Mitch Evans fought from behind to win a dramatic Jakarta E-Prix, overtaking and then defending from Jean-Eric Vergne to claim victory.
Vergne dominated the early phases of the race before Evans used a well-timed Attack Mode to close the gap at the front and later pass the race leader.
But he was left defending during the final laps, as Vergne and third-placed man Edoardo Mortara closed in to stage a final-lap tussle for the win.
Vergne dominates early phases
It was a slow start for Felix da Costa off the line, as Vergne built himself a comfortable lead at the front of the pack. The Portuguese driver soon found himself defending from behind, and was passed by Evans as he fell to third.
Sebastian Buemi and Andre Lotterer were making early moves through the field as the two Mercedes cars went backwards, with both Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries losing places: De Vries' race would end with a puncture late on, potentially ruining his World Championship chances.
Vergne soon surrendered the lead as he became the first of the front-runners to go for Attack Mode. His engineers had predicted that doing so early, while battery temperatures are still low, would be better for race strategy.
But the opposite was true for Mortara, who swooped for Attack Mode later than his rivals and was able to move up the order to third.
Vergne took his second Attack Mode midway through the race, dropping him back behind Evans, but his sublime early pace saw him quickly close the gap and complete a smart overtaking move into Turn 1.
Evans looked beaten as Vergne stretched his lead with a clear track ahead of him.
Evans fights back to snatch late E-Prix win
Evans, Mortara and Da Costa were left to fight it out for the final two podium places, with both Evans and Mortara still with an Attack Mode to use. Mortara blinked first, dropping to fourth in the process, but Evans was able to keep hold of second as he took his, reviving his hopes of a win.
The New Zealander then set about catching Vergne with 13 minutes left (+1 Lap) on the clock as Mortara moved back into the podium places with an easy move on Da Costa.
Within three minutes, Evans had caught Vergne with the pair fighting nose-to-tail, well aware that a win for the Frenchman would move him back to the top of the World Championship standings.
But Evans' dive for the race lead caught everyone by surprise, as he slid to the inside of Vergne – who left the door wide open – to snatch P1 with just five minutes to go.
The pair met again on the penultimate lap as Evans began to complain that his rear tyres were losing grip. Vergne closed up behind the race leader, who by now was lapping so slowly that Mortara, in third, was in hot pursuit.
The New Zealander was able to hold on, though, defending hard to keep his rivals behind and claim the win at a dramatic Jakarta E-Prix.
2022 Jakarta E-Prix Results
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