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Formula E: 10 Takeaways From The Cape Town E-Prix

Cape Town E-Prix - Antonio Felix da Costa, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team , 1st position, celebrates Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske , 2nd position, Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing , 3rd position,

For the first time, Formula E raced in Cape Town, giving us an E-Prix of records and surprises between the street of Mother City.

1 – Free Practice 1

Edoardo Mortara set the fastest time during the first session of free practice, giving hope to the Italian team for a good weekend. However, the main character of FP1 was Mahindra’s rear suspension, which forced Lucas Di Grassi to end his session earlier due to the instability of the car. ABT’s driver Kelvin van der Linde had to stop, after reporting a driveshaft issue.

2 – Free Practice 2

During the second free practice session, Nick Cassidy brought his Envision to the top of the charts, followed by Mortara. The third fastest time was set by Dan Ticktum, with an outstanding performance in the NIO 333. The motorized Porsche teams didn’t show outstanding pace, giving the rest of the grid hope that the dominance of Porsche and Andretti wouldn’t continue for another week.

3 – The fastest lap in FE history

The Cape Town E-Prix saw Nissan’s driver Sacha Fenestraz achieve his first pole position in Formula E. The French-Argentine driver overcame the Maserati of Maximilian Guenther by over four-tenths, setting the fastest lap of FE history at 1.07.848 at 154.987 km/h. During the race, Fenestraz brushed the podium but during the last lap, he crashed into a wall and was unable to finish the E-Prix.

4 – The best overtake ever

António Félix da Costa won the South-African race after starting P11. During the 14th lap, he overtook Cassidy between turns 7, 8, and 9, the most insidious part of the circuit, to take the lead. Later, Jean-Eric Vergne snatched the leadership of the race from him, but Da Costa, with another amazing overtake in turn 7, regained it and won the E-Prix.

5 – Mahindra’s alarm

Mahindra and ABT were out of the dance even before the start of the E-Prix. The two teams didn’t take part in qualifying or the race due to a security risk with their rear suspension. After Di Grassi’s problems during FP1, Mahindra and its customer team ABT decided to retire their cars, waiting to analyze the issue after returning to the UK.

6 – The unlucky-lucky Wehrlein

The championship leader Pascal Wehrlein didn’t complete even a lap of the race this weekend, after colliding with Buemi in the first few turns. Porsche’s driver risked losing the first position in the standings, with Jake Dennis – his direct rival – still on track. Despite the bad luck that hit the German, he can leave Cape Town still on top of the charts, thanks to the difficult race of Dennis.

7 – No peace for Maserati

Maserati’s weekend was, once again, a rollercoaster. After two positive free practice sessions, Maximilian Guenther reached the final round in qualifying, where he lost against Fenestraz, but assured a first-row spot to the Monaco-based team. Mortara shunted his car against the barriers at the beginning of the session, but the car seemed to have the pace for recovering. At the start of the E-Prix, the Swiss driver had to retire due to a failure after only one corner, while Guenther crashed into the wall while battling for the win. Cape Town was another round to forget for Maserati

8 – Dennis’ loss

Jake Dennis had the opportunity to close the gap to Wehrlein in the standings. During the first part of the race, he had been making up decent ground reaching ninth position after starting P13. The possibility to achieve the championship’s leadership died when he was given a drive-through penalty for under-pressure tires.

9 – Championship changes

Even if the top of the standings are still in the hands of Wehrlein and Porsche, after the Cape Town E-Prix something shifted. In the Teams’ Championship, Envision overtook Avalanche Andretti and is now in second position with 84 points. In the Drivers’ standings, there is a tight battle for third place between Vergne, Da Costa, and Cassidy, who are separated by just seven points.

10 – A successful weekend

The first Cape Town E-Prix was a success with almost 25,000 people attending the race. It was the first electric race held in South Africa and no one had anticipated so many fans at the circuit. South African stars were on hand to see the historic event such as Siya Kolisi, the captain of the national rugby team, crickets stars, and influencers.

Featured Image Credit: Formula E


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