A crucial double-header in Italy awaits Nick Cassidy and Envision Racing as the battle for both Formula E championship titles heats up.
The inaugural Portland E-Prix was one to remember for Envision Racing, and in particular Nick Cassidy. Following a difficult double-header weekend in Indonesia for the Jakarta E-Prix, the Kiwi racer bounced back in style to claim his third victory of the year as Formula E competed in the Pacific Northwest for the first time.
The second career victory on US soil for Cassidy proved to be a vital one. Heading into a two-race weekend for the Rome E-Prix, and with just four races remaining in 2023, the Envision Racing driver sits just one point behind Jake Dennis. Coupled with this, Envision Racing are only six points adrift of Teams’ Championship leaders Porsche.
The gladiatorial battle is on in the Eternal City.
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) June 29, 2023
Once again this season, Cassidy proved he is a master of the overtake. Starting in 10th, the Berlin and Monaco E-Prix victor executed a supremely measured race plan to add a West Coast triumph to his New York City E-Prix scalp from 2022.
The racing was close and at times chaotic in Portland, and both Cassidy and Envision Racing team-mate Sébastien Buemi will be hoping for a less eventful weekend, back on European soil, and on a familiar layout.
Buemi certainly knows his way around the streets surrounding the Colosseum, and the Swiss driver has regularly graced the top 10 in the Italian capital, with a best result of fifth achieved in Season 5. Cassidy made waves in Rome during his debut season, claiming a sensational pole position after just his fourth Formula E qualifying session back in 2021.
Will Cassidy be seeking a front row start this time, or would he rather fight from the mid pack?
THE CHALLENGE IN ROME
Making up Rounds 13 and 14 of the 2022–23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, this year’s race will make up the fifth time the Rome E-Prix has been staged. The first race was hosted in Season 4, with no event held during the COVID-19 pandemic affected season in 2020.
The Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR has become a favourite amongst the Formula E paddock. Featuring one of the longest layouts on the calendar, the layout is packed with varying undulations and elevation changes which can have a major impact on how teams and drivers approach both qualifying, and the race strategy. Add to this iconic landmarks and buildings such as the Piazza G. Marconi and the imposing Piazzale delle Naziono Unite, and you have a stage for both great racing and iconic scenery.
The long straights and tight corners mean that overtaking is going to happen in both races come rain or shine. As witnessed in the previous races this year, leading the early stages in a GEN3 car is not the most ideal thing, and picking the right time to lead the pack will be crucial in determining the winner in 2023. It also means that a front row qualifying slot isn’t make or break for a big points haul in Rome.
Envision Racing have form in Italy, with pole positions and podiums in the record books. With the momentum from Cassidy’s victory in Portland, and a resurgent Sébastien Buemi, all roads could be leading to another big points haul this weekend as the battle for the top heats up in Formula E.
LAST TIME OUT IN PORTLAND
The very first Portland E-Prix had it all, and Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy showed why he is one of the coolest, and fastest, cats in Formula E.
In 2023 nobody has matched the New Zealand racer in his ability to pull off decisive and sometimes audacious overtakes when it matters. Whether it be fighting back to claim vital points in his championship charge, or securing E-Prix wins in Monaco and Berlin, the Envision Racing driver left Portland in championship contention.
"Frankly a great job from the team on strategy…"
— Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) June 29, 2023
‘Driver of the Race’ Cassidy started his afternoon in the picturesque surrounds of Oregon state six points adrift of Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein as the battle for the win went right down to the final lap. Staring 10th, Cassidy surged to the front, intermittently leading throughout the early phase of the race, saving energy, tyres and composure until the final lap, where he fended off new championship leader Jake Dennis to make it a hat-trick of win in 2023 and remain a bonafide title contender as the season approaches its climax.
Underlining the pace of the Jaguar-powered Envision Racing machine, team-mate Sébastien Buemi showed his grit and speed. The Swiss driver battled back from the lower reaches of the pack to end up fifth at the flag to bolster his team’s title challenge, and he will look to score big in Rome as well as help Cassidy’s quest for the Drivers’ Championship.
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) June 26, 2023
Drivers’ standings (after Rd 12):
1. Jake Dennis, 154pts
2. Nick Cassidy, 153pts
3. Pascal Wehrlein, 136pts
4. Mitch Evans, 122pts
5. Jean-Éric Vergne, 97pts
8. Sébastien Buemi, 72pts
Teams’ standings (after Rd 12):
1. Porsche Formula E Team, 229pts
2. Envision Racing, 225pts
3. Jaguar Racing, 190pts
4. Avalanche Andretti, 177pts
5. DS Penske, 139pts
HOW AND WHERE TO WATCH THE ROME E-PRIX (ALL TIMES BST)
14 July Free Practice 1 – 16:00 – 16:45
15 July Free Practice 2 – 07:10 – 07:55
15 July Qualifying – 09:40 – 10:55
15 July Race – 14:03 – 15:30
16 July Free Practice 3 – 07:10 – 07:55
16 July Qualifying – 09:40 – 10:55
16 July Race – 14:03 – 15:30
Follow Envision Racing here as they look to continue fighting at the front in Formula E in 2023.