Jake Dennis wins Rome E-Prix as Evans and Cassidy crash

Jake Dennis wins Rome E-Prix as Evans and Cassidy crash

Jake Dennis took a significant step toward the Formula E championship with a commanding victory in the second Rome E-prix after his two closest competitors crashed.

A formidable Jake Dennis secured pole, the quickest lap, and the win in the Eternal City on Sunday’s second Rome E-Prix to further extend his championship lead.

Dennis accomplished the first Grand Slam of the Gen3 era of Formula E, and it was a feat made possible by a shocking crash between Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy, who were his main rivals, which led to the DNF of the Jaguar charger and a score of zero for the Envision Racing driver.

On the second lap of the race, Dennis who started from the pole position, cleverly avoided Cassidy and Evans’ sorry fate by slicing through the pandemonium that was erupting behind him.

Jake Dennis now leads the Formula E world championship by 24 points heading into the season-ending doubleheader in London after primary challengers Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans collided in his wake in Rome race two.

The crash happened as Dennis and Cassidy raced side by side into the tight Turn 7 left-hander on lap three. Evans, surprised by how rapidly the leaders slowed, braked sharply, locked his Jaguar’s rear wheels and skidded towards the two race leaders ahead of him.

The 2024 factory Jaguar teammates were sent together down the escape road after Evans barely missed Dennis’ Andretti Porsche and went over the top of Cassidy’s Envision Jaguar. Pascal Wehrlein, both McLarens, and Jean-Eric Vergne all suffered varied degrees of damage in the snarl of traffic out behind.

Third-place contender Norman Nato made a daring drive to pass Dennis and Cassidy on the opening lap, but by the time that lap was up, Cassidy and Evans had already pushed him back to fourth.

Evans restarted after stopping for repairs but soon had to retire his undriveable car. Cassidy continued but could only move up from 19th to 14th before colliding with Dennis’ teammate Andre Lotterer on the penultimate lap. Even worse, Evans was given a five-place grid penalty for the upcoming London race, making it impossible for him to win the championship.

Sam Bird, driving the last works Jaguar in third place had a noticeable energy advantage over both of the race leaders after Dennis took the lead from Nato, who had suffered minor wing damage after clipping his competitor on lap six.

After clearing Nato, Bird launched attack after attack on Dennis, whose nifty defensive driving always held the Jaguar away and the pack backed up as well.

When Bird initiated his first attack mode one lap before Nissan initiated its second and lost time passing Sebastien Buemi resulting in Nato falling back to second place. Despite having the advantage in energy, Bird was unable to overtake Nato, who finished the race by 3.1 seconds behind Dennis

Dennis secured the first podium for the works Nissan team in almost two years.  He has had seven more podium finishes since the season start in Mexico, but this is his first real race victory since then.

Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Guenther’s Maseratis sandwiched Buemi in fourth and sixth place respectively. Wehrlein moved up from 15th to 7th on the grid, although he now only has a very slim realistic chance of winning the title.

Leave a Reply