⚡E is for Excitement

Looking for an elite-level title fight? Formula E might be what you're looking for

With five rounds to go, now’s the time to get on the Formula E bandwagon.

Jakarta hosted the previous two races in this season’s busy Formula E campaign, where Masarati’s Max Gunther took centre stage with a third and a first, but he isn’t really in title consideration after a poor season. It shows one of the strengths and culture shocks of Formula E when compared to F1 as the teams are more closely matched and almost any of the drivers can put themselves into contention over the course of a race day.

He wasn’t the only one to have a good weekend, with his teammate Edo Mortara among five drivers to score points on both days in Malaysia. Two of those five are in serious contention for the title, which has four different teams involved at the top. Neither of them are the Masarati pair.

Before we look at the contenders, a word for McLaren, who have a Formula E team, an F1 team and an Indycar outfit. Jakarta weekend was the first time all three teams had raced on the same weekend, and although the results haven’t worked out as well as they would have liked across all three formats (F1 - 0pts, FE - 1pt and INDY - 3rd, 5th and over 60 points), the logistics and demands on team personnel involved must have been incredible, and they’ve all earned a long rest!

None of the drivers or teams near the top of Formula E have won their respective title before, so we’re as good as guaranteed a new champion. I considered Jean-Eric Vergne who is 12 points down on Evans, but I thought 100 points was a good threshold to use, although a couple of years ago, in the days before duel-style qualifying, 100 points would have been enough to secure a title.

Pascal Wehrlein - Porsche - 134 points

This is a familiar name to F1 fans. The German driver was part of the failed HRT team and had his second season with Sauber. He scored five points but eventually lost his contract (his replacement was Charles Leclerc). 

A former winner of the DTM series, Wehrlein is an aggressive driver, but probably not the most aggressive of this group. He’s a clever driver, but probably not the most clever of this quartet. You can see what I’m saying here.

He is remarkably consistent though. He has been in the points the whole season, with the exception of Cape Town, when he crunched into the back of Sebastian Buemi.

In Jakarta, he won the first race and managed sixth on the Sunday. A good points haul that keeps him narrowly on top, but it wasn’t without controversy, with the driver directly below him angered at Wehrlein’s actions, but - for political reasons - unable to do anything about it.

Jake Dennis - Andretti - 133

Let’s start with the incident against Wehrlein, which Formula E have handily clipped here.

The British driver went on to explain the politics of the decision:

“He'd (Wehrlein) already committed to lifting, and at that point, you have to leave space, and he didn't. But we can't protest against them because they have a Porsche powertrain."

He admitted he was frustrated, but he also realised he was complaining after finishing second in Jakarta. He finished second in both races, giving him a great haul of points, and he has finished as runner up five times this season. 

This is Dennis’ third season in the series and he’s won at least one race each year. Even with five rounds to go, he has scored more points than he managed in the previous two. He has also been the constant in that Andretti team since he joined, having Max Gunther (outscored him 91-66), then Oliver Askew (outscored 126-24). Even this season, Dennis has put distance between his teammate Andre Lotterer (133-23 so far).

With the remaining races, he has never done particularly well in Rome (13th twice) but has been classy around London with two wins, a second and a ninth, so if he’s still in contention by the season finale, he may be the one to watch.

Nick Cassidy - Envision - 128

Like Dennis, Cassidy is also in his third year in the series and is currently having his best season, having truly settled into the Envision setup. What is interesting is the level of teammate Cassidy has had in the team, with Robin Frijns for his first two seasons, with the Dutch driver finishing fifth and seventh in the past two seasons. 

Now, he has Formula E mainstay Sebastian Buemi alongside him.

The season 2 champion has faded somewhat, but is enjoying a decent season, so for Cassidy to have just over double the number of points as the Swiss mainstay is impressive.

In the remaining races, Cassidy will need to have his best-ever finishes to have a realistic shot at the title. He’s taken a ninth in Rome, and a podium in London last season, but he’ll need more than that to overtake Wehrlein or Dennis in the standings.

Mitch Evans - Jaguar - 109

Evans is the second Kiwi in this list, with Cassidy a clutch of points above him. The Jaguar driver is a bit of an outsider here, but has shown he can get points in bunches and is on course for his best season - points wise at least- so far in his seven seasons.

The 28-year-old is brilliant in Rome. In 2022, he had a perfect weekend in the Italian capital, taking a double victory, a podium the year before that and won his first race there too, taking the chequered flag in 2019.

Evans is on the back foot, but after being the series’ nearly man last year, he has the motivation, skills and experience to spring a shock. Don’t be surprised to see him around the top spots in Rome.

Portland is a new venue for Formula E. It’s a shame that the New York City race is no more as it always provided a spectacular backdrop, but the US track should be an exciting test for the drivers and teams.

There isn’t a huge barrier to entry to watch Formula E - good racing is good racing and the broadcast team often goes out of its way to ensure that new and veteran fans are well-looked after. Portland might be a bit of a timing challenge for me (I’m based in the UK and a 1am start is a bit much) but the duel qualifying will be good. I’ve written about that before, in the days when we were on a worse website.

PS: I am a huge fan of the Formula E OST.

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