Rene Rast defies fever during Formula E catch-up in Cape Town: "Were the best at energy management".
While the other Germans stumbled at the Formula E race in Cape Town, Rene Rast once again drove for a podium result despite health problems. Although "only" 4th place remained for the McLaren driver in the end, the race to catch up and the newfound efficiency of his Nissan drive make him optimistic for the coming E-Prix..
That customer teams sometimes achieve better results than factory teams is nothing new in Formula E. But especially with the racing teams McLaren (customer) and Nissan (manufacturer), the performance gap is clear after the first five E-Prix of the 2023 season. With the exception of the Hyderabad E-Prix, when both McLaren abandoned the race, the British collected more points than the engine partner from Japan in every race.
This trend was underlined once again by Rene Rast at the Cape Town E-Prix. Despite a "rather modest qualifying, and then on top of that with a penalty," the German, who started from 10th place, again fought for places on the podium in the closing stages of the E-Prix. He crossed the finish line in 4th position, just behind Nick Cassidy (Envision).
Overview: McLaren & Nissan 2023 points haul
|Team||MXC||DIR I||DIR II||HYD||KAP|
|4. Neom McLaren (66)||10||15||28||0||13|
|9. Nissan (18)||0||0||4||7||7|
Stand: Kapstadt E-Prix 2023
Rast praises McLaren efficiency & Felix da Costa's courage.
"I wanted to stay out of everything as much as possible to stay in the game for a long time," Rast explained his strategy to 'e-Formel.de' after the race. "We succeeded in doing that today! We were the best in energy management, especially compared to the cars around me. In the last races, that was still our big problem. This gives courage and upwind for the next races - this result is really relieving!"
On the high-speed Cape Town circuit, Rast made up two positions at the start when he overtook Norman Nato (Nissan) and Dan Ticktum (Nio 333) at Turn 1. Two more ranks were added when, at the end of Lap 1, Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) and Sebastien Buemi (Envision) collided. And when, finally, the drivers ahead of him Maximilian Günther (Maserati) and Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan) dropped out, Rast was left with the twelve WRC points associated with fourth place..
Rast: "This track is really brutal"
"This track is really brutal: there are extreme corners where you immediately end up in the wall after making mistakes," he says of the Cape Town circuit. "That, what Felix da Costa did against Vergne, I wouldn't have dared!"
"In two or three situations it almost got me as well, and the race was almost over," Rast said. "Especially in the fast corners, it's very difficult. If you turn in too late, you're half a tire width off the ideal line, and already there's no more grip. Then you end up right in the wall, as we have seen with Edo (Mortara) in qualifying. We're all working at the limit, and sometimes you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs."
Rast is also particularly satisfied with his result in view of the external circumstances. After all, the 36-year-old took part in the weekend in South Africa in poor health. "I woke up with a fever tonight," he told 'ran' after the race. "I don't know what it is either."
He will now stay in Cape Town until Tuesday to recover. After that, the return trip to his Austrian adopted home Bregenz. Shortly thereafter, however, preparations are likely to begin for Formula E's next E-Prix, which is scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo on March 25.