Image Credit: ABB FIA Formula E Media
Wehrlein Returns To Winning Ways In Jakarta Round 10 -2023 Gulavit Jakarta E-Prix Report
- Wehrlein wins in Jakarta as ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns to Indonesia following last season’s debut
- Jake Dennis finishes second but vents frustration at Wehrlein for early race move
- Maximilian Günther finishes third in searing heat of Jakarta with second race of the double-header tomorrow, Sunday
A cool and collected drive by Pascal Wehrlein delivered a win in the soaring heat of race one in the Gulavit Jakarta E-Prix double-header, propelling his TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team back to the top of the Teams’ championship.
Wehrlein led home Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team), who reacted strongly after the race claiming the Porsche driver made a “ridiculous” maneuver forcing Dennis to take evasive action.
Maserati MSG Racing driver Maximilian Günther stayed in the leading pack throughout the race, finishing third. He started in Julius Bär Pole Position, the first Maserati pole in single-seater motorsport since 1958.
In the first race of the double-header in Jakarta, Wehrlein started third and traded places for the lead with polesitter Maximilian Günther over the opening third of the E-Prix, having first made his way by his compatriot on Lap 4.
From Lap 12 and the second ATTACK MODE activation, Wehrlein was able to manage things comfortably in the most trying conditions on a hot and humid afternoon where temperatures reached the mid-30s Celsius.
Dennis started second and finished second, with not enough in his Avalanche Andretti to overpower Wehrlein’s factory Porsche 99X Electric. His push for the front was compromised by a late-race push from Günther, who pressured the Brit for second, allowing Wehrlein some breathing room.
Ultimately, Günther could not find a way through. The DS PENSKE teammates Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Éric Vergne came home fourth and fifth respectively with Günther’s Maserati MSG Racing teammate Edoardo Mortara sixth.
Standings leader Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) tried his best to outdo defensive maestro Vergne mid-way through the race. He had a lucky escape as he made a move from a long way back on an unsighted Vergne on Lap 20, narrowly avoiding damage to both front corners of his car, finishing seventh.
Season 6 champion António Félix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) finished eighth, some 15 seconds behind Cassidy. Robin Frijns doubled down on an impressive qualifying performance by securing ABT CUPRA Formula E Team’s first points of the season with a ninth-place finish.
Jake Hughes rounded out the top 10 for NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, earning him the ABB Driver of Progress Award for making up the most places in the race after starting back in 20th on the grid.
However, it was another frustrating outing for Jaguar TCS Racing as their cars came to blows again, as they did in Hyderabad, with Sam Bird sending Mitch Evans spinning out of eighth position and crucial points late on in the race.
Two victories and a second place on the first three races of Season 9 put Wehrlein to the top of the Drivers’ championship. However, since his last win in Round 3, Wehrlein failed to make the podium until today while Cassidy hit form and took the lead in the standings with his win in Monaco, the race before Jakarta.
Todays’ win means Wehrlein is just two points behind Cassidy who is on 128pts in the standings while TAG Heuer Porsche leapfrogged Envision Racing at the top of the Teams’ running with a nine-point advantage on 198pts.
Image Credit: ABB FIA Formula E Media
Pascal Wehrlein, No. 94, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, said:
“It feels awesome obviously. An exceptionally good race, qualifying was much better than in previous races. Thanks a lot, to the team, the car was awesome today, I was leading almost the whole race. It was not so easy on energy for me, I knew that the guys behind had a little bit more, and driving in the slipstream helps. But I think we defended well and are happy to be back on top. The team definitely deserves it and now we are looking forward to tomorrow.
“The last couple of races we were not where we wanted to be, had not scored the points we wanted, and qualifying was an issue for us. Today with P3 we qualified in the best position so far this season. A big turnaround for us in the last couple of weeks, and like I said thanks a lot to the team for all their hard work. Still a long way to go.”
Jake Dennis, No. 27, Avalanche Andretti Formula E, said:
“Pretty annoyed to be honest. You are obviously having a good season if you are annoyed with second, but the start lost me the race ultimately, we had way too much wheelspin on the dust and dropped back to fourth. The maneuver with Pascal was ridiculous, I had to hit so much pressure to avoid hitting the back of him. I do not know how he got away with that to be honest – it is ridiculous. The other two guys did it perfectly, they left just us space on one car, which is the rule, and then Pascal just completely swerved all up to the wall and I had to slam on the breaks halfway down the straight. He had already committed to lifting and at that point you must leave space, and he did not. We cannot protest against them because they also have a Porsche powertrain. A bit ridiculous.
“[Tomorrow, we need to] start at the clean side of the grid. Qualifying is super important; I did not expect the race to go like that, it was flat out from the start. We have a quick qualifying car – not as quick as Max’s – but ultimately if we can start on the front two rows, we can obviously win the race tomorrow. 18 points is huge, we beat some of our main rivals, and we go again tomorrow.”
Maximilian Günther, No. 7, Maserati MSG Racing, said:
“I am happy. For sure we always want to win, as a racing driver when you start on pole you want to win. We were leading for a few laps, but we just did not have enough to beat the two Porsche guys. From the beginning they did a fantastic job, congratulations to Jake and Pascal. I had a few small issues, the car was not as perfect as it was the rest of the weekend, but still a good race car underneath me and happy with what we achieved today and this weekend, fantastic to be on the podium again. It was the maximum today, and we try to keep improving.”
Tomorrow, Sunday 4 June, it is Round 11 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the second race in the 2023 GulaVit Jakarta E-Prix double-header at 3pm Indonesia time (9am UK).
Find out where to watch here: www.fiaformulae.com/en/ways-to-watch
…notes from SP