How Nick Cassidy drove from last place to Berlin victory

Jaguar and Berlin – that fits together in the recent past. For the third time in a row, a vehicle from the manufacturer won a race on the track at the former Berlin-Tempelhof Airport. In addition, after the double victory in Monaco, Jaguar became the first team to win two races in a row in the 2024 Formula E season. Responsible for this is works driver Nick Cassidy, who made a spectacular comeback.

In the press conference after the race, Cassidy was full of praise for his Jaguar team: “They gave me a good overview of what the race could be like and let me make some decisions and also made some decisions for me.” Jaguar had already secured a one-two victory in Monaco with a clever strategy and the strategy also apparently proved decisive in Berlin.

Cassidy: Victory in Berlin with 60 percent luck

However, Cassidy did not see the responsibility for the victory as primarily lying with the strategy, but attributed the share of success in the chaotic Berlin race to 60 percent luck: “I was very lucky today, but sometimes you need that, especially in Formula E .”

Cassidy originally started the ninth round of the Electric World Championship season from ninth place. At the start, the New Zealander fell back to eleventh position and gradually lost ground as the race progressed. “I didn’t have a good start and wasn’t quick, but we played it smart and stayed out of trouble.”

Nick Cassidy in the Jaguar
Nick Cassidy plowed through the field in the final laps, Photo: LAT Images

Cassidy on energy saving battle: Never experienced anything like this

However, this undertaking was by no means easy. In Berlin there was another so-called energy saving battle, so that the drivers often waved past without a fight and the lead changed wildly back and forth. The background is the strong slipstream effect of the Gen3 cars, so that often no one wants to lead in order to use the slipstream of the car in front and thus save energy. In Tempelhof this phenomenon again led to some contact sports and numerous front wing damage.

Although such conditions had been expected in advance, the scale of the energy saving battle was still surprising. “To be honest, I’ve never experienced anything like this in a Formula E race. It was crazy at the back of the field,” said Cassidy. The seven-time ePrix winner fell further and further back and even found himself in last place between laps 17 and 20. However, Cassidy saved a lot of energy and had significantly more remaining energy than the competition.

From tenth place to the lead in six laps

But after that, Cassidy picked up the pace: After the safety car, triggered by the accident of local hero Maximilian Günther (Maserati-DS), ended on the 34th of 46 race laps, Cassidy took 13th place. Things then moved quickly: on lap 37, the Jaguar driver moved into the top 10, and on lap 39 he moved into the top 5. On lap 43, Cassidy finally took the lead and extended it to 4.651 seconds by the finish.

During this comeback, Cassidy also outdid his teammate Mitch Evans, who was in the crazy battle at the front throughout the race. Evans ultimately finished in P4. In contrast to Cassidy, Evans gained ten positions from starting position and worked his way up early, but was also able to save less energy.

Evans on Cassidy strategy: Can’t do that all the time

Why didn’t Evans also choose his teammate’s strategy? “In order to implement Nick’s strategy, you have to commit to it very early on,” says Evans in Berlin “We started side by side and I decided to join the leading group and tried to position myself that way. What we saw from Nick is a pretty extreme case. He can’t do that all the time.”

Meanwhile, Evans defended his own strategy: “If we had had another safety car then the energy targets would have shot up and then things could have changed again. And just trying to work your way through the field is really difficult. In hindsight, what he did was obviously better to win the race, but not everyone can do it that way.”

Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing)
Mitch Evans missed the podium, Photo: LAT Images

Evans admits: I thought overtaking would be more difficult

Although Evans made it clear that the strategy options had been discussed at Jaguar beforehand, the eleven-time ePrix winner was also surprised by the extreme dimensions of the energy saving battle in Berlin. “I thought it would be a little more difficult to overtake, so I wanted to try to get to the front while the energy targets were still low. With his energy advantage, he was able to move forward more easily than I expected .”

Although Evans missed out on victory in Saturday’s race in Berlin, the 29-year-old’s fourth place ensured that Jaguar was able to further extend its lead in the team world championship. The team from Coventry, UK, is now 64 points ahead of the Porsche factory team in second place. With his victory, Cassidy took the championship lead in the drivers’ standings for the first time since the Sao Paulo ePrix in March. Evans is in fifth place, 32 points behind.

Formula E 2024: Team table after 9/16 races

Pos. team Points
1 jaguar 210
2 Porsche 146
3 Nissan 129
4 DS Penske 126
5 Andretti Porsche 113

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