Formula E – Brilliant In Berlin: Cassidy Times It To Perfection To Charge Back Into Championship Lead

Formula E – Brilliant In Berlin: Cassidy Times It To Perfection To Charge Back Into Championship Lead

Midway through today’s Berlin E-Prix (11 May), Nick Cassidy was languishing towards the tail-end of the field in his Jaguar TCS Racing single-seater. When the chequered flag fell, he was almost five seconds clear of his closest pursuer courtesy of a tactical masterclass that left the opposition powerless to respond.

Cassidy began the race around the historic Tempelhof Airport circuit from tenth on the grid, initially keeping his powder dry in preparation for a late charge. On lap 21, the New Zealander was one place shy of the bottom of the order, with few rating his chances of grabbing more than a few points, never mind an extraordinary seventh career triumph. But Cassidy has never been one to lie down without a fight.

With eight laps remaining, he had worked his way up to seventh, with more energy remaining than anybody else in the lead battle. Continuing to pick his rivals off, on lap 43, he usurped DS Penske’s Jean-Éric Vergne from the top spot, and from that moment on, the result was no longer in doubt. Much like he did in Berlin 13 months ago, the Auckland native timed his bid to perfection, going on to check out to the tune of 4.6 seconds.

Fastest lap on the final tour completed a perfect score for last season’s championship runner-up, and has vaulted him back to the summit of the standings in the quest for the Season 10 crown, nine points ahead of home hero Pascal Wehrlein.

Vergne held on to secure the runner-up spoils – for the second time in 2024 – after drawing upon all of his experience to fend off the marauding pack behind in the closing stages. The Frenchman led on multiple occasions, but ultimately had no answer for the irresistible Cassidy.

Nissan Formula E Team’s Oliver Rowland tried every which way to prise the door open as the chequered flag neared, with third place representing the Briton’s fifth rostrum visit of the campaign. The Misano winner was on typically feisty form as he scythed through the order from 16th on the grid, making passes on the inside, the outside and at one point slicing his way neatly between the two TAG Heuer Porsches to steal two positions in one fell swoop.

Fourth place fell to Mitch Evans, who first hit the front of the field approaching mid-distance and led again later on as he deployed a different Attack Mode strategy to many of his rivals. The New Zealander – winner a fortnight ago in Monaco – slipped past Wehrlein on the last lap when the German’s attempt to pinch third place from Rowland failed to pay off.

The Porsche driver – championship leader going into the race – was another to feature firmly in the fight for glory, and was tracked closely across the finish line by team-mate António Félix da Costa in sixth.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s race was an up-and-down affair for DS Penske. Into the lead on lap three, the Belgian subsequently plummeted down the timing screens to 19th after getting delayed by a coming-together ahead. He battled back to seventh at the flag, with Edoardo Mortara tallying his first points of the season in eighth. The Mahindra Racing driver had begun on pole position and ran up at the sharp end throughout, only falling away from the podium scrap late on.

Sacha Fenestraz wound up ninth for Nissan, with Taylor Barnard scoring in just his second series start for NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. The action continues in Berlin tomorrow (Sunday, 12 May), with round ten of the campaign getting underway at 15:03 CET.

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing 
“Today I got very lucky, but you need that sometimes in Formula E. We’ll take it. It was an interesting one, started P9, didn’t have a great start, wasn’t that fast, but I think we played it smart and stayed out of trouble. We’ve still got a lot of work to do – we need to be quicker. Let’s see how tomorrow goes. Things can change very quickly.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS PENSKE

“It was a very good race. I’m generally never happy unless I win, but today I have to say – I’m not as happy if I would have won – but I feel like it was a small victory. Of course Nik race but he was on a different strategy. So well done to him and his team have done that, I think they maximised potential that they had and paid off, but it can also go the other way.”

Oliver Rowland, Nissan Formula E Team

 I quickly found myself in a pretty decent position after a couple of laps and my idea was to get quite close to the front and see if I could stay in the mix lets say, but it’s been quite a good run in terms of the races and the strategy, and I think like JEV said it’s not super enjoyable, but it’s something that seems to be a strength of mine so I’m enjoying it a bit at the moment. We need to fix qualifying and make it a bit easier because we had to consume a lot to get to the front but if we can do that and have better pace on one lap then there’s no reason why we can’t keep fighting in the races.”

Final Classification RACE

Drivers Championship Standings

Teams Championship Standings

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