Nissan Formula E Team star’s fourth consecutive podium in Season 10 vaults him to top of title table.

Oliver Rowland inherited victory in the inaugural Misano E-Prix today (13 April), leaping to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship standings after on-the-road winner António Félix da Costa was disqualified for a technical non compliance.

In a race that was as much a battle of tactics and efficiency as it was out-and-out pace, Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans made a textbook launch to lead from pole position, but by the end of the opening lap, it was Envision Racing ace Sébastien Buemi at the head of the order – setting the tone for a breathless bout on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

Resembling a high-speed game of poker, the contest was characterised by multiple changes of position and a range of different strategies, as drivers sought to save sufficient energy for a late push.

From 13th on the grid, TAG Heuer Porsche’s da Costa led on a number of occasions before deciding to pull the pin at three-quarters distance, only to find his initial effort thwarted by Rowland – impressing once again for Nissan Formula E Team – who reclaimed the initiative on lap 23.

As the top two finally made a break from the chasing pack, da Costa pounced into Turn Five on lap 26 – and this time, Rowland had no answer. The Portuguese star held on to take the chequered flag four-tenths-of-a-second clear, but was subsequently disqualified from the results after his car failed post-race scrutineering.

That gifted Rowland his second career success in the all-electric single-seater series – almost four years after his first. The Briton has been in a rich vein of form of late, reaching the rostrum in consecutive races in Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Japan, and after snatching an extra point for posting fastest lap on the final tour, he now holds a nine-point margin over his closest pursuer in the chase for the coveted crown.

Jean-Éric Vergne crossed the line third behind da Costa and Rowland in his battle-scarred DS Penske single-seater – with damage to both the front and rear of the car bearing witness to several instances of contact – but the Frenchman slipped down the results sheet once a five-second penalty was applied for having caused a collision with Jaguar’s Nick Cassidy.

Da Costa’s disqualification and Vergne’s penalty promoted reigning champion Jake Dennis to the runner-up spoils, with the Andretti Formula E ace taking full advantage of his Porsche powertrain’s exemplary efficiency to climb from a lowly 18th on the grid up to second and keep his title defence firmly alive.

Third place went to MSG Maserati Racing’s Maximilian Günther on the illustrious Italian manufacturer’s home soil, with Dan Ticktum getting the better of Evans on the penultimate tour to claim a career-high fourth – ERT Formula E Team’s best result since Season 4.

Vergne ultimately wound up sixth, ahead of the second Andretti entry of Norman Nato and his DS Penske team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who led the way for a while early on. Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz and Lucas Di Grassi from ABT CUPRA Formula E Team rounded out the points-scorers.

Alongside NEOM McLaren Formula E Team’s Sam Bird – forced out by a puncture at mid-distance after featuring consistently up at the sharp end – the race’s two biggest casualties were Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein and Cassidy, the top two in the title table entering the weekend. Both were obliged to pit for new front wings after separately coming together with Vergne, meaning the pair ended the E-Prix empty-handed.

They will have a chance to redress the balance shortly, with the second leg of the Misano double-header – round seven of the 2023/24 Formula E campaign – getting underway at 15:00 CET on Sunday, 14 April.