Slipstream games & triple success: The e-Formel.de driver rating for the Sao Paulo E-Prix
At the end of a race that no one wanted to lead, there was still a winner: Mitch Evans won his first E-Prix in the Gen3 era of Formula E last weekend. Just 0.507 seconds separated the New Zealander from his Jaguar brand colleagues Nick Cassidy and Sam Bird when he crossed the finish line. But others shone as well. Our driver rating for the Sau Paulo E-Prix.
Great catch-ups like those of Pascal Wehrlein (from P18 to P7) or the slipstream games around pole sitter Stoffel Vandoorne moved the Formula E paddock at the Sao Paulo E-Prix of Formula E. As after every race, the editors of e-Formel.de have rated the driver performances. For this purpose, our editors award points on a scale between 1 and 10 for all drivers. The drivers are then sorted according to their average "rating score," and the best ten performances are commented on by our Formula E reporter Tobias Bluhm. Only the individual driving performances are included in the rating, not the potential of the car or external circumstances.
The e-Formel.de Driver Rating for the 2023 Sao Paulo E-Prix
1st Mitch Evans | Jaguar TCS Racing | 9.7 points
Mitch Evans played a perfect game in Sao Paulo. After edging out teammate Sam Bird in a duel in qualifying, the New Zealander started the E-Prix from 3rd place. In the first phase of the race, he practiced deliberate restraint to save energy in the slipstream of his rivals.
Then, at just the right moment - four laps from the end - he launched a decisive attack against Nick Cassidy (Envision), whom he kept behind him in the first corner and didn't let by until the finish. It ended up being close with Evans' energy, but the New Zealander was in control until the end.
FAZIT: Evans owed his victory to his smart driving and his team's excellent strategy.
2nd Nick Cassidy | Envision Racing | 9.3 points
Nick Cassidy's podium streak did not stop in Sao Paulo. For the third time in a row he made it to the podium at the race in Brazil, but for the third time not as the winner. Actually, it's only a matter of time before the New Zealander wins an E-Prix this season. In Sao Paulo, he drove with his usual efficiency and always kept his head above water despite tactical games played by his rivals, but ultimately had to admit defeat to factory driver Evans.
FAZIT: Another top race from Cassidy, who is slowly but surely becoming a World Championship contender.
3rd Sam Bird | Jaguar TCS Racing | 9.0 points
After Sam Bird mainly rebounded in the first third of the season, relief may have spread to his garage half after the Sao Paulo E-Prix. The Briton drove an exceedingly efficient race, and that despite remaining conspicuously inconspicuous until the closing stages of the run. It wasn't until he left the two DS Penske drivers behind with a few laps to go that Bird appeared on the radar of many fans.
This was preceded by a race day full of positive harbingers: Bird made it as high as 5th in qualifying, taking the main event from 10th due to a penalty shift. In the slipstream of his rivals, Bird saved a lot of energy, which he used in the last three laps of the race to catch up with Evans and Cassidy. However, the race pace was already too high at that point to be able to convert his energy buffer into a victory.
FAZIT: After a mixed start to the season, Sam Bird is finally back on the podium in Formula E - what a relief.
4th Antonio Felix da Costa | TAG Heuer Porsche | 8.0 points.
It almost worked out with the second victory in a row! Antonio Felix da Costa took a similarly strategic approach to the race as the eventual race winner Evans, taking a lot of initiative. "Do you understand how I want to play this?" he asked his race engineer during a safety car period, who replied with a knowing "Yeah, sure!" It's possible his plan would have worked if Felix da Costa hadn't taken himself out of the podium battle with a braking incident.
FAZIT: Place 4 is a good result for the Porsche driver, but without his driving error he would have been a candidate for victory. Too bad!
5. Stoffel Vandoorne | DS Penske | 7.7 points
For far too long, Formula E fans had to wait for good performances from last year's champion Stoffel Vandoorne. Apparently, the Belgian's team change to DS Penske made things difficult for him - at least that's what his previous results suggest (P10, P11, P20, P8, P7). Particularly in qualifying, Vandoorne has so far lost ground - not so in Sao Paulo.
With a confident performance, Vandoorne snatched the first pole position for Penske in 90 races on his Brazilian debut. But what would sound absurd in the context of other series then presumably broke his neck in Sao Paulo: He led too many laps. While Vandoorne was "punching a hole in the air," his rivals were saving several kilowatt-hours of energy in the slipstream. The deficit made itself felt in the second half of the race, when the Belgian dropped as low as 6th.
FAZIT: In case anyone doubted it, Stoffel Vandoorne is still a top driver in Formula E. He proved that in Sao Paulo.
6th Pascal Wehrlein | TAG Heuer Porsche | 7.7 points.
Wehrlein's Achilles heel this year has been qualifying. After a wall-kick on his fast lap, he didn't make the knockout rounds in Sao Paulo either. Due to an additional penalty, he even started the E-Prix only from position 18. What might have been possible if he had started from the top 10?
