Formula E: 10 Takeaways From The Hyderabad E-Prix

Hyderabad E-Prix - Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23 , 1st position, Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6 , 2nd position,

The first Formula E race held in India gave us an exciting show full of unexpected twists. Here are the main takeaways from the Hyderabad E-Prix.

1 – Free Practice 1

The first practice session saw the drivers and the teams struggling to understand the new circuit, and the lap times were high to prove it, with Sebastian Buemi being the fastest in 1:15:088. The public’s focus wasn’t on the cars on the track but on the Andretti and Porsche boxes. In fact, the main character of FP1 was Wehrelein’s crash, an unexpected incident due to a technical issue that the team didn’t understand. The crash forced Porsche and Andretti to pull their drivers from the rest of the session.

2 – Free Practice 2

The second free practice session took place without incident, and both Porsche and Andretti rejoining the action. The fastest lap was set by Sam Bird, with Jean-Eric Vergne in second and Nick Cassidy in third. DS Penske were already proving to be competitive, while the motorized Porsche cars were having difficulty finding the right feeling with the circuit.

3 – Track Limits Drama

During qualifying, multiple drivers had lap times deleted due to the track limits. Mortara and Bird were victims of the situation and their times got deleted for violating the track limits between Turn 1 and Turn 2, which meant Vergne progressed straight through to the final against Mitch Evans. The pole went to Evans, by only 0.021 seconds. It was the closest gap in a final round this season. Jake Hughes also had his best times deletes which dropped him out of the duels and would see him start on the back row.

4 – Jaguar’s Tragedy

Jaguar’s race was compromised from the beginning. First Evans lost first place while activating attack mode, sliding down to fourth in one turn. It became a nightmare when Bird, trying to overtake Fenestraz into Turn 3, locked up and went into his teammate. The incident forced both of them to retire and leave Hyderabad without any point.

5 – Mahindra’s Home Race

Mahindra didn’t have an outstanding debut at their home circuit. Rowland lost the possibility to fight for the podium after receiving a track limits penalty. However, the Indian team can be satisfied with its home race, thanks to the British driver coming home sixth, collecting his first points of Season 9. All with damage to his front wing.

6 – McLaren’s Nightmare

After a memorable first three rounds, McLaren had a weekend to forget. Neither Jakes Hughes nor Rene Rast saw the finish line of the Hyderabad E-Prix. Hughes fell victim in a strange crash when a piece of debris broke his mirror, which fell off and got stuck behind the steering wheel sending the car into the wall. Later in the E-Prix his teammate Rene Rast piled into Dennis’ car approaching the hairpin turn and had to retire.

7 – Wehrlein’s Comeback

The championship leader Pascal Wehrlein finished the race in fourth place, just outside the podium. The Hyderabad E-Prix was a rollercoaster for the German driver, that after the crash in FP1. Less practice time led to a tough qualifying session and saw him start the race P9. With a smart strategy and taking advantage of the other drivers’ retirements, Wehrlein staged an important comeback to extend his lead over Jake Dennis.

 8 – Energy saving to the finish line

The end of the race arrived at the perfect moment for Vergne, who won the inaugural Indian E-Prix. Defending his position until the last corner of the race, he kept behind him Cassidy and managed to cross the finish line with virtually no energy left. Vergne’s win was his first since 2021 and Penske’s first in seven years.

9 – Championship Changes

With McLaren’s double DNF, Envision steps up third in the teams’ championship with 59 points. First place remains in Porsche’s hand with 101 points, while Andretti leaves Hyderabad with only two points and now has a 23-point gap from the leaders. In the Drivers’ Championship, Wehrlein now leads with points, 18 more than Dennis. With his win, Vergne moved into third place in the standings, tied with Buemi, who saw his spot on the podium taken away due to an energy penalty.

1o – The First Indian Electric Race

The Hyderabad E-Prix was the first electric race held in India and it brought with it a new era in motorsport for the country. 25,000 people attended the E-Prix and the show was thrilling. The layout needs some improvements to adapt to Formula E’s cars, like most new circuits, but in the years to come, the Indian E-Prix could prove to be a fan-favorite location.

Featured Image Credit: LAT Images / Formula E Media