Formula E

Formula E in Shanghai: Mitch Evans defeats Pascal Wehrlein in thrilling Saturday race

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

Mitch Evans has won Saturday's Formula E race in Shanghai. The Jaguar driver beat Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein, who finished second, in an extremely exciting final phase. Nick Cassidy in the second Jaguar completed the podium in third place. Oliver Rowland and Antonio Felix da Costa completed the top five.

Pole-sitter Jean-Eric Vergne defended his lead in the long "snail's corner", but Oliver Rowland did not get off the mark well in second place. Pascal Wehrlein moved up to second place, followed by Mitch Evans. Behind them: Rowland and Antonio Felix da Costa. However, the Portuguese driver once again sought to "escape to the front" early on and was already third behind his Porsche team-mate at the end of the first lap. The first lap was completed without any significant contact.

On lap 2, Wehrlein took the lead and was then the first to go into attack mode in turn 2, but remained in front. Meanwhile, Robin Frijns had prepared himself and led the field at the end of the third lap - until he also drove through the attack zone. Wehrlein later left first place to his team-mate Felix da Costa. The expected slipstreaming games in the next "peloton" race took shape...

On the first few laps, the two Porsche drivers were racing in formation at the front. They protected each other - both when activating attack mode and when saving energy in each other's slipstream. On lap 8, however, Evans took the lead for the first time, followed by Vergne. Jake Dennis had also worked his way into the lead group in the meantime.

"We don't want to lead" - interplay continues

Out of nowhere, Nyck de Vries in the Mahindra suddenly appeared at the front and led the field from lap 10 - his first laps in the lead since the 2022 Berlin E-Prix. "Drop down to second place - we don't want to lead," his race engineer told him over the radio. A sentence that sums up the current (controversial) racing style in Formula E on classic racetracks. De Vries obeyed, and Evans took the lead again. The Jaguar driver was doing well in terms of his energy levels just before the halfway point of the race, as was Dennis.

At this point, things looked even better for Nick Cassidy, who had held back in the first half of the race in order to save energy. In the meantime, this conservative strategy, which had led him to victory in Berlin, had brought him up to fifth place. Edo Mortara dropped to the back of the field with damage to his front wing and had to come into the pits. He retired from the race. Max Günther was travelling too fast and slid into Jake Hughes, who in turn crashed into the side of Mortara. As parts of his car were lying on the track in turn 6, yellow flags were waved there at times.

After 17 of 29 laps, it was once again the two Porsche drivers who were in the lead. The race was gradually approaching the "go point" - the point at which nobody has to save any more energy. As a result, all the drivers tried to position themselves as best as possible, because overtaking would become more difficult from that point onwards. Most of the top drivers managed this very well: Evans, Felix da Costa, Dennis and Cassidy came in behind Wehrlein after 20 of 29 laps. However, the question was: was Wehrlein really saving enough energy at the front?

Wehrlein squeezes through, but Evans strikes back

Frijns spun in midfield and dropped back to 17th place. Another difficult weekend for world champion Envision, as Sebastien Buemi was also outside the top 10 at this point. Wehrlein braked slightly on lap 23, which allowed Evans to snatch the lead. Wehrlein now had to defend against Dennis - the next instalment of the fiery duel between the Porsche drivers. Felix da Costa started an attack on Cassidy in fifth place, but had to back off.

The "Kiwi", on the other hand, attacked Dennis and came out on top! Further ahead, Wehrlein attacked Evans on the inside in the final chicane. He drove a bit through the grass and thus vehemently asserted himself against the Jaguar driver - the lead for the German with four laps to go. Evans attacked Wehrlein again on lap 27, but the Porsche driver ultimately prevailed and remained in front. Thrilling final phase in China!

Cassidy, in third place, kept asking whether he should attack, but did not get a clear answer - he may have had a radio problem. On lap 28, Rowland attacked Dennis and took fifth place from his compatriot. At the start of the last lap, Evans tried again - and passed Wehrlein on the outside of turn 1! Now Cassidy also sensed his chance and piled on the pressure. But Wehrlein defended second place to the end. Evans brought victory home! Cassidy finished third ahead of Rowland, who had overtaken Felix da Costa! Dennis, Vergne, de Vries, Günther and Buemi completed the top 10

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In the overall standings, Wehrlein was able to close the gap slightly on championship leader Cassidy. Rowland is still third and Evans moved up to fourth place with his twelfth Formula E victory. Jaguar extended its already comfortable lead in the team standings. The Porsche works team is still second ahead of Nissan and DS Penske. The next Formula E race will take place in just over 23 hours. Then it will once again be "We go green" at the Sunday race in Shanghai. The race starts again at 9 a.m. (CEST).

Results & lap times

Championship standings (drivers & teams)

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