Formula E: Wehrlein & Porsche regain championship leads in Jakarta, but Dennis won't let up
Pascal Wehrlein and Porsche have reclaimed the lead in both Formula E world championships with a race win on Saturday and several more points in Jakarta. Accordingly, those responsible expressed their satisfaction and self-confidence after the E-Prix - the championship title is the goal. However, their current biggest opponent is also driving a Porsche: Jake Dennis from customer team Andretti again was able to shine in Indonesia.
After a poor mid-season Pascal Wehrlein found back on track with his third win in 2023 on Saturday. In the second race the following day, things did not go quite as smoothly for him. Nevertheless, he regained the lead in the drivers' championship thanks to 6th place in extreme weather conditions with 34 degrees Celsius and 70 percent humidity, because his rival Nick Cassidy came away empty-handed.
"After my victory on Saturday, I'm pleased that I was able to regain the lead in the championship today," explained Wehrlein. "Overall, it was a bit more difficult today. I had to start on the dirty side of the grid and lost a position straight away. I tried to move further forward, but overtaking was very difficult. With an eye on the championship, I didn't want to risk too much."
This weekend Wehrlein could still afford this luxury. But rival Jake Dennis, who finished both races in Jakarta in second place and thus collected four points more than the German, is not letting up. In the drivers' championship, Dennis is second overall, just one point behind Wehrlein. Nevertheless, the Briton is keeping his head down. He's not thinking about the title yet. "I'm second again, but we still have a long way to go."
Dennis: Results of Cassidy & Wehrlein "of course very helpful for us"
Nevertheless, he is very contended about the good result in Indonesia: "I'm happy - much happier than yesterday," Dennis told in the TV world signal shortly after the end of the race. "I've just heard over the radio that Nick (Cassidy) has dropped out, which is obviously very helpful for us, and Pascal has obviously finished in P6. Second place, 18 points - 19 with the fastest lap - it was a really good race."
With his second-place finish on Sunday, Jake Dennis secured his fourth consecutive podium. The last time this had been achieved was by Edoardo Mortara in 2022, when the Swiss driver was allowed to take part in the podium ceremony twice in Berlin, in Jakarta as well as in Marrakech. Dennis is back in top form - also after an interim slump.
The decisive factor in the race - as already described by race winner Max Günther - was the Attack Mode strategy: "We didn't get the second Attack Mode right, because the Maserati was so fast over one lap today. When he (Günther) pushed, he was able to open a gap and get the position back. But it would have been difficult to keep him behind me anyway," Dennis admits.
So was the Porsche 99X Electric the strongest car in Jakarta? At least not on paper, because Maserati and DS together scored exactly one point more. In the unofficial manufacturers' standings, however, the Porsche/Andretti team is clearly ahead of the Stellantis group: with 368 cumulative points, the Porsche 99X Electric has regained the lead, ranking just ahead of the Jaguar/Envision combination (361 points).
Porsche on top again: "We want to be world champion, no question"
Porsche has also regained the lead in the team championship with their fourth win of the season overall. After eleven of 16 races, the team from Weissach, Germany, ranks at the top with 212 points, ahead of Envision Racing (190), Jaguar TCS Racing (171) and its own customer team Avalanche Andretti (156).
"We leave Jakarta with the lead in both the team and driver championships," said team principal Florian Modlinger. "This is a good basis for the five remaining races of the season. However, we have to keep working hard and try to successively extend our lead. The title race is very close and promises excitement right to the end."
Porsche motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach is also confident: "We're back, and the direction for the rest of the season is clear: We want to be world champion, no question about it." The next Formula E race takes place on June 24 in Portland, USA.
? @PWehrlein's victory in Round 10- TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team (@PorscheFormulaE) June 4, 2023
? #Porsche leading the teams championship
? Pascal Wehrlein leading the drivers championship
? Happy faces after the 2023 #JakartaEPrix
All of this in one clip!
Just watch our highlight video below!#MakeItMatter #PorscheFormulaE... pic.twitter.com/yhvzzHb1vg