LONDON — The bustling city of London played host to an exhilarating doubleheader season finale as Round 15 and Round 16 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship took place at iconic ExCeL London on a weekend that crowned Avalanche Andretti driver Jake Dennis as the newest World Champion.
The electric racing series witnessed heart-stopping action, surprising upsets and a fierce championship showdown, keeping fans at the edge of their seats throughout the thrilling weekend.
Round 15 of the Hankook London E-Prix provided fans with a rollercoaster of emotions as Dennis locked up the title with one race remaining. The race was filled with intense battles, multiple incidents and two red flags, creating an electrifying atmosphere for the fans in attendance.
Starting 24 points ahead of his closest rival and polesitter, Envision Racing's Nick Cassidy, Dennis knew he needed a solid performance to secure the title. At the beginning of the race, Cassidy took the lead, but he eventually lost the top spot to Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing on Lap 11, while teammate Sebastien Buemi also passed him. Meanwhile, Dennis made a daring move to overtake Cassidy at the final corner, setting the stage for a thrilling contest.
In a dramatic turn of events, teammates Cassidy and Buemi were running in close formation and collided, which caused damage to Cassidy's car and forced him to retire. With one less challenger, Dennis was in a better position to control his championship fate.
During the race, Dennis expressed his frustration with Porsche powertrain stablemate TAG Heuer Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein, who was fiercely holding onto fourth place. As the Teams' title battle heated up, every position mattered for both the drivers and teams.
Another major incident occurred when Wehrlein collided with NEOM McLaren's Jake Hughes, causing the Porsche driver to sustain terminal damage. The race was red-flagged to recover Sacha Fenestraz's Nissan, which had crashed into the barriers at Turn 16.
Following the restart, Evans led the pack while Dennis secured third place. With only three laps remaining, Dennis had to maintain or improve his position to become the first Formula E World Champion from the United Kingdom.
As the race concluded, Evans crossed the finish line first to win the race, with Dennis celebrating in second place, making him the 2022/23 champion. Antonio Felix da Costa from TAG Heuer Porsche initially took the final podium spot, but a three-minute time penalty dropped him all the way down to 17th, allowing Buemi to claim third for Envision Racing.
"I only joined the championship three years ago and we almost won it in our rookie year, but now to come back and properly have the year that we had, you know break all the podium records and to become World Champion, it’s just mind-blowing," Dennis said ecstatically after the race.
Dennis' title win was a historic moment for both him and Avalanche Andretti, as it marked their first Formula E title. The home crowd cheered on Dennis, who expressed his excitement and gratitude for the team's effort throughout the season.
Hankook London E-Prix Round 15 Results:
Round 16 Season Finale
Amid treacherous wet conditions and delays due to inclement weather, Envision Racing's Nick Cassidy emerged victorious in Round 16 of the Hankook London E-Prix. His impressive lights-to-flag victory not only marked his fourth win of the season but also played a vital role in securing the maiden Teams' World Championship for Envision.
After a delay to ensure safe racing conditions, Cassidy showed incredible composure as he led the field from the pole to the checkered flag unchallenged. He maintained a comfortable lead over fellow New Zealander Mitch Evans throughout the race, while 2022/23 Formula E World Champion Jake Dennis finished in third place.
The wet and slippery track conditions posed significant challenges for the drivers, but Cassidy demonstrated superior pace and energy management. He extended his lead to over 10 seconds ahead of Dennis, who occupied the third position.
The critical battle in the race was for the Teams' World Championship title between Envision Racing and Jaguar TCS Racing. Sebastien Buemi from Envision fended off Sam Bird's Jaguar in a tense duel for sixth place, ensuring Envision secured the championship by 12 points over the factory Jaguar team.
Despite the eight-lap safety car period early in the race due to the wet weather, Cassidy maintained his cool and dominated the race, setting several TAG Heuer Fastest Laps. His performance was flawless which left no room for his rivals to challenge him.
The race concluded with Cassidy taking a commanding victory, followed by Evans in second place and Dennis in third. Envision Racing's triumph over Jaguar TCS Racing in the Teams' Championship was a remarkable achievement for the whole organization, improving on their previous best of third place.
In the Drivers' Championship, Dennis finished 30 points clear of Cassidy, securing the title with Evans in third and Pascal Wehrlein from Porsche in fourth.
Cassidy was quick to praise his team's efforts in clinching the Teams' title.
"They work so hard," Cassidy said. "Of course, every team does, but these people are special. They've been close so many times and that shows how strong they are in this championship. They finally made it, which makes me very happy."
The London E-Prix Round 16 was a fitting end to Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with intense racing and championship battles. With the season over, teams and drivers are already preparing for the upcoming challenges they'll be facing in Season 10.
Hankook London E-Prix Round 16 Results:
The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world and it was initially released on Sunday, April 2.
Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which help determine their seeding each week in the 2023 GRID Ranking.
GRID Ranking Week 18 Formula E Drivers:
MOST RECENT FINISH
After a much-needed offseason break, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will return to action next year on Jan. 13, 2024, for the season-opening Mexico City E-Prix.