Formula E

Jake Dennis ignored team's call for 6th Formula E victory: "I think they were happy"

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

Andretti driver Jake Dennis celebrated a commanding race win in Friday's race in Diriyah. The reigning Formula E world champion made up for his poor result from the season opener in Mexico City and reduced the gap to championship leader Pascal Wehrlein to just four points.

Starting from third on the grid, Dennis took the lead for the first time on the fourth lap after Jean-Eric Vergne and Mitch Evans both activated their first attack mode. Thanks to a skilful strategy - the Briton took advantage of the fact that Vergne and Mitch Evans got in each other's way several times and even touched - he retained the top spot on his second activation.

He even disregarded the instructions of his race engineer: Dennis delayed the activation until he had a sufficient lead and remained in front despite driving through the attack zone. "I think the call when they told me to take (attack mode) wouldn't have worked," he says, describing what was probably the decisive situation in the race.

"Then I would have been in P3. So, I was ultimately ignoring that and then going for another lap, pave the distance," Dennis describes. "I think they were happy for me to make that decision. They always give me freedom on what to do in the race and it paid evidence today."

Second largest margin in Formula E history

As Evans and Vergne in particular were unable to keep up with the Andretti driver's pace in the final phase, the gap behind Dennis continued to grow. When he crossed the finish line, 13.289 seconds separated him from Vergne in second place. Dennis thus won with the second-largest lead in Formula E history. Only at the 2015 Putrajaya E-Prix had the race winner's lead been greater: Lucas di Grassi won back then with a 13.884-second gap to Sam Bird.

"Once we got the lead, it was very much just be smart with the energy management and then push when we needed to," says Dennis, explaining the course of the race. "Every time we needed to push, we were extremely competitive and one of the fastest on the circuit. So, quite an easy race towards the end just making sure I didn't make any mistakes was the biggest thing. With a 13-second margin, it was a nice, enjoyable final lap."

"We knew that we would be strong in the race - but not that strong to be honest", admits the Briton. "That was just an incredible performance by the team and myself." As the reigning Formula E world chapion also secured the point for the fastest lap, he is now in fourth place in the overall standings with 28 points. Just four points separate him from Pascal Wehrlein, who retained the lead despite finishing eighth in the race.

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