Evans takes championship to final round after winning first Seoul EPrix

Formula E

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Mitch Evans won the first Seoul EPrix of the weekend to ensure that the battle for the Formula E title will go down to the final race tomorrow.

Evans took the lead on the opening lap and remained ahead for the entire race to win ahead of Oliver Rowland and Lucas di Grassi in third. Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne finished in fifth place and will take a 21 point lead heading into the final race of the season.

Oliver Rowland had secured pole position, but the track was damp due to earlier rain. When the lights went out, the pole sitter was passed by both Lucas di Grassi and Mitch Evans. Evans fought hard with Di Grassi to take the lead of the race just a few corners into the lap, before Rowland took back one place by passing Di Grassi in the stadium.

However, at the end of the lap, there was a major pile up at the final corner with eight cars skidding into both the barriers and each other. Norman Nato, Dan Ticktum, Sebastian Buemi, Nyck de Vries, Nick Cassidy, Oliver Turvey, Andre Lotterer and Oliver Askew all crashed in the melee, causing the race to be immediately red flagged due to so many cars being entangled together.

There was a lengthy delay while the carnage was cleared. Eventually, the race resumed behind the Safety Car with only Nato and Cassidy continuing out of the cars that crashed. A total of 16 cars took the restart, with Evans leading from Rowland, Di Grassi, Jake Dennis and Eduardo Mortara in fifth.

Jean-Eric Vergne was chasing Mortara and was behind the Venturi heading into the first corner. Vergne looked to pass Mortara up the inside, but Mortara appeared to move to the right under braking and was hit by Vergne, sending him wide and allowing Vergne through. Despite being hit from behind and dropping to seventh, Mortara was handed a five second time penalty repeated change of direction while defending.

Di Grassi was the first of the drivers to take his first Attack Mode with just under 35 minutes of race time remaining. He held onto third, with Rowland ahead taking his first Attack Mode on the following lap and race leader Evans the lap after, all three remaining in their original order.

With around 20 minutes of standard race time left, Evans took his final Attack Mode first of the front runners from the lead, using it to add another second to his advantage over Rowland. Stoffel Vandoorne passed Vergne along the start-finish straight to move into fifth place, while Alexander Sims pitched Antonio Giovinazzi into a spin to drop the Dragon driver out of contention for the points, earning a five second time penalty.

When Evans’ second Attack Mode had expired, it was time for Rowland and Di Grassi to take theirs, but both drivers used up their four minutes of additional power without exchanging positions. Further back, Mortara suddenly slowed with an apparent puncture, eventually pulling off the circuit in the stadium and into retirement.

Evans continued to lead, although a mistake at turn 22 cost him over a second to Rowland behind. However, before Rowland could capitalise and try to apply pressure on the leader, Sims lost control in the stadium section and crashed sideways into the wall, prompting a Full Course Yellow in the final minutes.

As the final minute ticked away into 45 seconds of additional time, the Safety Car was deployed, securing Evans’ victory. He duly took the chequered flag to take the victory and ensure the battle for the championship would go down to the final round.

Rowland claimed second place with Di Grassi completing the podium in third. Jake Dennis finished fourth, with Vandoorne in fifth place ahead of Vergne and Pascal Wehrelin in seventh. Robin Frijns, Antonio Felix da Costa and Nick Cassidy rounding out the points.

Vandoorne holds a lead of 21 points ahead of the final race, meaning he will win the championship if he finishes at least seventh.

