Jake Dennis was left feeling “pretty annoyed” after Saturday’s Jakarta E-Prix, despite having claimed a well-deserved podium in the tenth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
The Avalanche Andretti Formula E driver has looked quick in the Indonesian capital since Free Practice 1 Friday evening, with him having demonstrated his strong pace in qualifying, where he salvaged a front row start. Dennis was comfortably beaten to pole by Maximilian Günther; however, second was still a great starting position. Whilst second was a very good result, it did leave him to start from the dirty side of the grid, something which saw him fall to fourth by the exit of the first corner.
Despite having fallen to fourth, Dennis clearly had the best race pace, something he made the most of when he activated his final Attack Mode. He breezed past Stoffel Vandoorne and Günther at the opening corner, before setting his sights on race winner Pascal Wehrlein. Dennis quickly caught Wehrlein whilst his Attack Mode was still active, with the Briton having made the most of his superior straight-line speed down the start/finish straight.
As he switched to Wehrlein’s inside though, the German blocked him incredibly lately, something which infuriated Dennis. He ultimately didn’t get another chance to pass Wehrlein, meaning he had to settle for second. The Andretti driver was shocked that the block wasn’t investigated and believes what Wehrlein did was “ridiculous”, with him noting that he “can’t protest” due to Andretti being Porsche’s customer team.
“Pretty annoyed to be honest,” admitted Dennis after the race.
“You are obviously having a good season if you’re annoyed with second, but the start lost me the race ultimately, we had way too much wheelspin on the dust and dropped back to fourth. The manoeuvre with Pascal was ridiculous, I had to hit so much pressure to avoid hitting the back of him. I don’t know how he got away with that to be honest – it’s ridiculous.
“The other two guys did it perfectly, they left just us space on one car, which is the rule, and then Pascal just completely swerved all up to the wall and I had to slam on the breaks half way down the straight. He had already committed to lifting and at that point you have to leave space, and he didn’t. We can’t protest against them because they also have a Porsche powertrain. A bit ridiculous.
Despite having been frustrated by Wehrlein’s late block, Dennis moved to within fourteen points of championship leader Nick Cassidy, ahead of Sunday’s second race. Looking ahead to the second race in Jakarta, Dennis is hoping to qualify on the “clean side of the grid”, to help him claim a fourth consecutive podium.
“[Tomorrow we need to] start at the clean side of the grid. Qualifying is super important, I actually didn’t expect the race to go like that it was flat out from the start. We have a really quick qualifying car – not quite as quick as Max’s – but ultimately if we can start on the front two rows we can obviously win the race tomorrow. 18 points is huge, we beat some of our main rivals, and we go again tomorrow.”