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Misano E-Prix: Round 7 Race Recap

A second race around the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli provided double the chances to score points in Italy

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Pascal Wehrlein snatched victory on the final lap in round seven of the 2023-24 Formula E World Championship.

Jake Hughes, driving for NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, started the race from pole position (Image Credit: @McLarenFE on X)
The starting grid

Oliver Rowland won the first race at Misano on Saturday, despite crossing the finish line second on the road. The TAG Heuer Porsche of António Félix da Costa was initially crowned as victor, but had it all stripped away as he was disqualified for an illegal throttle damping spring on his car.

Rowland, leading the Championship with 80 points to his name, would start the second race from P10 on the grid, with a view to move up the order during the 26-lap event. NEOM McLaren looked like the strongest team during round seven Qualifying, as Jake Hughes managed pole while teammate Sam Bird lined up in P5.

Alongside Hughes was veteran Jean-Éric Vergne, who secured his record-breaking 25th front-row start in Formula E. Pascal Wehrlein and Nico Müller, driving for TAG Heuer Porsche and ABT Cupra respectively, occupied the second row of the starting grid.

Da Costa, perhaps still frustrated about his disqualification which he deemed to be unfair, started the race from the very back in 22nd position.

Race report

Hughes didn’t get the greatest of starts from the head of the field, as Vergne briefly pulled alongside in his DS Penske. However, the latter pulled out of the move before the first corner and allowed the polesitter to maintain P1 for the time being.

The NEOM McLaren driver looked comfortable in the lead in the early stages, using his first attack mode boost in the opening few laps along with Vergne. He then decided to start saving his battery power and backed off, handing first position to Vergne as Wehrlein and Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS Racing) followed closely behind.

Wehrlein and Cassidy were P1 and P2 by the end of the fifth lap. When the pair of them took the wider line for their first of two attack mode boosts, granting 50kW of extra power, it was Müller who inherited the lead.

Lap seven saw the Safety Car come out of the pits, as Robin Frijns of Envision Racing got his car beached in the gravel. He suffered damage as he was squeezed between Bird on his inside and da Costa on his outside at Turn 7.

When racing recommenced on lap nine, the majority of drivers claimed their second helping of attack mode. Hughes used the extra energy he had saved earlier to reclaim the lead, before he too dropped back a few positions to take his second attack mode boost.

The lead changed hands multiple times as various strategies came into play, with Müller retaking the top spot on lap 13 ahead of Wehrlein and Cassidy. Meanwhile, Rowland was showing very impressive pace from his P10 starting position, and got past all three of them in just a handful of laps to claim P1.

At the other end of the field, da Costa was forced to pit at the end of lap 11 as he collided with the rear of Bird, causing his front wing to get stuck and rub against his front tyres. A few laps later, Norman Nato suffered the same fate in his Andretti and fell to the back of the running order.

The latter stages

Apart from unfortunate retirements for Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, the second Envision of Sebastien Buemi and Stoffel Vandoorne, the race calmed down as it entered its second half. Rowland and Wehrlein pulled out a decent-sized gap from Jake Dennis in third place, and the order remained the same with just a couple laps to go.

Dennis was struggling to conserve both his tyres and energy, allowing Müller and Cassidy to close in in their battle for P3. The race entered its 26th and final lap, and the top two looked set to maintain positions, but Rowland and Nissan encountered issues with their data control systems, meaning their data on remaining battery wasn’t displaying correctly. The round six winner duly ran out of energy and couldn’t make the flag!

Wehrlein snatched the win at the death, while Dennis held onto P2 ahead of Cassidy, who just pipped Müller to the final podium spot by five hundredths of a second. The TAG Heuer Porsche driver now leads the Drivers’ Championship, level on points with Dennis.

Maximilian Guenther initially finished the race in ninth position, but dropped to P12 after receiving a five second penalty for causing a collision with Vergne. Hughes also had five seconds added to his race time for multiple track limits violations.

Full race results



Feature Image Credit: Alastair Stanley via FE Media Bank

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