In the end, Wehrlein drove an excellent and strategic race, leaving eleven rivals behind thanks to the good efficiency of his powertrain. In the end, he was left with a strong result in 7th position, thanks to which - alongside Jake Dennis' retirement - he extended his championship lead.
FAZIT: With a better qualifying session, Wehrlein would probably also have been a candidate for victory.
7th Jean-Eric Vergne | DS Penske | 7.3 points
Jean-Eric Vergne was more inconspicuous in Sao Paulo than last time in Cape Town, but still performed at the maximum. More than position 5 was not possible for him - the efficiency gap to Jaguar and Porsche was too great. Starting position 7, finishing position 5 and WRC position 4 (with mathematical chances of the overall lead in the first Berlin race) are nevertheless an excellent result..
FAZIT: Vergne left no stone unturned in Sao Paulo and maximized his potential - keep it up!
8th Sebastien Buemi | Envision Racing | 7.0 points
After Pascal Wehrlein still triggered an early accident with Sebastien Buemi in Cape Town, Maserati driver Maximilian Günther took action in Sao Paulo - albeit involuntarily. The famous accordion effect forced the German to hit the irons a few meters ahead of the Envision driver. Buemi was unable to get out of the way and mounted the Maserati rear wheel - much like Robin Frijns (ABT Cupra) did in the first race of the season in Mexico.
Buemi's steering wheel was knocked out of his hand in the rear-end collision. With severe pain in his hand, he nevertheless finished the race. The Swiss used the efficiency of the Jaguar engine as well as all his Formula E experience to even finish in the points in the process. A fabulous individual performance by the veteran driver!
FAZIT: Buemi's race would have deserved a much better result than 10th place.
9th Jake Hughes | Neom McLaren | 6.0 points
It could have been all over by turn 2: Norman Nato (Nissan) got up on the rear of Hughes and also damaged the McLaren race car in the process. However, with a slightly demolished bodywork, the Briton then contested an efficient race, finishing in a fully deserved place in the points. Balance and tire problems did not allow for a better result.
FAZIT: Another solid race from Hughes, who is not at all aware that he is currently contesting his rookie season in Formula E.
10th Rene Rast | Neom McLaren | 6.0 points
Efficient, methodical and unexcited, Rene Rast contested his Sao Paulo E-Prix. The German worked perfectly with teammate Jake Hughes to post his fourth top-10 result of the season. The balance of power between the teams in Formula E, 11th on the grid and slight deficits in race pace prevented a better result for Rast.
FAZIT: It's never easy in Formula E - Rast provided a good example of that in Sao Paulo.
|11.||Maximilian Günther (Maserati MSG)||5.7||Platz 9||Platz 11|
|12.||Sergio Sette Camara (Nio 333)||5.7||Platz 16||Platz 17|
|13.||Norman Nato (Nissan)||5.7||Platz 8||DNF|
|14.||Jake Dennis (Andretti)||5.3||Platz 14||DNF|
|15.||Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra)||5.3||Platz 22||Platz 13|
|16.||Nico Müller (ABT Cupra)||5.3||Platz 13||DNF|
|17.||Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan)||5.0||Platz 15||DNF|
|18.||Oliver Rowland (Mahindra)||4.7||Platz 19||Platz 15|
|19.||Andre Lotterer (Andretti)||4.3||Platz 21||Platz 12|
|20.||Edoardo Mortara (Maserati MSG)||4.3||Platz 4||DNF|
|21.||Robin Frijns (ABT Cupra)||4.0||Platz 20||Platz 14|
|22.||Dan Ticktum (Nio 333)||3.3||Platz 16||Platz 17|
|Fahrer||Tobias Bluhm||Timo Pape||Tobias Wirtz||Durchschnitt|
|01. Mitch Evans||10||9||10||9,67|
|02. Nick Cassidy||10||8||10||9,33|
|03. Sam Bird||10||8||9||9,00|
|04. Antonio Felix da Costa||8||8||8||8,00|
|05. Stoffel Vandoorne||8||7||8||7,67|
|06. Pascal Wehrlein||8||7||8||7,67|
|07. Jean-Eric Vergne||7||7||8||7,33|
|08. Sebastien Buemi||6||7||8||7,00|
|09. Jake Hughes||6||6||6||6,00|
|10. Rene Rast||6||6||6||6,00|
|11. Maximilian Günther||5||6||6||5,67|
|12. Sergio Sette Camara||6||5||6||5,67|
|13. Norman Nato||5||6||6||5,67|
|14. Jake Dennis||5||5||6||5,33|
|15. Lucas di Grassi||6||4||6||5,33|
|16. Nico Müller||6||5||5||5,33|
|17. Sacha Fenestraz||5||4||6||5,00|
|18. Oliver Rowland||5||4||5||4,67|
|19. Andre Lotterer||4||4||5||4,33|
|20. Edoardo Mortara||4||5||4||4,33|
|21. Robin Frijns||5||4||3||4,00|
|22. Dan Ticktum||3||3||4||3,33|