Envision Racing miss out on points after afternoon of Misano madness

The first race of the weekend ended in disappointment for Envision Racing after a chaotic Misano E-Prix

In a race that occasionally resembled a sim racing Battle Royale rather than a typical motorsport event, the inaugural Misano E-Prix on Saturday was full of thrills and spills – with a mind-boggling number of lead and position changes.

And, after 28 laps of frantic pack racing, despite enjoying a period in the lead, Envision Racing missed out on any points.

Fortunately, there is a chance for redemption on Sunday.

Both Envision Racing drivers started the first ever Misano E-Prix lined up astern, with Frijns in ninth and Buemi 10th. Emerging from the opening sequence of corners at the start of the race it was Buemi who made the most progress, moving up to eighth as Frijns dropped to 11th.

Up front, pole position-winner Mitch Evans held the lead, and was soon dramatically joined at the front by Buemi, who then stormed into the lead as drama ensued further down the pack.

The opening laps of the Misano E-Prix played out as expected, with no driver wanting to lead, and the field forming close quarter pack formation racing to save energy. By the start of lap five, following seemingly countless lead and general position changes, António Félix da Costa cycled into the lead as Buemi held seventh and Frijns 10th.

Jaguar’s Cassidy temporarily exited the race on lap six, trailing smoke from a damaged front wing as the racing got tighter and tighter at the front. Two laps later, for the first time in the race, the field started to spread out, headed by Sam Bird, who quickly became swamped by the two DS Penske machines.

On lap 10, everything closed up again, with Evans returning to the front, and both Envision Racing drivers surviving the wheel banging to run inside the top 10. The breathless pace continued into the second half of the E-Prix, with Buemi once again leading for Envision Racing, followed by da Costa and a soon-to-be-penalised Jean-Éric Vergne, as Frijns dropped to 16th.

By lap 20, Buemi had established himself in the top 10, not too far behind the jaw-dropping scrap for the lead, which was held by Oliver Rowland. Frijns pitted one lap later after suffering a puncture, effectively ending his hope of any points in Italy and leaving Buemi to uphold Envision Racing’s charge.

As the race entered the final lap, with the field more strung out Buemi found himself struggling to balance his energy needs and, suddenly down in 16th behind Nyck de Vries, the chance of points had seemingly vanished. Up front, Da Costa survived the chaos to win ahead of Rowland and Jake Dennis.

Buemi would ultimately come home 13th for Envision Racing, with Frijns 18th.

Drivers’ standings (after Race 7):

1. Oliver Rowland, 73pts
2. Jake Dennis, 68pts
3. Pascal Wehrlein, 63pts
4. Nick Cassidy, 61pts
5. Maximilian Günther, 60pts
10. Robin Frijns, 21pts
11. Sébastien Buemi, 20pts

Teams’ standings (after Race 7):
1. Jaguar TCS Racing, 111pts
2. Porsche Formula E Team, 108pts
3. Andretti Formula E 87, pts
4. Nissan, 81pts
5. DS Penske, 62pts
8. Envision Racing, 41pts