Vergne begs to differ. The two-time champion made up a whopping 15 positions over the course of the E-Prix in the Principality, finishing the race in seventh place. Despite the feared midfield chaos, he managed to keep his head above water at all times with his smart driving to climb up the ranks.

He himself has nothing to regret after the Monaco E-Prix, but DS Penske might: The US-based team made a serious error in estimating the tire pressures in qualifying. They were the only team that apparently didn't sufficiently calculate the influence the clouds would have on tire temperatures and pressures. Both Vergne's times and those of his teammate Vandoorne were thus deleted due to the pressures being too low.

BOTTOM LINE: DS Penske inadvertedly made Vergne's life more difficult than it should have been, but the Frenchman mastered this challenge with flying colors. He was perhaps even the best driver of the race.

7th Norman Nato | Nissan | 6.0 points

At his "substitute" home race in Monaco, Norman Nato perhaps showed his best form of the year. The Frenchman held his own at the front of the field for the first time, but was then passed through the pack due to a strategic error (he lost seven (!) places following his first attack mode activation). He dropped back further in the highly competitive midfield, where he tangled with a rival and ultimately slumped to 17th.

BOTTOM LINE: Without the car damage, a much better result would have been possible for Nato.

8th Dan Ticktum | Nio 333 | 6.3 points

In qualifying, Dan Ticktum used the ever-improving Nio 333 one-lap pace to get into the duels once again. In the E-Prix, the Briton held his own in a couple of top 10 duels before rear-ending one of his Nissan rivals thanks to the concertina effect in Rascasse and damaging his car. A little later, he drew the ire of Maximilian Günther - wrongly, in the opinion of the FIA stewards -, after the Maserati racer rear-ended Ticktum in the uphill passage after Sainte Devote.

Behind the Safety Car, the Briton tried to drive off his damaged front wing on Jake Hughes' (McLaren) car. Whether this rather unconventional driving style will have repercussions (or whether it should at all), is still unclear. The only thing that is certain is that Ticktum repeated his best result of the season in Monaco with a sixth place finish. He collected eight very important World Championship points in the process.

BOTTOM LINE: Another good - albeit neither smooth nor clean - race by Ticktum.

9th Maximilian Günther | Maserati MSG | 6.0 points

Maximilian Günther probably imagined the E-Prix in his adopted home a little differently. After a great qualifying session in which he qualified in fourth, the German was able to keep up well in the midfield duels for a place within the top 10. He engaged in several spectacular battles with Dan Ticktum before crashing into the rear of the Brit.

On the team radio, Günther called for a race suspension for the Briton's allegedly dangerous driving style. With a little reflection, however, he will probably have to acknowledge that a little patience would probably have prevented his crash. The FIA deemed the crash a racing accident.

BOTTOM LINE: Günther drove a smart, hard race, which he could not finish after the Ticktum accident. For the crash, he is at least partly to blame.

10th Stoffel Vandoorne | DS Penske | 5.8 points

The tire pressure debacle in DS Penske's qualifying also prevented Stoffel Vandoorne from achieving a better result. The Belgian started the E-Prix from 21st and stayed out of any major midfield incidents as the race progressed. With a healthy mix of patience, aggressiveness and opportunism, he fought his way to ninth place.

BOTTOM LINE: DS Penske's weather miscalculation cost Vandoorne very important World Championship points. Individually, however, he has nothing to blame himself for: That was a really good race!

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

 
* Tie-breaker in case of equal average points: higher individual scores in the driver rating. Tie-breaker in case of identical individual scores: better race result.

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