Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver Pascal Wehrlein returned to winning ways in Indonesia, taking the German’s Round 10 win – his third ABB FIA Formula E World Championship win of the season – to launch him back into title contention.
The action-packed Formula E series saw teams travel to Southeast Asia for round 10 of the all-electric single-seater world championship. Setting the early pace in the hot and humid conditions was Maserati MSG Racing star Maximilian Gunther, who topped all free practice sessions and set key times in qualifying. The German took his place alongside British driver Jake Dennis in the Avalanche Andretti car with Pascal Wehrle in the top three.
A good start from Gunther led the field, but Dennis struggled on the dusty, dirt track on the inside of the circuit – losing a place to Porsche driver Wehrlein, the German moving up the lead on the outside of turn one. .
Wehrlein was in impressive form, eventually taking the lead outright on lap four, with a long-range lunge into turn one from textbook depth. Reigning world champion Stoffel Vandoorne was the first to activate his attack mode on his DS Penske machine, pulling himself and teammate Jean-Eric Verne into battle at the front. Chances are five cars will battle nose to tail and up front. It’s not the Asian heat that raises the temperature of the race, but the tactical action on the track. Verlin opted for a shorter two-minute attack mode option to start, before using his second and final six-minute extra power a few laps later. The battle field was set.
Dennis was a man on a mission after losing at the start, which saw him climb from fourth place midway through the race. After activating his attack mode, Dennis put the hammer down to approach Vandoorne. The British driver got a good run on the Belgian at the start, finishing the straight and throwing a late lunge move on the inside, throwing out the anchor to stop the car and turn in time – finishing expertly on the dusty inside line – for the battle ahead of the game on.
Dennis passes Gunther at the same corner a few laps later, and together with the German driver, they reel in Wehrlein – fourth and Vergne fifth. Vergne had to earn his top-five finish – trying to keep championship leader Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) off the back foot. Vergne entered a turn and Cassidy collided with the Frenchman. Lady luck was on the New Zealander’s side as he avoided front wing or steering damage and had to stay seventh and his championship lead intact as he finished behind DS Penske drivers Vergne and Vandoorne, and Mortara (Maserati MSG Racing). .
All eyes were now on the top three in the closing stages as the finish was a flat-out sprint with 15 laps to go. Dennis tried to overtake Wehrlein on lap 24 – with a side-by-side battle in the first few corners. For the third time this season Wehrlein held his nerve and fought back against the advances of Dennis and Gunther – two points off the summit and second in the standings. Dennis should be happy with his second and his sixth podium of the year, with Gunther sealing the second rostrum for Maserati in third.
In the teams’ standings, it was a memorable day for the Jaguar TCS Racing team. After Sam Bird was yellow-flagged in T1 in the closing stages – while battling for position with teammate Mitch Evans, he accidentally misjudged his breaking point, sending the New Zealander spinning out of the race. Bird also dropped down the order with lap one problems – a collision between two drivers affected the Jaguars’ battle in the battle of the teams.
Formula E action will be red-hot in Jakarta as the next round kicks off tomorrow (June 4), with Round 11 eagerly awaited in the Indonesian capital.
Pascal Verlin, no. 94, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, said:
„It obviously feels fantastic. A very good race, qualifying was much better than the previous races. Many thanks to the team, today the car was fantastic, I was in the lead almost the whole race. It’s not easy for me to get the energy, I know the people behind have a little more. , and driving in the slipstream also helps. But I think it’s good that we defended well and came back on top. The team definitely deserved it and now we look forward to tomorrow.
„In the last two races we weren’t where we wanted to be, we didn’t get the points we wanted and qualifying was a problem for us. Today we qualified in our best position so far this season with P3. A big turnaround for us in the last two weeks, and like I said to the team for their hard work. Thank you very much.There is still a long way to go.
Jake Dennis, no. 27, Avalanche Andretti Formula E, said:
„Very angry to be honest. If you’re second angry, you’re obviously having a good season, but the start eventually cost me the race, we got too much wheelspin in the dust and fell back to fourth. The maneuver with Pascal was ridiculous. The other two guys did it right, they gave us a They left space in the car, which is the rule, and then Pascal went all the way up to the wall, and I had to do the breaks halfway down the straight. He was already doing the lifting, at which point you have to leave the space, and he didn’t. [Tomorrow we need to] Start on the clean side of the grid. Qualifying was very important and I didn’t expect the race to go like this from the start. We have a very quick qualifying car – not quite as quick as Max – but in the end if we start on the front two rows we can definitely win the race tomorrow. 18 points is big, we beat some of our main rivals and we go again tomorrow.
Maximilian Günther, no. 7, Maserati MSG Racing, said:
“I am happy. Of course we always want to win, as a racing driver when you start on pole you want to win. We were ahead for a few laps, but we didn’t have enough to beat the two Porsche guys. They did a fantastic job right from the start, congratulations to Jake and Pascal. I had a few little problems and the car wasn’t as good as it was the rest of the weekend, but still a good race car for me and I’m happy with what we achieved this weekend and it’s great to be back on the podium. It was the maximum today and we are constantly trying to improve.
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