Podium hat-trick for Cassidy after thriller in Brazil


For the third race in a row, Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy claimed a Formula E podium, with a second place finish at the inaugural São Paulo E-Prix.

That elusive victory proved just 0.284 seconds out of reach after a thrilling battle with the Jaguar Racing cars of eventual winner Mitch Evans, and third-place finisher Sam Bird, meaning Cassidy now sits third in the Drivers’ Championship standings, just 24 points off top spot.

Starting fifth, Cassidy once again showed he and his Envision Racing machine are a certified front-running package. Following on from a hard-fought third place in Cape Town, Cassidy ran at the front all race, pulling off seven overtakes by lap 22, and in the closing stages, refused to give in to a rapid Evans, hustling his fellow New Zealand driver all the way to the flag whilst simultaneously defending from Bird.

Further back, Cassidy’s Envision Racing team-mate Sébastien Buemi had a tough afternoon. Starting 12th, early progress was abruptly halted on lap two by an incident that left him nursing badly injured hands.

But the Swiss driver used all his experience to battle back to 10th at the flag, showing that both Envision Racing cars have pace while bagging a vital point for the team, and helping consolidate second place in the Teams’ standings as Formula E heads back to Europe for the Berlin E-Prix double-header.


Once again, come qualifying time, both Envision Racing drivers showed good pace. Going out on track first in Group A, Cassidy ended up second quickest, again confirming a place in the head-to-head phase. Buemi had to settle for sixth quickest in the second qualifying group, ensuring a starting slot of 12th on the grid.

For Cassidy, In the knockout phase of qualifying, there was to be no repeat of the semi-final appearance enjoyed last time out in Cape Town. The Envision Racing driver was bettered by Edoardo Mortara, and had to settle for fifth place on the starting grid.


Cassidy executed a perfect start, immediately moving up from fifth to fourth as the pack edited the tight opening chicane, with team-mate Buemi also making progress, moving up two places from 12th to 10th.

Buemi’s move through the pack was halted after a coming together Maximilian Günther on lap two, relegating the Envision Racing driver to the rear of the field as he also dealt with painful injuries. Up front, pole position-winner Stoffel Vandoorne maintained his place at the head of the field throughout the opening laps, followed by António Félix da Costa and Evans, who found himself under some serious pressure from compatriot Cassidy.

Cassidy made his way into third place, passing da Costa on lap eight, just as a safety car was deployed to allow for the removal of Sacha Fenestraz’s stricken car. With the stationary Nissan safely off the track, racing resumed on lap 12, as Cassidy set about overhauling the Jaguar of Evans.

With racing back underway, da Costa quickly retook third place from Cassidy as the pack settled back into the rhythm of the race. By lap 13, da Costa was up into second, passing Evans as Cassidy followed suit, with a brave move, to run in the top three once again.

On lap 14 Cassidy powered into the lead on the pit straight, passing two cars, before taking his first Attack Mode of the race, and crucially re-emerging in second place. It wasn’t long until Cassidy was back in the lead, passing Vandoorne to take the initiative as the race hit the halfway mark.

With Cassidy and Envision Racing at the front, a second safety car was triggered by a stationary Jake Dennis. When racing resumed on lap 18, Cassidy headed the pack, with da Costa hot on his heels and Vandoorne in third.

Third became first for Vandoorne as Cassidy and Jean-Éric Vergne took Attack Mode. Now in third place, Cassidy soon found himself back at the front as Vandoorne and Evans took their respective Attack Mode phase. On lap 20, Evans snatched the lead from Cassidy, setting the fastest lap and looking to put daylight between his Jaguar and the Envision Racing machine.    

Evans took another Attack Mode phase on lap 24, allowing Cassidy to lead once more. Behind, a mistake from da Costa relegated the Porsche driver down to seventh. Up front, Cassidy managed to pull a gap of over a second back to Evans.

With the closing laps approaching, the battle between the Kiwi racers was on. Evans managed to cut the gap to Cassidy as the race duration was extended by four laps due to the earlier safety car periods. Behind Evans, his Jaguar team-mate Sam Bird looked to join the fight for the win. At the front, with the four added laps left to run it suddenly became a three-way battle for the lead. Evans grabbed the initiative at turn three, relegating Cassidy to second. 

Despite Evans’ ominous pace, the Envision Racing driver refused to give up, and by the start of the final lap, Cassidy remained close to leader Evans whilst defending from a resurgent Bird in third. It all went down to the wire as a super aggressive Cassidy couldn’t quite get around Evans, but managed to defend from Bird to secure a stunning second place and ensuring three Jaguar-powered cars lock out the podium in Brazil. 

Whilst Cassidy scored a third consecutive podium, his Envision Racing team-mate Buemi fought back to score points with a 10th place finish.

“Before the race I said that I would be super happy with a podium finish,” said Cassidy after the race.

“That was Formula E at its best, so much fun from a driver’s point of view, and I hope it was a good watch for the fans. It was a pretty strategic race, and to finish with Jaguar-powered cars one, two and three is pretty cool.

“I knew to get the win I would have to do something pretty special to beat Mitch (Evans), but that would have been a big risk in terms of losing out and ending up third.”

Drivers’ standings (after Rd 6):
1. Pascal Wehrlein, 86pts
2. Jake Dennis, 62pts
3. Nick Cassidy, 61pts
4. Jean-Éric Vergne, 60pts
5. António Félix da Costa, 58pts
7. Sébastien Buemi, 42pts

Teams’ standings (after Rd 6):
1. Porsche Formula E Team, 144pts
2. Envision Racing, 103pts
3. Jaguar Racing, 83pts
4. DS Penske, 82pts
5. Avalanche Andretti, 80pts