Dennis becomes the home hero in London
Written by Olly Radley, Edited by Morgan Holiday
With 4 races to go in the FIA Formula E World Championship, we go to London, home of championship leader Sam Bird, who might be challenged this weekend. Another big talking point of the weekend is that parts of the track, including the start-finish straight, are indoors! That’s right, we’re at ExCel London for the 12th and 13th rounds of the 2021 Formula E World Championship. Another difference is that the two attack modes last for 8 minutes each, instead of the usual 4.
After a wet qualifying session it was a British 1-2 with Alex Lynn taking pole at his home race for Mahindra, ahead of countryman and BMW driver Jake Dennis – both of those two took to track in Group 3 of qualifying. Sebastian Buemi is a former champion of Formula E but is only 20th in the championship, he starts from 3rd today. Championship leader, Sam Bird, starts from 18th on the grid ahead of championship rival Robin Frijns who starts 22nd but behind other rival Da Costa who starts just ahead in 17th.
Off the start there wasn’t any movement, but in the first indoor to outdoor corner, we saw absolute mayhem with multiple cars pushing each other through the corner, causing home racer Alex Sims to retire. Sam Bird also picked up damage along the way and he had to pit to retire. It got worse for Jaguar, though, Mitch Evans also got caught up in the Sims collision and had to pit to fix his damage a lap after his teammate.
After 9 minutes of the race, the two race leaders took their first of two 8-minute attack modes. Further back an intense battle ensued for early positions in the Top 10: Di Grassi and Sette Camara fighting hard for 6th. Contact during their tussle caused an investigation to be launched to look into the contact. By now all the drivers had taken their first attack mode. Sette Camara got desperate in his defence, making contact with Nato and dropping to 11th. Once again, an investigation was launched to look into the collision.
Half way into the race, Lynn and Dennis both had 1 attack mode together and both miles ahead of the chasing pack. With 28 minutes to go, Lynn took his next attack mode but dropped behind his countryman and failed to gain any sort of advantage. In fact, the Mahindra driver dropped off the back of Dennis despite having the energy advantage.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Dennis finally took his 2nd attack mode and due to a lock up the lap before, he remained well ahead of Lynn. Lynn dropped off so much he fell into the clutches of Nyck de Vries who overtook him with 3 minutes to go.
Jake Dennis hasn’t been actively fighting for the championship, but he demonstrated in Valencia that he knows how to pull off a dominant victory and once again in London, his home race, he wins, but this time he jumps from 15th to 2nd in the championship. Nyck de Vries made it home to 4th in the championship. Alex Lynn will be disappointed that he couldn’t follow through with a victory and only moves up one spot in the championship. Sam Bird remains the championship leader despite his disappointing race today, Antonio Felix Da Costa drops to 3rd but is only 3 points off the championship lead now. While Dennis celebrated, Sebastian Buemi who finished 4th was investigated along with his teammate for an energy overuse.
After that thrilling affair the team’s championship gets even tighter, the top 6 teams split by just 13 points as well as the top 5 drivers being split by 5 points. Another driver with a strong result was René Rast who came 6th with the fastest lap, giving him 10 points and bringing him within 10 points of the championship lead, and remaining in Group 2 of qualifying, giving him a huge advantage over his rivals.
Just 3 races to go now and yet anyone in the Top 15 of the championship could take the lead and win the championship, and I don’t know who will do it. That’s it then, so bye for now.