LONDON, UK. – British driver Jake Dennis delivered a commanding lights-to-flag performance to win the first race in the SABIC London E-Prix double-header, repeating his exploits of last season on the unique outdoor/indoor street circuit at ExCeL London.
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returned to ExCeL London following last season’s debut but was open to full capacity after last year’s Covid restrictions limited access. Thousands of fans at the East London venue gave victorious Dennis a standing ovation after he repelled the early advances of Drivers’ World Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne to win the race and delight the cheering home crowd.
Mercedes-EQ’s Vandoorne was content to play it cool to come home second for a 17th Formula E podium, with his closest championship rivals marooned down the pack.
In fact, by the end of the first lap, both drivers trailing Vandoorne in the drivers’ standings – Edoardo Mortara of ROKiT Venturi Racing in second and Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing in third – had been in the wars, with Mortara forced to pit which put him entirely out of the fight.
Reigning World Champion Nyck de Vries played rear gunner for teammate Vandoorne to occupy Nick Cassidy, who was chasing hard towards the end of the race.
It was mission accomplished for Dutchman de Vries who held on to claim third place. Cassidy would settle for fourth after clambering through the pack with relative ease, heading home ahead of Oliver Askew who made it two Avalanche Andrettis in the top five.
Mitch Evans was able to pick up valuable championship points in sixth which was the best of the other top four title contenders heading into the weekend, with Vergne unable to free himself from the midfield mire in 13th and Mortara squarely last after lap 1 contact.
That left the advantage firmly with Vandoorne in the Drivers’ World Championship as an 11-point margin became a 26-point lead with Evans moving to second ahead of Mortara.
In the teams’ running, Mercedes-EQ stretched to a 37-point lead on DS TECHEETAH.
It’s back to ExCeL London tomorrow (Sunday) for Round 14 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the last stop before Season 8 concludes with Rounds 15 and 16 in Seoul, the first time the all-electric series has visited South Korea.