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Formula E

Evans wins Shanghai thriller but investigations underway

Mitch Evans secured victory in the inaugural Shanghai E-Prix, held at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Evans China
Article
To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

Mitch Evans mastered the peloton to win the inaugural Shanghai E-Prix, following an aggressive duel with Pascal Wehrlein. 

Evans had an energy advantage over Wehrlein and made a move for the lead on the final lap, before defending the position to secure his second win of 2024. Championship leader Nick Cassidy claimed third. 

Several incidents, including one involving Evans, are under investigation, with Wehrlein having claimed the race lead after going off the circuit during the race in one incident. 

Oliver Rowland finished fourth ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, whilst Jake Dennis, Jean-Eric Vergne, Nyck de Vries, Maximilian Günther and Sebastian Buemi provisionally completed the top 10.

Opening stages

Jean-Eric Vergne started on pole position after defeating Oliver Rowland in the final duel to match Sebastian Buemi's record for 16 poles (Monaco 2019 is not counted towards the statistics).

The most extreme peloton race in the history of the Formula E was expected, with most knowing that the first 75% of the race would be all about preserving energy for the final charge.

Vergne made a perfect start from pole whilst Wehrlein jumped from fourth to second, whereas Rowland went from second to fifth. An excellent start was also made by Da Costa, who progressed from sixth to third. 

Lap 3 and Wehrlein moved to the front, with it having looked like Porsche had a strategy up its sleeve. He moved into the lead to take his first attack mode. Robin Frijns, who missed Berlin due to his WEC commitments, found himself in the leading group after four laps after starting in ninth.

As expected, energy-saving was the game in the opening stages, leading to several overtakes every lap. Crucially, Evans broke a Porsche one-two on lap seven, to take the lead of the race. 

What was vital, was being in the right position when the dash to the finish gets underway. Whilst several big names were fighting for the lead when saving energy, Cassidy was in 15th and minding his own business, just like he did ahead of his Berlin victory.

Pace increase

Lap 11 and suddenly the pace of the race increased, as Nyck de Vries got himself into the lead. However, he was quickly told by Mahindra to give up P1. Cassidy was the driver to watch, as he slowly made his way to the front having been as low as 15th.

At the halfway stage, Cassidy had progressed to sixth and was looming large with some aggressive overtakes. There was contact between himself and Dennis at the first corner on lap 16 but they both escaped unscathed.

Edoardo Mortara, sadly, became the first retiree a lap later after pulling into the pits following damage sustained after contact. Lap 18 and the pace visibly improved to being just three seconds off the times seen in qualifying.

Porsche again found themselves in first and second when the pace increased, although Evans navigated his way past Da Costa to move into second. The drivers in contention for victory started to became clear, with it having been between the Jaguars, Porsches and Dennis.

Lap 21 and Wehrlein led from Evans, Da Costa, Dennis, Cassidy and De Vries. Although De Vries did not have the energy advantage for victory. Of the peloton part of the race, Wehrlein had weirdly led the majority of it. 

It meant that the German entered the closing stages with one-percent less energy than the Jaguars in particular behind him.

Final charge

As the race reached its final six laps it was finally go time, as Evans got the cutback on Wehrlein at Turn 6 to claim the lead, following a lock-up by the Porsche driver. Wehrlein suddenly found himself under pressure from Dennis, who he collided with multiple times in Berlin.

There was action everywhere, as Rowland dived down the inside of De Vries for sixth at the first corner. Drama at the front as Wehrlein tried sweeping round the outside of Evans at the final corner, only to get across the kerb to take the race lead. 

At the same time, Dennis was overtaken by Cassidy for third, whilst Da Costa also got past the Andretti driver. The racing became ultra-aggressive, as the Porsches and Jagaurs broke away.

Cassidy in third had a two-percent energy advantage, yet was being told with two laps remaining to hold position. Evans tried everything to find a way past and finally did so at the first corner on the final lap. 

Cassidy still had the energy advantage but Wehrlein was defending ferociously and somehow saved second. Nobody could touch Evans after he took the race lead, as he crossed the line to claim his second win of the season. 

The podium was completed by Cassidy who was furious with a lack of communication from the team. Rowland somehow claimed fourth ahead of Da Costa and Dennis. 

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