Vergne wins action-packed Hyderabad E-Prix; Mahindra in top 10

    India’s first Formula E race ended up being a nail-biting affair, with Vergne holding off Cassidy to take victory.

    Published On Feb 11, 2023 05:15:00 PM

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    Jean-Eric Vergne pulled off an energy management and defensive masterclass to win the first-ever Hyderabad E-Prix. The DS Penske driver started the last lap with just one percent of useable energy compared to Nick Cassidy’s four percent. But he was able to fend off the pressure to take his first win in almost two years.

    • Vergne wins; Cassidy and Da Costa on podium
    • Both Jaguar drivers crash out
    • Rowland sixth for Mahindra Racing

    Disaster for Jaguar

    As the Hyderabad E-Prix sessions unfolded, Jaguar TCS Racing appeared to have a clear advantage on the new track. That was further cemented when Mitch Evans took pole position for the team.

    However, things went awry in the race. Evans dropped a handful of positions after Jaguar opted for an early Attack Mode activation. Just laps later, Sam Bird attempted a move on the inside at the hairpin and ended up crashing into Evans. Both drivers were forced to retire as a result.

    The Hyderabad E-Prix will end up being a race of missed chances for the manufacturer. Their potential was further highlighted by the strong pace shown by the two Jaguar-powered Envision Racing cars.

    Vergne fends of Cassidy to win Hyderabad E-Prix

    With multiple incidents out at front, Vergne ended up in the lead, while Envision Racing’s Cassidy gained seven places to move up to second. But Cassidy had nearly three percent more energy in reserve compared to Vergne.

    This set the stage for a tense few laps as Vergne entered the final lap with just one percent energy. He managed to successfully hold off Cassidy and crossed the line with just enough energy to hand DS Penske their first win of the season.

    “It feels really good,” said an ecstatic Vergne. “Last year I had many podiums, but no win. So it’s been a while that I have not won; it was important to go back to victory.”

    The former Formula E champion admitted that the Safety Car did help him out a bit: “At some point, I really thought that Nick [Cassidy] was going to pass me and I was struggling so much that I didn’t want to lose position to the guys behind. So I didn’t want to over-defend, but when the safety car came, it changed my target a little bit, it became a bit easier for me. Although Nick had three to four percent more energy than me, I was still able to lift in some place where it allowed me to block well.”

    Envision almost had two drivers on the podium, with Sebastien Buemi finishing third on track. However, he was handed a drive-through penalty for a power infringement, which was converted into a 17-second time penalty post-race. This dropped him from third to 15th in the final results.

    Buemi’s penalty also promoted Antonio Felix da Costa to third place, handing the Porsche driver a podium finish in what was his 100th Formula E race.

    Mahindra in the points

    Mahindra Racing finished their first home race in the points. Oliver Rowland drove the final few laps with front wing damage, but managed the situation to finish sixth.

    Lucas di Grassi ended up 14th after being handed a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits.

    Wehrlein holds on to championship lead

    Porsche came to India with back-to-back wins in the previous round. While they couldn’t continue that victory streak in Hyderabad, Pascal Wehrlein’s fourth place finish was enough for him to hold on to the overall lead of the championship with 80 points.

    Andretti’s Jake Dennis is second overall with 62 points, while Vergne has leapfrogged to third overall with 31 points, on level with Buemi.

    2023 Hyderabad Formula E results

    2023 Hyderabad Formula E results
    PosDriverTeam
    1Jean-Eric VergneDS Penske
    2Nick CassidyEnvision Racing
    3Antonio Felix da CostaPorsche
    4Pascal WehrleinPorsche
    5Sergio Sette CamaraNio 333
    6Oliver RowlandMahindra Racing
    7Norman NatoNissan
    8Stoffel VandoorneDS Penske
    9Andre LottererAndretti
    10Edoardo MortaraMaserati
    11Nico MullerAbt Cupra
    12Sacha FenestrazNissan
    13Max GuntherMaserati
    14Lucas di GrassiMahindra Racing
    15Sebastien BuemiEnvision Racing
    16Jake DennisAndretti
    0Rene RastMcLaren
    0Jake HughesMcLaren
    0Sam BirdJaguar TCS Racing
    0Dan TicktumNio 333
    0Mitch EvansJaguar TCS Racing
    0Kelvin Van Der LindeAbt Cupra

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