Dennis takes first win in orderly second race at Valencia

Formula E

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Jake Dennis scored his first Formula E victory with a commanding, lights-to-flag drive in Valencia.

The second race at the Ricardo Tormo circuit was a much more straightforward affair than the one which took place 24 hours earlier. The lack of any Safety Car interruptions made it considerably easier for teams to keep on top of the energy consumption restrictions.

The day’s proceedings began on a very wet track, which improved during qualifying. Group four, the bottom of the championship, faced a much drier track than those who ran earlier, and duly claimed the Super Pole positions. Dennis had been fastest in the groups, so went out last and took pole by a huge margin.

At the start of the race, the question of whether anyone would want to lead was a big one. Those following could potentially save as much as 0.7kWh of energy per lap by slipstreaming. Alex Lynn, in second place on the grid, was in prime position to take advantage of that and play the same lying-in-wait game Nyck de Vries had yesterday.

The track was dry enough for Formula E’s first standing start since Diriyah and Dennis was able to get away with the lead. Lynn tucked in closely behind him and avoided being forced ahead of Dennis, taking advantage of his slipstream, while the rest of the pack followed, bunched into less than half a kilometre of track.

Norman Nato, who had started fifth, was able to overtake both 333 cars. These had qualified considerably higher than usual, locking out the second row. Nato followed Lynn for much of the race until he misjudged the distance into the reprofiled turn six and clipped the back of Lynn, sending his furious rival off the track and back to seventh.

Dennis led the second Valencia race from lights to flag
Nato closed the gap to Dennis ahead but was not in a position to fight him for the lead. Lynn was able to recover as cars ahead ran low on energy. Andre Lotterer, who has been penalised twice for collisions yesterday and was point-less after the first five races, moved his way up to an on-track third. Lynn then took advantage of his slipstream to handle the energy he had used on recovery.

When Nato was awarded a five-second time penalty for the contact with Lynn, Dennis controlled the race to finish with a comfortable energy margin and take the chequered flag. Lotterer and Lynn were close enough behind to inherit the remaining podium spots when Nato was demoted from second to fifth by his penalty.

Only one car failed to finish the race. Stoffel Vandoorne, second in the points, retired after a clumsy knock into the barriers with Sebastien Buemi.

The sixth race of 15 did little to change the championship order, as the top five drivers failed to add to their points tallies. Mercedes pair De Vries and Vandoorne will therefore lead the standings into the Monaco EPrix next month.

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Race result

PositionDriverTeam
1Jake DennisBMW Andretti
2Andre LottererPorsche
3Alex LynnMahindra
4Oliver RowlandNissan e.Dams
5Norman NatoVenturi
6Rene RastAudi
7Jean-Éric VergneDS Techeetah
8Oliver TurveyNIO 333
9Edoardo MortaraVenturi
10Lucas di GrassiAudi
11Sebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams
12Max GuentherBMW Andretti
13Nick CassidyVirgin
14Sam BirdJaguar
15Mitch EvansJaguar
16Nyck de VriesMercedes
17Tom BlomqvistNIO 333
18Pascal WehrleinPorsche
19Robin FrijnsVirgin
20Nico MuellerDragon Penske
21Sergio Sette CamaraDragon Penske
22Antonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
23Alex SimsMahindra
DNFStoffel VandoorneMercedes

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 15 comments on “Dennis takes first win in orderly second race at Valencia”

    1. I lowkey wanted Jake to speed up on the penultimate lap so there’d be an extra lap… Just to see how many cars would run out of energy this time XD

      1. You weren’t the only one! It would have been the first bit of excitement in the whole race…

    2. Vandoorne throwing the championship away

    3. Any idea what happened to the Jaguars?

      With 6 minutes + 1 lap to go, Evans was 9th and Bird was 12th. By the flag they were 15th and 14th respectively. They seemed to drop through the field slowly, so I guess energy saving rather than an incident?

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        25th April 2021, 19:29

        Why is it 45 minutes + 1 lap. Why can’t it be just 45 minutes

        1. Because then if you crossed the line with 1 second to go, you wouldn’t be sure if you’d won the race and should slow down and celebrate, or if you still need to push because there’s a lap left.

          It should just be a straight 30 laps, or whatever is appropriate based on the length of a lap.

    4. At least nothing went farcical.

      Reply moderated
    5. I, for one, wholeheartedly loved the finish to yesterday’s race and hope FE never becomes as sanitised and “pure” as F1, because what would be the point of having a quieter clone of F1? The name of the game if FE has always been energy management, the safety car energy reduction rules were clear to everyone, and the teams have no one but themselves to blame for not anticipating the consequences.

      1. Yeah I agree with that. Imagine changing weather conditions in an F1 race and half the teams being caught out on slicks on the last lap and being unable to finish.

        Would we call that a farce too? Would probably be calling it the most exciting finish in history. The rules were the same for everyone and some teams got caught completely with their pants down.

        Embarassing for them, not for FE. There seems to be some sort of agenda setting by calling it a farce.

        1. @skipgamer, no because the weather is not something artificial like this SC energy reduction rule and because driving in the wet with dry tyres requires ability (plus a certain amount of luck) while running out of battery or driving extra slowly to use less battery power and make it to the end is just sad.

          On the other hand we can and did call Monza 2019 Q3 a farce when 8 out of 10 drivers weren’t able to set a time because they were all driving as slow as possible in order to be the last to cross the line.

          1. @skipgamer Yes, completely agree.

            @paulk To each their own, I suppose. I don’t find cars driving extra slowly while running out of battery to be sad. I find it a bit funny, to be true, but I also find it highly relatable (like me trying to type a comment on a phone with 1% battery). Above all, I find it fascinating to see who gets it right and who doesn’t.

            I also loved the 2019 Monza Q3. Again, everyone should have anticipated what was about to play out (apparently they didn’t notice that exactly the same thing was happening every week in Nascar qualifying that season), and if they had, they would have focused more on their first runs. These kind of emergent surprises from a simple ruleset that occasionally gets met with an edge case are part of what I love about racing.

            1. @markzastrow, sure, it is not necessarily sad. It can also be thought as ridiculous, disappointing, shameful, unnerving, and even disgraceful or funny depending on who you ask. The biggest problem is that it was self-inflicted by silly rules.

              As for 2019 Monza Q3, I also laughed but I mostly face-palmed.

            2. @paulk In any game, all outcomes are dictated by the rules. Whether you find the rules silly or the outcomes “inflicted” is a matter of taste. :)

      2. +1 Time trial fans are just complaining because there is actual racing in FE.

    6. I wonder if FE shouldn’t come to more permanent circuits. Considering the championship leaders were nowhere to be seen it could allow for differently capable teams/drivers to win some races to tighten up the championship.

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