Mitch Evans took his third victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season on Saturday after coming out on top of a fantastic battle with Jean-Éric Vergne to win the inaugural Jakarta E-Prix.
Vergne and his DS Techeetah team-mate António Félix da Costa led the early stages after they had earlier locked out the front row of the grid in Qualifying, but Evans found a way ahead of the Portuguese driver to run second, aided by a big lock up by Félix da Costa on lap four.
Evans and Vergne then traded places as they both activated their first attack modes, while ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara also found himself int the battle for the victory.
Vergne was the first to activate his second attack mode and was able to pull a big enough gap to Evans to remain ahead when the Jaguar TCS Racing driver used up his second attack mode. However, just half a second covered the pair, with the momentum with the New Zealander.
Evans made a late lunge on Vergne at turn seven on lap thirty-two to take over at the front of the field, although he was unable to gap the Frenchman too much as he was forced to conserve energy and tyres, particularly with the race being extended by ninety seconds following an early safety car.
That safety car was needed thanks to Oliver Rowland losing a wheel from his Mahindra Racing machine on just the second lap, which left the rest of the field worried about energy usage due to the extended time that was to be applied.
After being forced to ease off in the closing laps, Evans fell back into the clutches of both Vergne and Mortara, but the New Zealander held on to the win. Vergne just about made it to the line with usable energy, while Mortara had the most energy of the leading trio but was unable to make a pass on either of the two ahead of him.
Although he was able to keep the leading trio in his sights, Félix da Costa could only manage fourth, with the Portuguese driver forced to defend his position from championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne in the final laps.
Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team’s Vandoorne will be kicking himself after failing to get his line right through the activation zone for attack mode, meaning he was forced to go through it again. This dropped him down the order and forced him to charge back through the pack.
Jake Dennis had one of his better performances of the season as the Avalanche Andretti FE Team driver finished sixth, just ahead of Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi with both finishing on the tail of Félix da Costa and Vandoorne ahead of them.
Pascal Wehrlein made early gains after losing five places on the grid thanks to an unscheduled change of a power unit component, but the Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team driver lost out to both Dennis and di Grassi in the closing laps and ended down in eighth.
Wehrlein’s team-mate André Lotterer finished on the road in ninth, but the German was handed a five-second time penalty for contact with Nyck de Vries that caused the Mercedes driver to drop out of the race with a puncture. The penalty promoted Jaguar’s Sam Bird to ninth, while Nissan e.dams’ Sébastien Buemi took the final point in tenth as Lotterer dropped to eleventh.
Vandoorne retains his advantage at the top of the standings heading into the Marrakesh E-Prix next month, five points clear of Vergne, while Mortara is two points further back in third. Evans’ win means he rises to fourth, five points further back, with the top four now well clear of the rest of the pack, which is lead by Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns despite the Dutchman having a disappointing weekend in Indonesia where he finished down in seventeenth position.
Jakarta E-Prix Race Result
|1||9||Mitch Evans||NZL||Jaguar TCS Racing|
|2||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||+0.733|
|3||48||Edoardo Mortara||CHE||ROKIT Venturi Racing||+0.967|
|4||13||António Félix da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||+3.350|
|5||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team||+4.038|
|6||27||Jake Dennis||GBR||Avalanche Andretti FE Team||+4.635|
|7||11||Lucas di Grassi||BRZ||ROKiT Venturi Racing||+5.253|
|8||99||Pascal Wehrlein||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||+8.191|
|9||10||Sam Bird||GBR||Jaguar TCS Racing||+13.348|
|10||23||Sébastien Buemi||CHE||Nissan e.DAMS||+14.766|
|11||36||André Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||+16.089|
|12||8||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NIO 333 FE Team||+20.922|
|13||28||Oliver Askew||USA||Avalanche Andretti FE Team||+23.020|
|14||28||Maximilian Günther||GER||Nissan e.DAMS||+25.184|
|15||29||Alexander Sims||GBR||Mahindra Racing||+29.520|
|16||37||Nick Cassidy||NZL||Envision Racing||+29.873|
|17||4||Robin Frijns||NED||Envision Racing||+30.854|
|18||33||Dan Ticktum||GBR||NIO 333 FE Team||+31.827|
|19||7||Sérgio Sette Câmara||BRZ||Dragon/Penske Autosport||+38.218|
|RET||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Dragon/Penske Autosport||Retired|
|RET||17||Nyck de Vries||NED||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team||Retired|
|RET||30||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Mahindra Racing||Retired|