Formula E

Mortara angry with Günther after crash, de Vries celebrates first points after Formula E return "like a win"

Svenja König

Svenja König

Nyck-de-vries-scores-points-in-shanghai

Mahindra driver Nyck de Vries sensationally scored his first world championship points since his return to Formula E at the Shanghai E-Prix. Team-mate Edo Mortara experienced the exact opposite race: he had to retire after a collision with Jake Hughes, caused by Maximilian Günther. He had strong words for the German.

"You can't race with these idiots," Mortara grumbled on the radio after spinning in the hairpin turn 6 and losing his front wing. "Everything is bent!" The cause: Günther braked too late and slid into the corner. There, he collided with Jake Hughes in the McLaren, who in turn hit Mortara from the side and rendered the Mahindra unable to race.

"I turned and the guy on the inside lane hit me," said the Swiss driver, describing the situation. For causing the collision, Günther was hit with a 10-second time penalty after the race, which he had finished in ninth place. As a result, the Maserati driver dropped out of the points, continuing his current negative streak.

The day was also over for Mortara: He drove into the pits. There it turned out that the entire right-hand side of the car was bent. As a result, he had to retire from the race. Until then, the 37-year-old had shown a strong race: from 21st on the grid, he had already arrived in the top 10. And even though the Mahindra was not known for its race efficiency, Mortara still had just as much energy in the battery as Mitch Evans in the Jaguar after 15 laps.

De Vries in the lead, then whistled back

His Dutch team-mate proved that Mortara was able to do better in Shanghai. De Vries - world champion in season 7 - worked his way into the front group in the first laps of the race and on lap 12 collected his first Formula E leading kilometres since Berlin 2022. "He's crazy," said Cassidy when de Vries took the lead. Just seconds later, he was very clearly told off by his race engineer: "Drop down to second place - we don't want to lead," he was told over the radio.

"If you go full power too early, you use up too much energy," explained de Vries after the race. "That means you have to work your way forwards very efficiently." Lap 12 was obviously not yet the right time, but de Vries was able to stay in the leading group surprisingly well, despite having around two per cent less energy than Evans, for example.

Eighth place "feels like a win"

Of particular note: De Vries seemed to have a clear idea of which battles were worthwhile for him. He stayed completely out of the fights between the championship contenders at the front and utilised the slipstream offered by these drivers to save energy. In the end, he battled with Jean-Eric Vergne and Günther for 7th place, losing out to the Frenchman but nevertheless scoring his first points finish since his return to Formula E in 8th place.

"This feels like a win," explains de Vries. "Especially because I feel like we deserved it, as no one ahead of us has dropped out or anything. I'm very happy that we were able to compete, considering that we still have our problems sometimes. To pick up a few points here against very strong opponents is a really good result for the whole team. It also takes a bit of luck, but I have the feeling that we put in a good race today."

So at least one side of the Mahindra garage is in a good mood. In Edo Mortara's garage, however, the mechanics will probably be working a bit longer to get the car back on track for Sunday's race. However, it is clear that Mahindra is showing an upward trend after Mortara's points in Berlin and de Vries' good result in Shanghai.

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