Formula E

High tension even still after the race: How the top 3 experienced Formula E's hot final phase in Shanghai

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

What a thrilling final phase in China: Mitch Evans prevailed in a tough duel against Pascal Wehrlein to take his twelfth Formula E victory at the Shanghai E-Prix. Nick Cassidy celebrated his next podium success in third place. After the end of the race, however, the top three were mainly in a negative mood for various reasons: Evans was expecting a penalty against Wehrlein, Cassidy a team order.

For the fans it was a thrilling spectacle, for the drivers it was the usual carnage. With numerous contacts, the top drivers tried to take the lead in the final laps. Initially, Wehrlein fought his way alongside Evans with a spirited manoeuvre and cut across the grass - probably also because he was hit at the last moment by Evans, who was driving alongside him through the tight chicane. However, Evans was still slightly ahead after the contact. Wehrlein was "under investigation" for the incident after the end of the race but was not penalised after all.

On the final lap, however, Evans countered in turn 1 when he passed Wehrlein on the outside of the long "snail curve". The Jaguar driver put up a spirited defence in the final kilometres and took the win on Saturday. One more success and Evans will draw level with front-runners Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastien Buemi in terms of race wins (13 each).

Evans "surprised" that Wehrlein has not been penalised (so far)

"I'm super happy, but it wasn't an easy race," said Evans on Formula E World TV shortly after the end of the race. "I think I took the lead at the right time, but Pascal pushed me a bit in turn 8 and tried again later. I had a good energy advantage and hoped that the race would go in my favour - it did."

"I'm surprised he didn't get anything (a penalty) when he left the track to overtake me," commented Evans on the German's manoeuvre mentioned at the beginning. Jaguar team boss James Barclay said: "I don't really want to say anything about it because we really enjoy racing against Porsche." Jaguar would have accepted anything the stewards would have decided.

Wehrlein: "Mitch forced me onto the grass"

Wehrlein himself explains: "It was a tough battle with the two Jaguars on the last lap. When I tried to overtake Mitch, he forced me onto the grass. From my point of view, that was a bit too much. Mitch then clearly tried to slow me down so that Nick could overtake me. There were a few touches, but that's the way it is. I think it was tough, but fair."

From Wehrlein's point of view, Porsche only lost the victory due to a small tactical mistake: "We probably took the lead a little too early and stayed there too long. That allowed Evans and a few others to build up a small energy advantage. In the past we've sometimes been a bit too conservative, today perhaps a bit too aggressive. I had to come off the power pedal early on the last lap, so Mitch was able to overtake me in turn 1."

Cassidy slowed down - did Jaguar give away a potential one-two victory?

The second Jaguar driver, Nick Cassidy, was visibly unhappy after the race - despite his fifth podium in a row! As in his Berlin victory, the New Zealander had saved a lot of energy in the first half of the race. He then worked his way forwards in the right phase and was in the thick of the fight for victory in the final laps.

He repeatedly radioed his race engineer to ask if he could overtake team-mate Evans, who was ahead of him at the time. After all, he clearly still had more energy in his battery and could have used it to attack Wehrlein. "Please talk to me," he demanded desperately over the radio. But the authorisation from Jaguar did not come. Cassidy ultimately finished third after another strong race, but he could probably have achieved more.

"I definitely had the energy to win here," he was extremely tight-lipped after the race. When asked if he was disappointed, Cassidy replied: "It wasn't my decision, so it's all okay. It was a great race today and a good result for Jaguar with 1st and 3rd place." His facial expressions, however, told a different story.

Did Jaguar make a tactical mistake by not letting Cassidy loose on Wehrlein early on? It might have been a double victory for the "big cat". Either way, Jaguar has significantly extended its lead in the team championship, Cassidy is still in the lead and Evans has returned to the title fight with his victory. First world problems for the luxury car manufacturer. If only the lost Cassidy points don't end up making the difference in the drivers' championship...

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