Formula E

Team-by-team mid-season analysis in Formula E 2023: Porsche vs. Jaguar

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

Sunday's race in Berlin marked the halfway point of the 2023 Formula E World Championship, with Porsche and Pascal Wehrlein leading the teams' and drivers' standings of the electric championship after eight of 16 completed races, although the lead over their closest pursuers has melted. Read how the eleven Formula E teams are positioned after the first half of the year in our team-by-team mid-season analysis.

Since the season opener in Mexico City, Formula E has completed a total of 303 race laps, although only five drivers have completed all of the season's laps. Sam Bird, Sebastien Buemi and Mitch Evans won the most sessions (5 each). Buemi competed in the most qualifying duels (12), and the best average position in the race was achieved by Nick Cassidy (5.1).

Besides the figures, data, facts and statistics, however, several other interesting stories played out on and off the Formula E track in the first half of the year. We highlight these in our traditional mid-season analysis.

Mid-season pecking order in Formula E

Place 1 | TAG Heuer Porsche | 168 points

Race wins:
3

Pole pos:
0

Lead laps:
49

Podiums:
5

In the Gen3 era, Porsche seems to have finally cracked the recipe: After three wins in the first eight races, the team leads the teams' standings by a 15-point margin.

Pascal Wehrlein won both races of the Diriyah double-header, which is why initially a sweep by the Weissach-based team was feared. Recently, however, the Germans fell slightly behind, which is why the top runners have moved closely together after the Berlin races. Porsche's drivers are not completely innocent in all of this: Following Wehrlein's Cape Town accident, Felix da Costa also lost important points in Sao Paulo thanks to a mistake. Bad luck for Felix da Costa added insult to injury as he was wiped out in Saturday's Berlin race by Jake Dennis.

Nevertheless, both Wehrlein and Antonio Felix da Costa, who won the race in Cape Town, are definitely among the big title favorites in 2023.

Place 2 | Envision Racing | 153 points

Race wins:
1

Pole pos:
2

Leading laps:
68

Podiums:
4

First pursuer of the Porsche factory team is a customer team: Envision Racing is ahead of the Jaguar factory team, which started with identical powertrains, in the team standings after eight of 16 races. The British team is 15 points behind the leaders.

Although the previous Audi customer team could only celebrate one race victory, it stands out above all for its high level of consistency: Both of the team's drivers score points very regularly. Nick Cassidy in particular is currently "on a roll" and is right in the thick of the title fight after his victory in Berlin. Sebastien Buemi was able to avoid even collisions with Pascal Wehrlein in Cape Town and with Max Günther in Sao Paulo didn't stop me, from still finishing in the top 10 in the end. In Brazil even with a broken hand.

If the team can maintain its performance - especially in qualifying - in the second half of the season, both drivers can have a weighty say in the fight for the title.

Place 3 | Jaguar TCS Racing | 138 points

Race wins:
2

Pole pos:
1

Leading laps:
67

Podiums:
5

Jaguar is the team of the moment at the halfway point of the season: After a rather mixed start to the season including an intra-team collision in Hyderabad, the British "big cat" put in a bearish performance over the last two race weekends in Sao Paulo and Berlin.

Mitch Evans was able to crown himself race winner twice in a row in the process, but teammate Sam Bird was also on the podium twice in a row. In Saturday's race in Berlin, Jaguar achieved the first one-two finish in team history.

If the team can continue to show its performance from the past races in the upcoming rounds, Porsche and Envision Racing will have to dress warmly at the front.

Place 4 | DS Penske | 107 points

Race wins:
1

Pole pos:
1

Leading laps:
41

Podiums:
3

With the new powertrain supplier DS, the Penske team has made a big leap forward: With 107 points, the team has already amassed more points at the halfway point of the season than in any full season since 2015/16.

Jean-Eric Vergne, in particular, provided good results, with 81 points to the credit of the Frenchman, who scored the first win for the team since the 2016 Mexico City E-Prix in Hyderabad. Although teammate Stoffel Vandoorne secured pole position in Sao Paulo, but in the race he led for "too long" and was without a chance at the end of the race. His other race results have also been mediocre so far. In the midfield, the risk of a collision is significantly higher, as the Belgian had to feel in Berlin. While Vergne is third in the world championship, the reigning champion is only 11th.

