"Nothing against Berlin, but..." - Cassidy cheers Monaco victory, 2 "Kiwis" battle for Formula E crown
Since May 6, 2023, Nick Cassidy may call himself Monaco winner. After his triumph in Tempelhof just under two weeks ago, the New Zealander also put in a stellar performance in the Principality and took over the world championship lead from Pascal Wehrlein thanks to his first place. Once again, he fought to the last with his compatriot Mitch Evans in the factory Jaguar - two "Kiwis" are the men of the hour in Formula E.
The joy should be great among all Formula E fans in New Zealand: never before has the same national anthem sounded at four E-Prix in a row. Evans won in Sao Paulo and on Berlin Saturday, Cassidy a day later and now in Monaco. In doing so, both manifested their claims to the 2023 World Championship title (to the drivers' standings).
Cassidy now has something ahead of Evans, however: a victory in Formula E's most prestigious race. "This is so special - I'm at a loss for words," the Envision driver said shortly after the race on TV. "Nothing against Berlin, but this feels really breathtaking! It's insane. It's probably going to take a while to sink in."
Evans, who has now taken a trophy three times in a row at the Monaco E-Prix, regrets, "I've been on the podium here several times now, but never managed to win. Respect to Nick and Envision. He overtook me at the right time with a good maneuver in turn 1, and that was it for me. I also got wing damage, which affected me a bit."
Evans: "I wish I could relive a few moments"
The late safety car period prevented Evans from making a late charge for victory. Nonetheless, he said he had little hope of still getting past Cassidy. "The energy targets were pretty high towards the end of the race after the safety car," he explained, referring to the fact that the closing stages became a full-on sprint. "I just wish I could relive a few moments in the race - with a different outcome."
Because it was actually a great day for Evans. After strong pace in both free practices and a solid starting position in qualifying, he led the race at one point and also had a small energy advantage. "I felt strong. There were moments in the race when I thought it would go for me today." As a result, he said, he was "a little disappointed, but these are good points for the championship. That's the main thing."
Cassidy's day was way worse in the early stages. "We had a really difficult day. I was really happy with 10th on the grid in qualifying." In the race, however, things took off for him with a vengeance. First he overtook Jake Dennis and Evans with a spectacular maneuver around the outside of the hairpin. A little later, he showed further worth seeing and successful attacks against Ticktum and Nato. After seven laps Cassidy was already second. A spirited maneuver against Evans later gave him the victory.
Championship leader Cassidy remains cautious: Evans is "incredibly strong"
In the championship, Cassidy has a comfortable lead of 20 points after nine of 16 rounds of the season 2023 over Pascal Wehrlein, who has not played a significant role in recent weeks. Much currently looks set for a duel between Cassidy and Evans, who in fourth place is 27 points behind his compatriot. Dennis in third also has a say, but the momentum is currently with Jaguar.
"There's still a long way to go, and this guy here - Mitch - showed again today how incredibly strong he is," Cassidy agrees. "It's going to be a big fight, but right now I just want to enjoy the fact that we won Monaco. Tonight we're going to party!" Asked if he wants to jump from the ten-meter board like Antonio Felix da Costa did last year, he replies, "I've always said I wouldn't, but now I guess we'll have to think about it after all," Cassidy tells 'ran.'