Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis claimed his very first Formula E World Championship on home soil with a second-place finish in a chaotic London E-Prix.
It was Jaguar’s Mitch Evans that won the race but all the headlines will be dedicated go Dennis, who becomes the first British Formula E World Champion and the first winner of Formula E’s Gen3 era!
Dennis came into the weekend with a 24-point lead at the top of the Drivers’ Standing’s but faced stiff competition from his closest title rival, Nick Cassidy, who started at the front of the grid.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans had secured pole position, which handed him and Jaguar a much-needed three-point boost, but the Kiwi was kicked back to sixth on the grid following a five-place penalty for his incident in Rome last time out.
Dennis started the race in second, with Cassidy’s teammate Seb Buemi, just behind in third. As soon as the race started, Buemi muscled his way past Dennis to set up an Envision one-two from just the first corner. It was a nightmare start for Dennis, but there was plenty of action yet to come.
As Evans made his way up the order and eventually into first place, the real battle was unfolding between Dennis and Cassidy.
With Buemi lending a helping hand keeping Dennis stuck outside of the podium positions, Cassidy looked to be taking the Championship down to the final day. However, on Lap 23, disaster struck for Cassidy as he suffered damage to his front wing, with a piece getting stuck under his car, sending him right to the back of the grid.
Cassidy pulled into the pit and was fitted with a new wing, but after just a few laps, the Kiwi’s race was over and so were his title chances. Despair for the Envision driver, but it presented the perfect opportunity for Dennis, who now needed to secure just a third-place finish to become the first British driver to win the Formula E World Championship.
There was more drama, however, as with only a few laps remaining, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz was sent flying into the barrier at the Attack Mode turn and, after a short visit from the Safety Car, a red flag was waved and all the cars pulled into the pit lane.
The break saw a few changes to the order, with Porsche’s Pascal Werhlein handed a grid penalty which sent him to the back of the grid, meaning Dennis, now in fourth, needed to gain just one more position to secure the title.
Leader Mitch Evans and second-placed Seb Buemi still with an Attack Mode left to use, Dennis squeezed through into third place whilst Evans managed to retain his lead out in front.
And, after just over a lap of racing, another red flag was waved as a huge crash at Turn 19 involving Nissan’s Norman Nato, Jaguar’s Sam Bird and Envision’s Buemi caused every other car to come to a halt behind them. It was one of the most unique sights in Formula E history, but the incident had severe consequences for the Teams’ Championship as both Envision’s had crashed out.
Once the race restarted again, it was plane-sailing for the Brit as he held onto his third-place position to secure the World Championship! Evans won the race and Antonio Felix Da Costa, who crossed the line in second, was handed a three-minute time penalty which elevated Dennis up into second. Buemi thankfully recovered from the incident earlier on to land the third spot on the podium and to keep their Teams’ Championship hopes alive!
Dennis secured his tenth podium in fifteen races and also became the first driver to win the Championship on home soil – Congratulations, Jake!