Seoul EPrix 1 Race results:

1Mitch EvansJaguar
2Oliver RowlandMahindra
3Lucas di GrassiVenturi
4Jake DennisAndretti
5Stoffel VandoorneMercedes
6Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah
7Pascal WehrleinPorsche
8Robin FrijnsEnvision
9Antonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
10Nick CassidyEnvision
11Max GuntherNissan EDAMS
12Sergio Sette CamaraDragon Penske
13Norman NatoJaguar
RetAlexander SimsMahindra
RetAntonio GiovinazziDragon Penske
RetEdoardo MortaraVenturi
RetDan TicktumNio
RetSebastien BuemiNissan EDAMS
RetNyck de VriesMercedes
RetOliver TurveyNio
RetAndre LottererPorsche
RetOliver AskewAndretti

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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20 comments on “Evans takes championship to final round after winning first Seoul EPrix”

  1. the commentator , is it Jack Nichols? He has an annoying voice and yells into the mic. pretty much destroys the experience for fans. love the racing though.

    1. @bukester Jack Nicholls is actually my current favourite motorsport commentator! I have always enjoyed his enthusiastic style. His partnerships with Franchitti in Formula E and Jolyon Palmer back when Palmer was on BBC Radio 5 are especially strong I feel.

      1. Agree, I think he’s a great commentator and always on top of what’s happening.

      2. @willwood He’s a very good play-by-play guy, perhaps half a step behind Alex Jacques, but better than Crofty.

        1. @wsrgo Yeah, Alex Jacques is excellent too.

        2. Crofty is annoying and always frames something.

          Let him be a pit reporter, shouting.
          Or do vanity item’s

          1. @jehannes Accidentally reported your comment, fat fingers time.

            Sadly Crofty is only 53, and is likely to be the Sky commentary man for at least another 20 years.

  2. Great win for Mitch Evans to keep his title hopes alive, although it will be a very tough ask to win the title tomorrow. But as Jesse Pinkman would say, ‘this is Formula e we’re talking about. Whatever you think is supposed to happen, the exact, reverse, opposite of that, is gonna happen.’

    1. @f1frog Oh, did I miss the Formula E episode of Breaking Bad?

      1. You must have done. It was the spin-off of Breaking Bad, called Braking Bad, where Walter and Jesse started their own Formula e team as they had created a more efficient battery. The other teams were able to harvest 70-80% of energy under braking but Walter White was able to get 99.1% of the energy back under braking over a full race distance using his special, illegal, new formula of blue lithium batteries. This of course meant he was in high demand with the other teams and it all got a bit messy after Walter and Jesse spent some time working for Audi and Mahindra but fell out with both, and Dilbagh Gill ended up having half of his face blown off by Allan McNish’s uncle. Eventually, Walter’s brother-in-law, Scot Elkins, found out what he was doing and after he was killed by some disgruntled Jaguar team members the whole story got out and the blue lithium disappeared from the paddock.

        1. @f1frog I have never wanted to give a comment CotD more than this.

        2. Amazing, how did I miss this series @f1frog, is it still to be found on Netflix?

          1. @bascb it is available on Sky but only if you are a Sky Q and a Sky Glass customer.

          2. Thanks for the tip @f1frog :-)

  3. The racing was terrible on that circuit and the position of the Attack Zone meant no one dropped places going through it to activate it.

    1. yeah, they need to adapt it for next year.

      They will.

  4. Why, Monaco aside, is Formula E utterly incapable of racing on a decent circuit ??

    1. Did you deliberately choose to boycott the Mexico City E-Prix for some reason?

      1. It’s better than most but is still a poor layout when compared to even the current sub-par (when compared to the classic layout they butchered) full f1 layout.

        The circuits are one of the biggest issues with Formula E as they don’t really have a Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Suzuka etc…, A circuit that excites and which fans really look forward to not just for the racing but also because of how wonderful the circuit itself is.

        Monaco is the closest they have with the history and prestige that comes with it. But for as much as I love Monaco Formula E just lacks that extra thrill compared to F1 because of how much slower the cars are. You don’t get that same ‘wow’ that you do watching F1 or even F2 around there.

    2. Have to agree with you there, I managed to watch about 2 laps with the sound down ( the engine noise goes right through me like nails on a chalkboard ) but watching the cars go into and out of the stadium through an alleyway was just to painful to watch.

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