FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Hyderabad E-Prix: A showstopper race saw Vergne clinch victory with no power left

Jean Eric Vergne entered the last lap with 1% of power, what he did next surprised us all

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

The showstopper Hyderabad E-Prix had a tense finale where Vergne took victory with no power.

Jean-Eric Vergne in the pitlane at the Hyderabad E-Prix. Image Credit: DS Penske on Twitter @DS_Performance

It’s India’s first international motorsport race in a decade and what a race it was. After an exciting yet unusual qualifying, the grid was all mixed up and the championship hopefuls were further back than had hoped.

The championship leaders were down the grid and there was a lot of hope from the other teams who started on the front row. DS Penske finally found their form and was heading off against Jaguar in the front row.

The race saw many take the lead, quite a few black and white flags and an unexpected podium. The two championship front runners battled their way through the field but disaster came for Jake Dennis.

Vergne put on a defensive masterclass and managed to clinch the victory despite heading into the last lap with 1% of energy. Despite not sounding hopeful heading into the weekend, the Frenchman finally lived up to the team’s expectations.

First Few Laps

As soon as the lights went green, Mitch Evans dramatically moved across the track to stop any possible moves from Vergne. This paid off for Evans as he held onto the lead and entered into “maximum [battery] saving” mode.

On the second lap, Nick Cassidy made a great overtake on Sam Bird and nearly went into the back of Günther’s car. Luckily he kept it clean.

Also on the second lap, Jean-Eric Vergne was looking incredibly close to Mitch Evans.

Eduardo Mortara could barely get the brakes on down a straight and fully went into Nick Cassidy. He lost his front wing in the process and tumbled down the order.

Despite the wing coming off being very dangerous for him and other drivers, he kept driving around for a few minutes before lapping on lap 5.

Laps 5 &6

There was a yellow flag brought up as Mortara’s front wing was sitting out on the track. The debris was cleared quickly and we saw our first few drivers go into attack mode. Vandoorne, Hughes and Müller went for it on Lap 5.

Jake Dennis was looking to make moves to try and improve his championship starting and activated his first attack mode on lap 6

Lap 7 & 8

It all happened up at the front on Lap 7. Mitch Evans went off the racing line to get into attack mode, Vergne naturally moved up the order but then Sebastien Buemi went down the inside of Vergne too.

Buemi took the lead of the E-Prix on Lap 7. This proved troublesome for Mitch Evans as he had to use a minute of his attack mode just to overtake Fenestraz, who also went through.

Laps 9-12

Buemi went into attack mode two laps later and managed to only fall back into second. He managed to beat out Mitch Evans and was on the tail of Jean-Eric Vergne.

On lap 10, Vergne went into attack mode so the order replaced itself. At this marker it was Buemi in First, Vergen in Second and Evans further back in Third.

Our championship leader, Pascal Wehrlein, was back in 15th place and his challenger, Dennis, was up to ninth.

On lap 11, Vergne and Buemi battled it down into turn 3. By this time, Buemi was told by Envision told him to focus on saving energy. The need to save energy became apparent as we saw Vergne coasting.

Lap 13-14

Jaguar found out how poor the grip was around Turn 3 when Bird tried to make a move up the inside of Fenestraz. In the process, he hit the rear of Evans, his teammate and in doing so they blocked off Sasha Fenestraz and impeded Günther. It was a massive incident that put Jaguar at the back of the race.

Both Jaguars subsequently had to retire from the race. A costly mistake.

The aftermath of the double Jaguar Crash at the Hyderabad E-Prix.(Photo by Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)
Laps 15- 19

Buemi and Vergne drove into the distance after this incident. Heading into Lap 16, Buemi went off the line to get attack mode which triggered Cassidy and Dennis to go through.

Jake Dennis, who was running around in ninth, benefitted from the incident and moved up into second after Buemi went into attack mode.

Dennis and Cassidy started to battle on lap 17 with Cassidy getting ahead. This meant Dennis went through the attack mode sequence on the following lap. He lost out to Buemi but tried to regain his position using attack mode.

Heading into the hairpin, Dennis and Buemi touched but the order didn’t change as the Swiss driver defended excellently.

Track Limits haunt the drivers again, Laps 20-23

With all the focus at the front of the pack

At the energy check-in, Cassidy had nearly 3% more energy than leader Vergne. Was it going to come down to a battle of energy saving?

Jake Dennis, on Lap 21, was given a warning for track limits. Just like qualifying, there were many track limit violations. Dennis wasn’t the first to get a black-and-white flag as Günther got one earlier in the race after getting caught up in the Jaguar clash.

A Safety Car comes out on Lap 24

There was a yellow flag out for Turn 4 and then the safety car came out as we saw Jake Hughes stopped on track.

It appeared that coming out of the hairpin, Hughes got on the power to much and veered into the wall. However, on the radio, he exclaimed that the “mirror got stuck behind the steering wheel”. An unusual incident.

Whilst the accident got cleared up, the field bunched back up and Vergne’s comfortable lead shrunk.

Laps 25& 26

Before the green flag came out, Cassidy was informed that he still had 3% more energy than Vergne.

Once the green flag finally came out, Vergne floored it but Cassidy and Buemi were both close behind.

Going into the hairpin, a spot for lots of action, Rene Rast was hit from the rear and went into the back of Dennis after going slightly airborne.

Jake Dennis has a disaster, Laps 27-29

Jake Dennis was having issues before the safety car and after the restart and getting hit by Rast, his car was struggling and he was overtaken by Oliver Rowland.

This put Mahindra on the brink of a podium at their home race. Sadly, Rowland did have a five-second time penalty so his hopes of a podium, or even points, were slim. Following this overtake, Jake Dennis’ day got much worse as he went right off the track with an apparent puncture.

On Lap 28, Jean-Eric Vergne was shown a Black and White flag for track limit violations. At this point, Cassidy was right on the DS Penske’s rear wheels.

Laps 30-31

On Lap 30, Rowland tried to get on the podium by overtaking Buemi but it didn’t work for the experienced world champion.

Further up the road, a Cassidy overtake on Vergne looked imminent. On lap 31, Cassidy was on 10% compared to Vergne’s 7%.

The Last Lap

On the road down to turn 3, Vergne held his defence but he only had 1% of energy left with half a lap to go. Heading towards the end of the lap, with one more corner to go, Vergne took the chequered flag with 0% energy!


It was a remarkable race from the Frenchman but there was immediate drama afterwards as Buemi got a drive-through penalty. He dropped from third to 15th. This promoted Da Costa to the podium. This is a credit to how close the drivers were at the end. They all kept it racy and a few seconds made a lot of difference.

The promotion for Da Costa meant that he finished on the podium in his 100th race.

It was Vergne’s 11th victory in Formula E meaning he is hot on the heels of the record holders of Di Grassi and Buemi.

Feature Image Credit:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top