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Formula E - Win for Wehrlein revitalises championship charge in Jakarta heat

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Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver Pascal Wehrlein kept his cool in Indonesia to return to winning ways, as the German claimed Round 10 victory – his third ABB FIA Formula E World Championship win of the season – launching him back into the title fight

The action-packed Formula E series saw the teams travel to south-east Asia for Round 10 of the all-electric single-seater World Championship. Setting the early pace in the hot and humid conditions was Maserati MSG Racing star Maximilian Günther who topped all Free Practice sessions and set the benchmark time in qualifying. The German booked his spot on pole with British driver Jake Dennis right alongside in the Avalanche Andretti car with Pascal Wehrlein locking out the top three.

A good start from Günther led the field away, but Dennis struggled on the dusty, dirtier line on the inside of the circuit – losing a place to Porsche driver Wehrlein with the German nearly making a move for the lead stick around the outside of turn one.

Wehrlein was in inspired form, eventually taking the lead outright on lap four, with a textbook long-range lunge from deep into turn one. Reigning World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne in his DS Penske machine was the first to activate his Attack Mode, pulling himself and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne behind into the fight at the front. Five cars where nose to tail and in with a chance of fighting at the front. It wasn’t the Asian heat raising the temperature of the race, but the on track tactical action. Wehrlein opted for the shorter two-minute Attack Mode option to begin with, before using his second and final six-minutes of extra power a few laps later. The stage was set for tantalising battle.

Dennis was a man on mission after losing out at the start, as he looked to climb from fourth at the mid-point of the race. After activating his Attack Mode, Dennis put the hammer down to close in on Vandoorne. The British driver got a good run on the Belgian onto the start, finish straight and threw a late lunge move up the inside, throwing out the anchor to get the car stopped and turned in time – expertly done on the dusty inside line – game on for the fight at the front.

Dennis passes Günther a few laps later on the same corner and along with the German driver, they set about reeling in Wehrlein – opening up a gap to Vandoorne in fourth and Vergne fifth. Vergne was having to earn his top five finish – trying to keep championship leader Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) at bay behind. Vergne entered the turn one and Cassidy collided with the Frenchman. Lady luck was on the New Zealanders side as he avoiding any front wing or steering damage and had to settle for seventh and his championship lead intact as he finished behind the DS Penske drivers of Vergne and Vandoorne in front, and Mortara (Maserati MSG Racing).

All eyes were now on the top three in the closing stages, as it was a flat-out sprint to the finish with 15 laps to go. Dennis tried on lap 24 to put a move on Wehrlein for the lead – with side-by-side combat in the first few corners. Wehrlein held his nerve and fought off the advances of Dennis and Günther to take the chequered flag for the third time this season – moving himself into second in the standings, just two points off the summit. Dennis had to be happy with second and his sixth podium of the year with Günther sealing a second rostrum for Maserati in third.

In the Teams Standings, the day was one to forget for the Jaguar TCS Racing squad. A yellow flag was thrown at T1 in the closing stages, after Sam Bird – whilst fighting for position with his teammate Mitch Evans accidently misjudged his braking point and nudged the New Zealander into a spin and out of the race. Bird too dropped down the order with problems a lap later– with the collision between the two drivers impacting Jaguars fight in the teams battle.

The Formula E action is set to stay red-hot in Jakarta, as the next round will get underway tomorrow (4 June) with Round 11 eagerly anticipated in the Indonesian capital.


Pascal Wehrlein, No. 94, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, said:

“It feels awesome obviously. A very good race, qualifying was much better than in previous races. Thanks a lot to the team, the car was awesome today, I was leading almost the whole race. It was not so easy on energy for me, I knew that the guys behind had a little bit more, and also driving in the slipstream helps. But I think we defended well and happy to be back on top. The team definitely deserves it and now we are looking forward to tomorrow.

“The last couple of races we were not where we wanted to be, hadn't scored the points we wanted and qualifying was an issue for us. Today with P3 we qualified in the best position so far this season. A big turnaround for us in the last couple of weeks, and like I said thanks a lot to the team for all their hard work. Still a long way to go.”

Jake Dennis, No. 27, Avalanche Andretti Formula E, said:

“Pretty annoyed to be honest. You are obviously having a good season if you're annoyed with second, but the start lost me the race ultimately, we had way too much wheelspin on the dust and dropped back to fourth. The manoeuvre with Pascal was ridiculous. The other two guys did it perfectly, they left just us space on one car, which is the rule, and then Pascal just completely swerved all up to the wall and I had to slam on the breaks half way down the straight. He had already committed to lifting and at that point you have to leave space, and he didn't. [Tomorrow we need to] start at the clean side of the grid. Qualifying is super important, I actually didn't expect the race to go like that it was flat out from the start. We have a really quick qualifying car - not quite as quick as Max's - but ultimately if we can start on the front two rows we can obviously win the race tomorrow. 18 points is huge, we beat some of our main rivals, and we go again tomorrow.”

Maximilian Günther, No. 7, Maserati MSG Racing, said:

“I am happy. For sure we always want to win, as a racing driver when you start on pole you want to win. We were leading for a few laps, but we just didn't have enough to beat the two Porsche guys. From the beginning they did a fantastic job, congratulations to Jake and Pascal. I had a few small issues, the car was not as perfect as it was the rest of the weekend, but still a good race car underneath me and happy with what we achieved today and this weekend, fantastic to be on the podium again. It was the maximum today, and we try to keep improving.”