ENVISION RACING’S NICK CASSIDY KICKED OFF WITH A SOLID 7TH PLACE IN INDONESIA AND MAINTAINS HIS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
After stunning back-to-back victories in Berlin and Monaco, Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy showed he can bag the points, and mostly keep out of trouble, in his quest to maintain his place at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Starting 10th for the first of two races in the Indonesian capital, the Envision Racing driver made early race progress, moving up to eighth by the end of the first lap. A mid-race heart-in-mouth moment came following contact with Jean-Éric Vergne, but seventh place at the flag means that Cassidy maintains his place at the top of the championship standings, albeit with a reduced margin.
Cassidy went into the Jakarta E-Prix weekend 21 points ahead of Pascal Wehrlein, however victory for the Porsche driver means that the gap is now just two points between the two rivals.
Cassidy did set the fastest lap of Saturday’s race, however, indicating the team has good pace heading into the second race of the weekend.
Envision Racing’s Sébastien Buemi had a race to forget, however. The Swiss driver started 13th, but an early race puncture scuppered any progress, and he will look to regroup for Sunday’s race.
— Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) June 3, 2023
When the lights went out to start the opening race of the weekend in Jakarta, Cassidy quickly made up one place, moving up to ninth, which became eighth by the halfway point of the opening lap, as pole position-winner Maximilian Günther held the lead. As Cassidy made progress, team-mate Buemi dropped from his starting slot of 13th down to the back of the field with a puncture.
On lap four, Günther lost his lead to Wehrlein as the field settled down. Further back, Cassidy held eighth, in pursuit of Robin Frijns, passing the Dutch driver as he elected to take his first Attack Mode phase of the race.
Cassidy’s first Attack Mode phase came on lap nine, holding seventh behind the Maserati of Edoardo Mortara. The Envision Racing man maintained a calm and collected waiting game throughout the first third of the 36-lap race, crucially conserving battery energy.
On lap 13, Wehrlein held the lead in the Porsche, ahead of Günther and Jake Dennis. With the top 10 more spaced out than previously seen at the Berlin E-Prix and Monaco E-Prix, options to make big gains looked slim, as Cassidy held seventh, but still in touch with the leading pack.
By the midpoint of the opening race of the weekend, some good pace from Cassidy meant that the Kiwi driver managed to get ahead of Mortara, holding sixth and looking to move deeper into the big points-paying positions.
OH MY GOODNESS 😳
Our Championship leader Nick Cassidy collides with JEV and SOMEHOW escapes with no damage!
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) June 3, 2023
With Mortara dispatched, Cassidy looked to reel in Vergne, making a bold, and near disastrous move on the French driver under braking for turn one as the two cars made contact on lap 20. Surviving unscathed, Cassidy resumed his afternoon in sixth, proving that he has no plans to take it easy in the quest for points.
As the race approached the final 10 laps, the scrap for the podium heated up. Wehrlein, Dennis and Günther all engaged in a three-way battle for first, allowing Stoffel Vandoorne a look and bringing Cassidy closer in touch. As the dust settled, Cassidy took his second Attack Mode phase, dropping to seventh and setting himself up for a big push to the chequered flag.
Cassidy found himself stuck behind Mortara’s Maserati, and as the final lap approached, the Envision Driver held seventh. Any plans to reclaim sixth came to nothing, and Cassidy was forced to settle for seventh, and six vital points, as Wehrlein held on to win from Dennis and Günther.
Drivers’ standings (after Rd 10):
1. Nick Cassidy, 128pts
2. Pascal Wehrlein, 126pts
3. Jake Dennis, 114pts
4. Jean-Éric Vergne, 97pts
5. Mitch Evans, 94pts
8. Sébastien Buemi, 61pts
Teams’ standings (after Rd 10):
1. Porsche Formula E Team, 198pts
2. Envision Racing, 189pts
3. Jaguar Racing, 156pts
4. Avalanche Andretti, 137pts
5. DS Penske, 137pts