"We almost killed each other" - Nick Cassidy wins Jaguar-powered duel with Robin Frijns
Saturday's Formula E race at the Diriyah E-Prix was characterised by a thrilling duel with identical "hardware" at the front: Nick Cassidy and Robin Frijns battled it out from the first to the last lap - with the better end for race winner Cassidy. After the E-Prix, both drivers gave an insight into the duel, which literally went down to the wire.
"I was leading at first and thought to myself: everything nice and comfortable. But then I fought with Nick for the entire race," recalled Frijns on the Formula E's TV world feed. "We pulled away and almost killed each other (the energy reserves in the battery)."
In the first half of the race, the two Jaguar-powered drivers were in fact chasing each other and clearly outpacing the rest of the field. None of them wanted to slow down. "If I have to keep saving so much energy, I'm going to die (lose the position to Frijns)," Cassidy radioed during the race. However, they then realised that they could not continue at this level if the energy in the battery was to last to the finish.
So Cassidy and Frijns slowed down considerably and drove almost a second per lap slower than Oliver Rowland behind them for a while, allowing him to catch up again. "I thought I had overdone it a bit," Cassidy reflected. However, his energy should just about last him to the finish line. "Nick did a great job," Frijns agreed.
Cassidy: "Such a dream start!"
"This is such a dream start!" enthused Cassidy after his sixth Formula E victory in total. "I'm just waiting for something to go wrong - that day will come. But right now, we're just riding (this wave)."
"I'm really privileged to have such a great car. I'm just very lucky," he says humbly. "Every win is special. Winning in this championship is so hard. That's why you have to celebrate days like this, because you never know when they'll come next."
Jaguar team principal James Barclay also praised his new signing: "Today was about the drivers delivering in flat-out conditions (...) and Nick was simply faultless. He was so fast in the early stages. We made a few changes to the team over the winter, including bringing Nick into the team. He's doing a fantastic job and has now secured three podiums in a row!"
Frijns: "A turning point for me"
After a difficult 2023 season with ABT Cupra and his return to Envision, Frijns has also returned to the Formula E podium. "I secured second place and scored a lot of points," he says with satisfaction, even if it wasn't quite enough for victory. "Maybe I'll move up another place in the next race."
"I struggled a bit with the car at the start of the season and first had to get to know it better. Nick drove this car (for Envision) all last year," said Frijns, explaining his weaker first two races of the season.
"Yesterday I was still fighting for a point, and today I was able to battle for victory. I still have a few steps ahead of me, but I will take them. That was definitely a turning point for me," said the Dutchman.