Formula E | Shanghai E-Prix | Race 1 | Mitch Evans wins from Wehrlein and Cassidy

Photo Credit: Jaguar TCS Racing
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Formula E is back in China, where the series made its start. After an intense Qualifying session, Jean-Éric Vergne proved he was quick and took pole position. This will be his 16th pole, equalling Buemi’s record. The Frenchman was the winner in Formula E’s last visit to China.

The Shanghai International Circuit is a high-energy circuit, meaning the drivers will need to think at least 10–15 laps ahead, about when the right moment to break away is. Strategy and patience are key, as when it comes to energy-critical races, the ideal grid position is around fifth to 10th.

As the lights went green, Vergne drove off into turn 1 smoothly, side-by-side with Pascal Wehrlein and Oliver Rowland. Vergne made it out and continued to lead the pack.

There was also action behind the front row, as António Félix Da Costa challenged Rowland by going around the outside. Jake Hughes joined Wehrlein to drive into third. The TAG Heuer Porsche duo set themselves up for a chance to work as a team.

The drivers were not afraid to go side-by-side while they fought to hold on to positions and stay in the mix. Nick Cassidy, lost a few positions, but seemed to be using the same strategy that led to his Berlin victory–Saving energy to attack in the end.

The first driver to go for Attack Mode is Wehrlein. Robin Frijns momentarily led the pack, but tactically used his Attack Mode to lose the lead and slide back into the pack.

Da Costa was in second behind his teammate, who gave him the lead, allowing the Portuguese driver to go for his Attack Mode. Da Costa eased back into second.

Mitch Evans continued to push and made it up to third. He looked efficient as he was 1% up on Frijns. Evans looked to make an impression on the Porsches up front.

Jake Dennis and Norman Nato have been practising slipstream prep, and the Andretti duo put this to the test, working their way to the front. Dennis was up into fourth, while Nato was in sixth.

Pole-setter Vergne was back in the lead, ahead of Evans, but that didn’t last long. Wehrlein moved up into second and Da Costa passed the Jaguar using his Attack Mode.

While Dennis and Evans swapped podium positions between them, the race saw a surprise leader. Nyck De Vries took the lead, having worked his way through the pack. However, De Vries’ race engineer went on the radio to say, “We don’t want the lead”. This gave the lead back to Wehrlein, Evans just behind and De Vries in third and into the slipstream train.

15 laps into the race, things had calmed down. Evans used his final Attack Mode and was in the lead, the Porsche duo right behind. His teammate made moves and slowly worked his way into sixth, after spending time outside the points position.

Wehrlein and Da Costa took back the lead, with Wehrlein setting the fastest lap. Evans dropped back to save energy, and De Vries was still in the points in fourth place. However, fellow Mahindra driver Eduardo Mortara had to pit and was out of the race due to front wing damage.

Mitch Evans turned out to be a strong contender as he made his way past the Porsche drivers. Wehrlein and Da Costa did not make it easy for him, as they stayed wide and covered the width of the circuit to keep Evans at bay.

With 10 laps left, Da Costa attempted to take the lead, but the Jaguar driver held on around the outside of the Porsche. Evans had done a brilliant job of saving energy and was soon joined by Cassidy for some teamwork.

Dennis moved up to fourth with one Attack Mode left. He dropped behind Cassidy. He took his final attack mode and made full use of the 350kW. Furthermore, he fought Da Costa for third.

An intense battle took place between Cassidy and Dennis and Wehrlein and Evans. With side-by-side action between the Andretti and the Jaguar drivers, Cassidy nearly contacts his teammate Evans, as he slipped past Dennis.

The energy played a big role in Shanghai, as Wehrlein was down 2% on Evans. The German driver was able to hold Evans behind, but all eyes were on Cassidy, who still had 10% left. Asked if he can push, Cassidy was told to hold position and help Evans.

Wehrlein led the start of the final lap; however, Evans took the lead around the outside of turn 1, leading with a percentage of energy in advantage. Cassidy tried to make a move on Wehrlein at the turn 6 hairpin but did not have the time to use the energy he had left.

With Evans leading the final corner, the drivers behind him fought side-by-side to take the win. Evans left it to the final lap and cruised by Wehrlein for the lead and held it to the finish line, winning the first race of the Shanghai E-Prix.