Diriyah E-Prix | Dennis dominates from Vergne in Saudi Arabia as Cassidy storms through to the podium

Photo credits: Andretti Global
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Da Costa dropped three spots from his qualifying position following contact with Nico Müller in Mexico, starting P20.

Vergne got away superbly, with Sergio Sette Camara lunging Evans for P2 into the opening turn. However, the New Zealander held it around the outside to stay in 2nd. Reigning champion Jake Dennis snuck through to take 3rd from the Brazilian.

The biggest winner was Sam Bird as he gained three spots to move into 6th. Unfortunately for the winner in Mexico, Pascal Wehrlein, he dropped the same amount of positions to fall to P9.

Vergne led Evans, Dennis, Sette Camara, Nato, Bird, Cassidy, Günther, Wehrlein and Hughes at the end of the first lap.

It was an early end for Sacha Fenestraz as a broken suspension put paid to his day.

Vergne took his first attack mode on lap 4, followed by Evans a lap later. The Kiwi was alongside the French driver but the Penske driver got his elbows out.

A big push from Dennis allowed the Brit to jump Evans when he took his first attack mode on lap 6.

Vergne took his second one next time around, but he got stuck behind Evans — and the Andretti Global driver took the net lead as Dennis took his final attack mode.

Dennis led Vergne, Evans, Nato, Sette Camara, Bird, Cassidy, Günther, Wehrlein and Hughes at the end of lap 10.

On lap 12, a brilliant move on the brakes allowed Evans — who was still in attack mode — to pass Vergne into turn 18 to take 2nd from the two-time champion.

As he ran out of attack mode, Evans attempted the same move on Dennis but couldn’t quite get the car stopped into turn 18. He went deep and Dennis kept P1.

As the reigning champion pulled away, Evans came under relentless pressure from Vergne. The Jaguar driver went deep again in turn 18 trying to defend and the Penske driver took the spot, in spite of a little bit of contact at T19.

With most drivers behind the top 3 waiting for a lot of laps to take their attack modes, Nick Cassidy showed incredibly strong pace as Jaguar asked Evans to let him through to build a gap before he took his first attack mode. Cassidy dropped behind Evans but quickly caught back up and made the move.

The former Envision driver took his final attack mode on lap 32, rejoining between Evans and Bird in 4th.

Cassidy’s strategy paid off handsomely as he moved up from P7 to P4, with Bird also jumping Norman Nato. Sette Camara lost out heavily in the chess game of taking attack mode at the right time as he dropped from 5th to 9th.

Out front, it was an absolute masterclass from Jake Dennis. Fastest lap and a winning margin of over 13s led to a perfect night for the defending champion.

With Vergne very tight on energy, Evans once again tried to make the pass into turn 18. Unfortunately for the Kiwi, he couldn’t get the car stopped in time and fell to 5th behind Cassidy and Bird as well.

Nato, Günther, Wehrlein, Sette Camara and Frijns completed the points scorers in a tactically fascinating race.

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