Cassidy holds off Dennis to move into title contention with win in Berlin

Formula E

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Envision driver Nick Cassidy held off Jake Dennis over the closing stages of another frantic eprix in Berlin to take victory and move into title contention.

Cassidy moved into the lead with around a third of the race remaining and never let go, beating Dennis on the run to the chequered flag by less than a second. Jean-Eric Vergne completed the podium in third.

The two Abt drivers – the team languishing last in the teams’ championship – had secured a stunning front row lockout in a wet qualifying after both Robin Frijns and Nico Muller reached the final, with Frijns beating his team to pole position. Before the race start procedure began, a small group of protesters appeared to invade the grid and attempt to sit in front of the cars. Security took to the track and remove the protesters off the grid, with the start being delayed by a few minutes as a result.

When the lights eventually went out, Frijns led away from team mate Muller, with Sebastien Buemi in third ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne fourth and Mitch Evans fifth. On lap three, both Abt drivers took Attack Mode together for one minute, enabling Buemi to take the lead. He led for a lap before taking his first minute of Attack Mode, which put Vergne out front, before the DS Penske driver followed suit on the next lap, allowing Frijns to retake his lead.

Pole winner Frijns led at the start
Vergne used his Attack Mode power to pass Muller for third, before Frijns took his second and final Attack Mode on lap six, dropping to fifth place and cycling Evans into the race lead. Evans took his first Attack Mode the next lap which put Vergne into the lead, but Evans managed to rejoin in front of Frijns in fourth place.

At the start of lap eight, Muller repassed Vergne to take the lead on track, before surrendering it back to Vergne when his took his second Attack Mode later in the lap. Muller rejoined ahead of his team mate and gained back second place when Vergne and Buemi both took their second Attack Modes later in the lap. With his extra power, Muller pressured Evans for the lead of the race, but did not have to attempt a pass for the lead as the Jaguar driver took his second Attack Mode mid way through lap ten.

Championship leader Pascal Wehrlein sat in second behind race leader Muller without taking either of his Attack Mode periods. However, he dived to the inside of Muller into the final corner to take the lead before handing it back by taking his first minute of Attack Mode on lap 12.

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Muller fell out of the lead after the leading pack began battling among itself with Buemi emerging with the lead. That did not last long as the two Porsches of Wehrlein and Antonio Felix da Costa passed the Envision driver into turn one to take the lead. Buemi was handed the lead back when Wehrlein took his final attack mode, with Wehrlein moving back into second place.

On lap 18, Buemi gave up the lead after appearing to try and take Attack Mode for a third time despite having already used up his four minutes. That moved Wehrlein back into the lead, with Vergne in second, before Vergne slipped by the Porsche into the first corner at the start of the 21st lap. Buemi suffered front wing damage from contact before his wing appeared to collapse as he crossed the timing line at the end of the lap, forcing him to pit.

It was another close race at the front
The entire field was covered by just over eight seconds with the lead continuing to swap between those sitting at the front as all drivers wanted the benefit of a slipstream to save energy. However, the pack began to settle down after Cassidy moved into the lead soon after overtaking three drivers into turn six, with Jake Dennis now in second place ahead of Vergne in third.

Cassidy remained in the lead and began to pick up the pace with around six laps to go, with Dennis in second holding one-per-cent more usable energy than the leader. But despite his advantage, Dennis was not able to pressure Cassidy for the lead.

Less than half a second separated the pair entering the final lap, with Cassidy crucially able to keep ahead of Dennis on the approach to the key overtaking spots on the circuit. Despite Dennis’s extra energy, Cassidy successfully held off Dennis to take the chequered flag, the 25 points and throw himself into championship contention.

Vergne took the final podium position in third, ahead of Evans in fourth ahead of Da Costa and Maximilian Gunther. Wehrlein finished seventh to retain his championship leader with Stoffel Vandoorne, Muller and Dan Ticktum completing the top ten.

Wehrlein continues to lead the championship with 100 points, with Cassidy now his closest rival, four points behind. The next round at Monaco will take place in two weeks.

Formula E Berlin Eprix race results:

137Nick CassidyEnvisionJaguar I-Type 6
227Jake DennisAndrettiPorsche 99X Electric Gen3
325Jean-Eric VergneDS PenskeDS E-TENSE FE23
49Mitch EvansJaguarJaguar I-Type 6
513Antonio Felix da CostaPorschePorsche 99X Electric Gen3
67Maximilian GuentherMaseratiMaserati Tipo Folgore
794Pascal WehrleinPorschePorsche 99X Electric Gen3
81Stoffel VandoorneDS PenskeDS E-TENSE FE23
951Nico MuellerAbt CupraMahindra M9Electro
1033Dan TicktumNIO 333NIO 333 ER9
1123Sacha FenestrazNissanNissan e-4ORCE 04
1211Lucas di GrassiMahindraMahindra M9Electro
1358Rene RastMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
148Oliver RowlandMahindraMahindra M9Electro
153Sergio Sette CamaraNIO 333NIO 333 ER9
1617Norman NatoNissanNissan e-4ORCE 04
174Robin FrijnsAbt CupraMahindra M9Electro
185Jake HughesMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
1910Sam BirdJaguarJaguar I-Type 6
2016Sebastien BuemiEnvisionJaguar I-Type 6
2136Andre LottererAndrettiPorsche 99X Electric Gen3
2248Edoardo MortaraMaseratiMaserati Tipo Folgore

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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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5 comments on “Cassidy holds off Dennis to move into title contention with win in Berlin”

  1. Today’s race was better and it was good that Dennis did not throw away the race like yesterday. But was he a bit too cautious? Anyway Cassidy seemed to have enough to hold him back. But the fundamental problem is the same. Only the last five or six laps are flat out.

    But, what was the protest about that caused the delay at the start?

  2. These races where silly. They did not want to lead. Being in the lead should not be this much of a punishment. They sould do something about it. One or two races like this are interesting and fun but if all races are about not wanting to lead…

  3. Great drive by Cassidy, who’s being super consistent all season: also, he led most of the race, and still won despite the group tactics!
    Championship standings very close, races are tight, grandstands are packed: think it’s been a positive season for FE so far.
    Let’s see Monaco, in 2 weeks

  4. Those races were okay – a short oval slipstreaming fest on a street course. But need to balance that with letting these cars really show what they can do once in awhile.

    On a proper road course like Valencia the racing can be fantastic when they’re not held back. The race could maybe be only 35 minutes this season but it would be worth the trade off in the end. They need to just do it- once.

  5. It is a shame that organizers did not reverse the track for the 2nd race on sunday. I don’t get why there is no tribune on 1st corner, where you get the most of the action.

    That aside, great event overall – not only thrilling quali and race but also the general organization and Fan Village is very well sorted. Better than F1, although it is probably much easier with fewer people attending.

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