Should Vandoorne regain his form from the preseason, DS Penske is still a lot to trust this season: The gap to the top is not uncatchable.

Place 5 | Avalanche Andretti | 103 points

Race wins:
1

Pole pos:
0

Leading laps:
35

Podiums:
4

After Andretti started the season with the opening win and two consecutive second-place finishes by Jake Dennis among the title contenders, the drop to midfield followed: The team took a total of just nine points from the four subsequent races in Hyderabad, Cape Town, Sao Paulo and Saturday's race in Berlin, scored by Andre Lotterer. Dennis was involved in several collisions - in Hyderabad and Sao Paulo respectively innocent, in Berlin, the fault lay with the Briton and in in the technology.

With second place in Sunday's race in the German capital, however, Dennis scored points again for the first time and showed that the performance is definitely still there in the customer Porsche. He moved up to fourth place in the drivers' standings. Lotterer, on the other hand, is only 13th after eight of 16 races this season and has been waiting for a top-7 result since the season opener. He urgently needs to step it up a notch in the second half of the season if he also wants to drive Formula E in 2024.

Place 6 | Neom McLaren | 72 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos:
1

Leading laps:
8

Podiums:
1

After the acquisition of the team from Mercedes-EQ by McLaren, it was initially unclear how the racing team would perform. On the one hand, the fact that large parts of the personnel, including engineers and team boss Ian James, were taken over from the Mercedes era had a positive effect. However, the new Nissan powertrain and, to some extent, the new drivers are not yet at top level.

Although Formula E debutant Jake Hughes repeatedly showed his potential for a fast lap - in Diriyya he even scored the first pole position for McLaren in the racing series. In the races, however, the clearly experienced Rene Rast was the better and more consistent driver after a year's Formula E break. Consequently, the German, who in Diriyya achieved the first and so far only McLaren podium in Formula E, is one place ahead of his teammate in the world championship standings. But it also showed that the efficiency of Nissan's powertrain is currently not yet at the level of Jaguar or Porsche.

In the team standings, McLaren is already quite a bit behind Penske and Andretti at the halfway point of the season. Good results are urgently needed to make up this shortfall. Most recently, however, the Papaya Orange team's form curve has been pointing downward: The team departed without a single point from Berlin.

Place 7 | Maserati MSG Racing | 29 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos:
0

Leading laps:
11

Podiums:
1

The former Venturi team had high hopes after the pre-season tests in Valencia: newcomer Max Günther had been the dominant driver there, but teammate Edoardo Mortara was also always among the fastest in Spain.

The first half of the season can therefore only be seen as a bitter slap in the face for the Monaco-based squad: Only four times did a driver from the team finish in the top 10, with Günther and Mortara occupying only positions 12 and 20 in the championship. So far, the blue racers with the trident are only at the top in the crash statistics: Günther threw away in Cape Town a good position with a driving error, in Diriyya he missed the first race completely due to an accident in qualifying. Mortara had even more frequent accidents. His dissatisfaction with the drivers' performance was publicly vented by team boss James Rossiter ahead of the Berlin E-Prix.

.

That the speed of the drive is basically there, Maserati's Stellantis sister brand DS already showed since the beginning of the season as well as Max Günther in Berlin with positions 3 and 6 - despite starts from the last row. Let's hope that the first formula racing podium for the Italian marque in more than 60 years was not a flash in the pan, but heralds an upward trend for the team.

Place 8 | Mahindra Racing | 27 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos:
1

Leading laps:
11

Podiums:
1

Mahindra Racing may be called the big loser after the first half of the season in the Gen3 era: The Indians' performance has so far fallen far short of expectations. Particularly in the race it becomes apparent that the efficiency of the powertrain developed by ZF Friedrichshafen is not at the top level.

Only Lucas di Grassi provided the only bright spot of the season so far with pole position and third place at the season opener in Mexico City. However, that was not thanks to the car, but almost exclusively to di Grassi's great driving performance and the mistakes made by the other drivers, especially in qualifying. The low point of the year was certainly the race in Cape Town, when Mahindra had to withdraw its cars after free practice following suspension defects.

