Dennis dominates in Diriyah as Evans loses podium finish at final corner

Formula E

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Formula E world champion Jake Dennis took his first win of the new season in the first of two races this weekend in Diriyah.

The Andretti driver skilfully moved up from third in the early laps ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Mitch Evans through clever use of Attack Mode to win by a large margin.

Vergne held onto second place ahead of Nick Cassidy after a late lunge from Mitch Evans saw the Jaguar driver drop from third down to fifth place.

At the start, pole-winner Vergne held onto the lead while Mitch Evans held off a challenge from Sergio Sette Camara into the first corner to keep second place, before Dennis muscled by the ERT driver to take third.

Leader Vergne was the first to take Attack Mode on the third lap. Evans inherited the lead but moved to take Attack Mode for the first time on the next lap. The Jaguar driver ended up right next to the Penske on the corner exit, with Vergne squeezing Evans to the wall.

Dennis waited an extra lap before he took his first Attack Mode, slotting between Vergne and Evans. But Vergne then took six minutes of Attack Mode on the next lap, dropping behind Evans in third. While Vergne struggled to pass Evans on track with his extra power, Dennis pushed hard and was able to take his remaining Attack Mode time on the next lap, but crucially remained ahead of his two rivals behind.

Evans handed Vergne second place when he took his remaining Attack Mode, leaving Dennis leading from Vergne and the Jaguar with Evans in third, with all three using up their remaining Attack Mode in unison as the trio pulled away from the pack behind.

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Evans managed to pass Vergne for second at the end of the back straight on lap 13 and challenged Dennis for the lead at the same spot on the next lap. However, Evans ran wide on the exit of the corner, allowing Dennis to reclaim the lead. Vergne then began to put the Jaguar driver under pressure, which paid off on the 16th lap when Evans ran wide at turn 18, allowing Vergne through into second.

Dennis held a lead of over a second from Vergne who quickly opened up a gap to Evans behind. Eventually Evans was caught by Jaguar team mate Nick Cassidy and Evans allowed him through into third with just over ten laps remaining as Cassidy still had Attack Mode to use up. Cassidy eventually took his second Attack Mode and slotted in behind his team mate and ahead of Sam Bird’s McLaren.

Out front, Dennis was in complete control. But Vergne’s advantage over Evans suddenly evaporated in the closing laps, with the Penske coming under intense pressure for his second place. Vergne managed to hold Evans off until the back straight on the final lap, when the Jaguar driver made an ill-judged attempted on the Penske into the right-hander, running wide and falling behind Cassidy and Bird simultaneously.

Dennis crossed the line to win by the remarkable margin of 13 seconds, with Vergne holding onto second and Cassidy taking third thanks to his team mate’s last minute error. Bird finished in fourth, while Evans fell to fifth following his failed passing attempt.

Norman Nato finished sixth in the second Andretti, ahead of Maximilian Guenther in seventh and round one winner Pascal Wehrlein in eighth. Sergio Sette Camara was ninth for ERT, with Robin Frijns rounding out the points in tenth.

The second race of the Diriyah double-header weekend takes place tomorrow at the same start time of 5pm UK time.

2024 Diriyah Eprix – Round 2 – Race results

11Jake DennisAndrettiPorsche 99X Electric Gen3
225Jean-Eric VergneDS PenskeDS E-TENSE FE23
337Nick CassidyJaguarJaguar I-Type 6
48Sam BirdMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
59Mitch EvansJaguarJaguar I-Type 6
617Norman NatoAndrettiPorsche 99X Electric Gen3
77Maximilian GuentherMaseratiMaserati Tipo Folgore
894Pascal WehrleinPorschePorsche 99X Electric Gen3
93Sergio Sette CamaraERTERT X24
104Robin FrijnsEnvisionJaguar I-Type 6
115Jake HughesMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
1216Sebastien BuemiEnvisionJaguar I-Type 6
1322Oliver RowlandMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
142Stoffel VandoorneDS PenskeDS E-TENSE FE23
1548Edoardo MortaraMahindaMahindra M10Electro
1613Antonio Felix da CostaPorschePorsche 99X Electric Gen3
1721Nyck de VriesMahindaMahindra M10Electro
1851Nico MuellerAbt CupraMahindra M10Electro
1911Lucas di GrassiAbt CupraMahindra M9Electro
2018Jehan DaruvalaMaseratiMaserati Tipo Folgore
2133Dan TicktumERTERT X24
2223Sacha FenestrazNissanNissan e-4ORCE 04

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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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