Formula E

Mitch Evans Doubles Up in Rome, Jean-Éric Vergne Takes Championship Lead

3 Mins read
Credit: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

Mitch Evans continued where he left off on Saturday as he claimed victory in race two of the Rome E-Prix on Sunday afternoon, his second win of a remarkable weekend for the New Zealander.

After climbing from ninth on the grid on Saturday to take his first victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season, Evans at least gave himself a better chance to double up by making it into the duels, although he was knocked out at the semi-final stage by Jake Dennis.

Jean-Éric Vergne took pole position for Sunday’s race ahead of Dennis, with André Lotterer and Dennis filled row two.  There was also a change in attack mode rules for Sunday’s race, with one eight-minute period coming into play instead of the two four-minute activations of Saturday.

Jaguar TCS Racing’s Evans was lucky to have the time to activate and use his whole eight minutes as he was forced to rely on extra time being added to the race due to two safety car periods – one for the stopped Antonio Giovinazzi early on and the second for Alexander Sims near the end.  Giovinazzi’s stoppage added two minutes and fifteen seconds to the race length, while Sims’ retirement added another three minutes.

By the time Evans took his attack mode on lap twenty, he fell to fourth behind Vergne, with Lotterer leading Robin Frijns.  However, the advantage of the attack mode was clear as he quickly regained third before chasing down the leading duo, with a lap twenty-two pass on Frijns for second being swiftly followed by a pass for the lead on Lotterer.

From there on, Evans was untouchable as he completed the Rome double and bring himself firmly back into championship contention having gone into the weekend with only two points to his name.  He did have to survive a third safety car intervention following a late crash from Nick Cassidy (although the Envision Racing driver was able to get going again) to claim the win by just over half a second, ultimately his closest rival ending up being DS Techeetah’s Vergne.

Frijns led for much of the early part of the race but fell behind others as they took their attack modes, although the Dutchman was able to claim the final spot on the podium ahead of Lotterer.  Lotterer was made to work hard all race long, and the Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team driver was passed by Stoffel Vandoorne late on, only for the Belgian to be told to give the place back by his team.

Pascal Wehrlein ended the day sixth in the second Porsche having benefitted from a five-second time penalty for ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Lucas di Grassi after the Brazilian made contact with Dennis into turn four.  Di Grassi’s penalty also promoted NIO 333 FE Team’s Oliver Turvey to a welcome seventh place, while Sébastien Buemi of Nissan e.dams ended ninth.

The final point initially went the way of Avalanche Andretti FE Team’s Oliver Askew, but a five second time penalty for the American for overtaking behind the safety car saw him fall behind NIO’s Daniel Ticktum

Nyck de Vries left empty handed despite crossing the line in sixth, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver earning himself a ten-second time penalty for contact with Dragon/Penske Autosport’s Sérgio Sette Câmara that left him fourteenth in the final standings.

António Félix da Costa was another driver to end up inside the top ten but with a penalty, the Portuguese driver being deemed to have forced another driver off the track and causing a collision that saw earn a five-second time penalty, losing the Techeetah driver a chance of points as it relegated him to thirteenth.

Edoardo Mortara, who came into the weekend as the points leader, ended his race early in the wall, and he was joined in retirement by the unfortunate Giovinazzi, the Mahindra Racing duo of Sims and Oliver Rowland as well as Dennis following his incident with di Grassi.

But no one had an answer all weekend for the race pace of Evans and Jaguar TCS Racing, while the Vergne took over at the top of the Drivers’ Championship heading to the Monaco E-Prix at the end of April.

Rome E-Prix Race 2 Result

19Mitch EvansNZLJaguar TCS Racing52:55.224
225Jean-Éric VergneFRADS Techeetah+0.584
34Robin FrijnsNEDEnvision Racing+1.606
436André LottererGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team+2.093
55Stoffel VandoorneBELMercedes-EQ Formula E Team+2.756
699Pascal WehrleinGERTAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team+4.655
78Oliver TurveyGBRNIO 333 FE Team+7.097
811Lucas di GrassiBRZROKiT Venturi Racing+8.680
923Sébastien BuemiCHENissan e.DAMS+8.796
1033Dan TicktumGBRNIO 333 FE Team+11.130
1128Maximilian GüntherGERNissan e.DAMS+11.221
127Sérgio Sette CâmaraBRZDragon/Penske Autosport+12.309
1313António Félix da CostaPORDS Techeetah+13.134
1417Nyck de VriesNEDMercedes-EQ Formula E Team+14.207
1528Oliver AskewUSAAvalanche Andretti FE Team+20.429
RET10Sam BirdGBRJaguar TCS RacingRetired
RET29Alexander SimsGBRMahindra RacingRetired
RET37Nick CassidyNZLEnvision RacingRetired
RET27Jake DennisGBRAvalanche Andretti FE TeamRetired
RET30Oliver RowlandGBRMahindra RacingRetired
RET48Edoardo MortaraCHEROKIT Venturi RacingRetired
RET99Antonio GiovinazziITADragon/Penske AutosportRetired
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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