What the top three said after the Diriyah E-Prix -Round 1

Photo credits: Formula E | Sam Bagnall
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After a hectic weekend for Formula E, it’s time to look back at the words from the main characters of the past rounds:

Jake Dennis

On the first round of the Diriyah double header reigning champion Jake Dennis took his first win of 2024 in a race packed with overtakes and upsets compared to the starting grid. The British driver, starting out of the top 3, made his way to the top spot in the early moments of the race, leading by Lap 10.

He then managed to pull off an hefty gap to Vergne and Evans, in the battle for P2, and ultimately secured his first win at the track with over 13 seconds of advantage over the second placed driver.

Dennis was extremely pleased with his dominant run of the day, as he said after the end of the race:

“I can only honestly thank these guys out here so much, you know, we’ve had a difficult start to the season, but we turned it around and came back. I got my biggest win in Formula E tonight.”

Photo credits: Formula E | Sam Bagnall

The last eight, nine laps I could really give everything and create that 13 second lead. These days don’t come around very often. I got to show these guys tonight and we’ll try and do it again tomorrow.”

The inaugural Mexico City E-Prix had been a less memorable round for the Andretti driver, who had start his championship run in 2023 with a win at the same spot but had to be satisfied with P9 this time round.

“There was a little bit of debate between me and the team about when we should take it [ATTACK MODE] but ultimately, we got it right. That was the main thing, it’s obviously so difficult to overtake here. We saw Mitch Evans trying to pull a do or die move, and thankfully that didn’t work out and allowed me to get away,” added Dennis, highlighting one of the key moments of his quest for the win.

“I have to say the enjoyment of racing here in Saudi under the lights and just enjoying every lap. It was so much fun. The track really started to grip up at the end and we could actually push the cars. It was a pretty phenomenal performance,” he concluded. 

Jean-Eric Vergne

It’s a first podium of the season for the French driver as well. Vergne’s Friday had started out strong by scoring his 16th career pole position in Formula E, tying Sebastien Buemi’s record of most starts from P1 in the series.

The DS Penske driver managed to hold on to the lead of the race after the start, but had to succumb to Dennis’s assaults by the first third of the racing laps. He then fended off Evans’s efforts, thus holding on to a final P2.

In spite of missing out on what would have been his second win for the team that rebranded to DS Penske at the beginning of 2023, Vergne was still pretty content with his day:

Usually starting on pole you want to win the race, any other place is a disappointment but I’m very happy today. The pace we set – it’s been flying doing the race, it’s the best I could have done today, we made a huge step forward compared to last year, I’m very happy that the work is paying off. “

Photo credits: Formula E | Alastair Staley

The two times champion was extremely pleased to have been in contention for P1, even if he admits that he didn’t have the pace to eventually catch up with Dennis.

“We’re catching up, we’re not there, but we’re gonna be there. And in some races, I hope we’ll have everything to beat them. Right now, I’m very happy to get some points and improve things. We’ll fight for more wins later on,” Vergne ended.

Nick Cassidy

Only driver always on the podium in 2024, the new Jaguar recruit’s second third place in a row came as a bit of a surprise.

In fact, his teammate Mitch Evans had been in the position for more than half the race, going as far as to contend with Vergne for runner up.

Unfortunately, the Kiwi driver in his eight season with Jaguar tried to overtake the Frenchman one time too much on the final lap of the race at Turn 18, running wide and ending his race in P5, allowing his former teammate Sam Bird to rack up his best finish so far with his new team McLaren.

Photo credits: Formula E | Alastair Staley

Evans’s mistake also allowed Cassidy to be promoted from P4 to the podium, which left him very surprised:

“This is really cool, it’s amazing to see an event like this in Formula E. I was really lucky, I had a really fast car today and my team were amazing. I made a bit of a wrong choice at qualifying, but the team’s support in the race and in qualifying was really mega. So, this one’s for them,” said the Kiwi driver.

After reaching the Final in his first qualifying with Jaguar, Cassidy had been bested by Evans in the earlier Quarter Final, a loss that definitely had left him unsatisfied with his performance.

“Although we were having radio issues during the race, their comms to me was super clear, they did a great job.”

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