Formula E

Formula E in Shanghai: Felix da Costa wins on Sunday in Shanghai, new faces on the podium

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

Antonio Felix da Costa won Sunday's Formula E race in Shanghai. The Porsche driver beat Jake Hughes (McLaren) and Norman Nato (Andretti) to complete the podium. Jaguar had to settle for positions 4 and 5. Nick Cassidy nevertheless extended his championship lead because both Pascal Wehrlein and Jake Dennis came away empty-handed.

Pole-sitter Jake Hughes did not get the best of starts and lost the lead to Stoffel Vandoorne in Turn 1. Antonio Felix da Costa remained third, while Norman Nato immediately made up a few positions on the outside lane. After just a few corners, he was already fourth ahead of Nyck de Vries and Nick Cassidy. Sunday's race was one lap shorter than the day before, meaning that saving energy would play a somewhat smaller role. As a result, there were not quite as many overtaking manoeuvres in the first two laps as on Saturday. However, Felix da Costa still moved up to second place.

On the third lap, numerous drivers activated their first attack mode - a total of six minutes had to be completed with the additional power in two phases. When Vandoorne also drove through the attack zone, Nato took the lead at the Shanghai E-Prix. Cassidy continued in fifth position and complained about the strategy: "Man, I was so happy with it yesterday!" Apparently, he would have liked to save energy further back in the field to be able to attack towards the end of the race.

On lap 7, Vandoorne took the lead again, but Nato countered a few corners later. Felix da Costa was also constantly involved in the three-way battle for the lead and also overtook Vandoorne. As almost all the drivers were in attack mode, there were some shifts on lap 8. However, nothing fundamental changed in the top 10. On lap 9, Felix da Costa finally got his first attack mode, so that he briefly dropped back, but was back in the lead a little later and promptly drove through the attack zone for the second time.

Tyre puncture for World Championship candidate Wehrlein

Then came the shock for Porsche: Pascal Wehrlein - until then outside the top 10 - suffered a puncture on the left rear tyre after making contact with Sam Bird. The championship contender had to come into the pits to change his tyres. He dropped back behind the field - the end of his hopes of a good result on Sunday. De Vries and Max Günther drove side by side through the final chicane, resulting in contact. However, both apparently escaped without damage. Not so Vandoorne: The DS driver slightly damaged his front wing in a contact, but was able to continue in third place.

At the halfway point of the race after 14 of 28 laps, Nato was still leading ahead of Felix da Costa. The two Jaguar drivers in positions 5 and 6 had made no attempt to move forwards until then. However, Mitch Evans now received a radio message from his race engineer that he could go full power. His team-mate Cassidy may have received a similar radio message, but he immediately made up a place on Vandoorne and was now fourth behind Hughes.

McLaren team-mate Bird, meanwhile, lost a few positions and eventually retired in the pits. He had entered the chicane with a clear excess of speed and hit de Vries hard on the side. Both spun. De Vries, on the other hand, was able to continue, but also fell a long way back. Race control investigated the scene with regard to a possible penalty against Bird.

Quiet final phase

On lap 19, Cassidy attacked Hughes, but the Briton held off. Cassidy damaged his front wing in the action and remained fourth. Further ahead, Felix da Costa reclaimed the lead from Nato. The Andretti driver also slipped behind Hughes during the manoeuvre. Jean-Eric Vergne now put pressure on his team-mate Vandoorne, who finished sixth. Behind them, Günther, Robin Frijns and Jake Dennis completed the top 10 at this point.

The final laps began and the two Jaguar drivers had a clear energy advantage over the top three ahead of them. Nevertheless, the leader Felix da Costa radioed that he would not be saving any more energy. However, it became quieter on the track during this phase - hardly any shifts. The final lap of the race was already underway. Felix da Costa left nothing to chance and took his next victory. Hughes also made it onto the Formula E podium for the first time ever, with Nato completing the podium in third place.

Cassidy and Evans had to settle for fourth and fifth place. Their offensive efforts obviously came too late. The Jaguar cars were followed by three Stellantis drives: Vandoorne, Vergne and Günther. Robin Frijns and Oliver Rowland completed the top 10, with world champion Jake Dennis coming away empty-handed in eleventh place.

In the drivers' championship, leader Cassidy has now extended his lead over second-placed Wehrlein to 25 points - a substantial cushion with four races to go before the end of the season! Evans is now third in the second Jaguar, a further ten points behind. Among the teams, Jaguar lost three points to Porsche, but is still clearly in the lead. Nissan ranks third, just ahead of DS Penske. The next two Formula E races will take place on 29 and 30 June after a longer break of five weeks. The electric series will then travel to Portland in the USA.

Results & lap times

Championship standings (drivers & teams)

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