.

Team-mate Oliver Rowland has yet to shine, but benefited at the team's home race with 6th place, however, from the fact that competitors placed further forward retired after accidents. The form curve at Mahindra continues to point downward: Major successes are no longer to be expected this season. Instead, it is only a matter of time before the faster cars from Nio 333 and Nissan pass the Indians in the overall standings.

Place 9 | Nio 333 Racing | 20 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos:
0

Leading laps:
6

Podiums:
0

That Nio 333 Racing has made a big step forward this season, especially Dan Ticktum shows in qualifying again and again. He has a clear grip on his teammate Sergio Sette Camara, who is strongly rated there in particular. The team made it in Berlin for the first time with both cars in the duel phase of qualifying.

In the races, however, it becomes apparent that the Chinese-British team's powertrain is not yet at top level: Ticktum in particular loses a lot of positions in the race, predominantly to drivers with more efficient drives. Only three times did he manage to finish in the top ten.

The Brit apparently tries to compensate for his lack of efficiency with risky and sometimes reckless maneuvers in the race, with only limited success. Instead, he "confidently" leads the list of drivers with penalty points in the electric series. If he continues as he has so far in the second half of the season, he could even face a race ban. It certainly won't increase his popularity among his fellow drivers, either, as Stoffel Vandoorne and Jake Dennis showed.

In Hyderabad, however, Sette Camara proved that good positions are well within reach for Nio 333 when something goes wrong with the competition: He scored the first top-five result for the team in five years.

In terms of pace, Nio 333 Racing is certainly better than its ninth-place finish in the team standings would suggest. All the riders have to do is make it flawless and hope for a bit of luck in the race, and Mahindra Racing will be absolutely within reach.

Place 10 | Nissan Formula E | 18 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos:
1

Leading laps:
1

Podiums:
0

The current season has not been going well at all for the Nissan factory team so far. With Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato, the Japanese manufacturer, which took over the e.dams team from the Driot family last year, started the season with the most inexperienced driver duo.

.

The Nissan's race pace in particular proved to be in need of improvement. This was compounded by collisions in Mexico City, Cape Town and Sao Paulo, which robbed the team of chances to score more points. Although Sacha Fenestraz was able to celebrate a surprising pole position in Cape Town. In the races, however, the results left much to be desired, which was again evident in Berlin.

This may certainly be due in part to the powertrain, which cannot match the engines of DS/Maserati, Jaguar and Porsche in terms of efficiency. However, the performance of the McLaren customer team shows that much more is possible with the Nissan package than Fenestraz and Nato have been able to tease out so far.

But: even after a weak first half of the season, Mahindra and Nio 333 are definitely within reach for the Japanese.

Place 11 | ABT Cupra | 5 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos:
1

Leading laps:
6

Podiums:
0

The ABT team, sponsored by Spanish manufacturer Cupra, is still having major problems so far in its Formula E return after a year's break. The main reason is believed to be the late timing at which the team received its hardware. The preparation time was extremely short, which is why ABT described the season from the outset as a "great challenge.".

In addition, the fact that the Mahindra powertrain developed by ZF is considered one of the weakest and most inefficient in the entire field plays a role. The injury to Robin Frijns in the opening race, who was out for the following three race weekends with a broken hand, certainly didn't help either. The fact, that Nico Müller and replacement driver Kelvin van der Linde were forced out due to the mahindra suspension problems at his home race in Cape Town could not drive at all, further compounded the problem. The team needs every single kilometer to gain experience.

What that experience can do could be seen in the rain qualifying session at Sunday's race in Berlin: ABT Cupra benefited from, among other things, having completed a Mahindra test in the UK in wet conditions and sensationally secured the front row of the grid. Robin Frijns scored three of the team's five points in the first half of the season by taking first place on the grid.

Speaking of points: Formula E still awards up to 240 points later in the year. So in purely mathematical terms, the battle for the world championship is still completely open. We'll be following the rest of the season for you as usual with live streams and our Hankook Formula E live ticker - including the next race in Monaco on May 6.

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