Formula E

Race winner Nick Cassidy on his catch up in Berlin: "40 per cent strategy, 60 per cent luck"

Svenja König

Svenja König


"The unexpected often happens" - that's probably the best way to describe Nick Cassidy's race day. After a difficult qualifying session, the New Zealander opted for an extreme strategy in the race and dropped back to last place to save energy. From there, he fought his way back to the front of the field and celebrated his second win of the season in Saturday's race in Berlin.

Almost in disbelief that he had actually won the race, he said in the press conference: "I was very lucky today. It was about 40 per cent strategy and 60 per cent luck."

The 40 per cent strategy was down to a very defensive race plan, especially in the first half of the race. He dropped further and further back and was even last at the halfway point of the race. This is because you can save more energy at the back of the field than in the leading group due to the increasing accordion effect. As a result, he had up to five per cent more energy in his battery than his rivals in the second half and was able to fight his way back within a few laps.

However, he explains in an interview with that such a daring strategy was by no means planned from the outset, but was the result of a difficult start to the race. We simply weren't fast enough at the start and then thought about what we could do."

"That was just carnage"

However, this Cassidy strategy also entailed risks. On the one hand, the increased build-up increased the risk of accidents at the end of the field. "That was just carnage," says Cassidy. "I've never experienced a race like today. It's madness at the back of the field. To implement this strategy, you have to stay out of everything." Unlike some others, he managed to do this well.

The second challenge is that you run the risk of not being able to make up all the positions towards the end of the race and getting stuck in midfield. "The team kept me well informed about what was happening in the race," explains Cassidy. This meant he couldn't lose track of what was happening overall.

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Evans: "Second place would have been possible"

This is exactly what team-mate Mitch Evans, who adopted the opposite strategy, had feared. "I thought it would be a bit more difficult to overtake, so I decided to stay up front," he explained to after the race. That's why the New Zealander positioned himself in the leading group early on and stayed with it. A change of strategy later in the race was then no longer possible. "You should have concentrated on such an extreme strategy right from the start."

"With the strategy I had, second place would still have been possible," he says. And just a few minutes before Cassidy stormed to the front, he was in the lead. But he dropped back shortly before the end to save energy. He then had to defend against Pascal Wehrlein and was no longer able to attack Vergne and Rowland. "In the end, the track position made the difference in the final laps. Of course, that's still disappointing when you see what could have been possible."

"Not good enough compared to our own standards"

Despite the victory, a top four result and the lead in the drivers', teams' and manufacturers' standings, Jaguar is not entirely satisfied after Race 1 in Berlin, especially not with qualifying. The pace was lacking here to reach the duel phase and secure a good grid position: "We simply weren't fast enough today," summarised Cassidy. "We were ninth and tenth in qualifying, which is not good enough by our own standards. We still have a lot of work to do, so we'll be working on that for a long time tonight."

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