MONACO: Nick Cassidy of Envision Racing climbed to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with a storming drive from ninth on the grid to win an absorbing 2023 Monaco E-Prix.
Cassidy led home Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing), having fended off his countryman until a late-race safety car made the win certain.
The race ebbed and flowed as leaders vied for control and to set the pace but Cassidy’s decisive early moves yielded the ultimate result. Once his engineer gave the green light for a six-lap sprint finish, Cassidy did not look back, despite the close attentions of Evans’ factory Jaguar.
Evans had himself clambered from sixth on the grid to second at the checkered flag and was within touching distance right up to the safety car three laps from the race finish. The New Zealand one-two made it four wins in succession, a new Formula E record for a single nation.
Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti Formula E team) could not quite live with the lead pair but he had torn through from 11th on the grid to make the final step on the podium.
Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan Formula E Team) — who thought he had sealed the Julius Baer Pole Position only for a post-session penalty to hand that honor to Jake Hughes (NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) — steered home to fourth, unable to compete with the lead trio’s benchmark combination of speed and efficiency. Hughes followed him across the line, with Dan Ticktum (NIO 333 Racing) hanging on for sixth position despite a couple of late-race scrapes and some damage to his car.
Long-time drivers’ standings leader Pascal Wehrlein could only improve to 11th from starting 12th on the grid, which resulted in both the driver and his TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team losing their grip on their respective championships.
Fellow title contender Jean-Eric Vergne recovered to seventh from the very back of the grid after DS PENSKE’s tire pressure infringements saw them disqualified from qualifying. The 15-position overtaking masterclass earned Vergne the inaugural ABB Driver of Progress race award, honoring intelligent, efficient driving resulting in the most places gained in a race.
Reigning world champion and DS PENSKE teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was also able to climb to the points with ninth place.
Cassidy’s 121 points moves him ahead of Wehrlein on 100 in the drivers’ table with Jake Dennis now third on 96 and Evans just behind on 94. Vergne leaves Monaco fifth in the running.
Envision Racing now leap to the top of the teams’ standings on 182 points, 14 points ahead of TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team on 168 points, while Jaguar TCS Racing sits third on 157 points.
“It’s insane, I’ve got nothing against Berlin but this feels amazing,” said Cassidy. “This is so, so special. I’m lost for words. It is going to take a bit to sink in, man we had such a tough day, I was 21st I think in both Free Practices which struck me a lot. I qualified 10th and I was really happy with that, so that was kind of how our day was going. Credit to our guys, both car crews and everyone in our garage helped out with the issues. I am so happy we got the reward after the work.
“There is a long way to go, this guy right here Mitch (Evans) he showed today how bloody strong he is. It is going to be a really cool fight, but for the moment let’s just enjoy the fact we won in Monaco.”
Next stop is a return to Indonesia for the first Jakarta E-Prix double-header with round 10 on Saturday, June 3 and round 11 on Sunday, June 4.