It was a flat out push to the finish at the rapid 11-turn Sao Paulo Street Circuit, with Evans managing to navigate his way through constant position changes up-and-down the pack to take the chequered flag first from third on the grid. The New Zealander took the initiative and the race lead from his compatriot Cassidy as the race headed into four TAG Heuer Added Laps.
His move on Lap 32 proved to be decisive, with neither Cassidy nor Evans' teammate Bird able to undo the leader's defensive driving - despite Bird having collected a couple of extra percentage points of useable energy during his climb from 10th on the grid at the start. Cassidy had led the race more than once, but will be more than satisfied to score three podiums on the spin for the first time in his Formula E career.
Polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) had led the way early on, fending off Porsche's Antonio Felix da Costa during the first round of ATTACK MODE activations until the race reached its half-way stage, with the lead impossible to keep track of on Lap 14 - three or four changes over that tour alone and Cassidy coming out on top. The Belgian would end up sixth after struggling for usable energy from his time out-front. Da Costa had slipped to fourth and briefly made designs on the podium but wound up settling for that berth just outside the podium positions. Jean-Eric Vergne headed his teammate home for an eventual fifth spot.
Standings leader Pascal Wehrlein had it all to do from 18th on the grid and sliced his way through the pack to seventh position at the chequered flag with Jake Hughes finishing eighth, just ahead of teammate Rast in ninth - Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) rounding out the top 10. Meanwhile, Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) suffered another non-finish after contact from Dan Ticktum's NIO 333 saw his 99X Electric shoved into Wehrlein's Porsche.
All that saw Wehrlein keep a hold of his Drivers' World Championship lead on 86 points from Dennis' 62, while Cassidy clambered into third just a point behind the Brit. TAG Heuer Porsche heads Envision Racing 144 points to 103 with Jaguar TCS Racing third on 83 points.
A double-header trip to Berlin is next up for Formula E on 22 & 23 April.
As it happened...
Vandoorne flew to a strong lead with da Costa holding on through the right left at Turns 1 and 2. The pair led away Evans, Cassidy, Vergne and Hughes while Norman Nato (Nissan) collected the rear of the NEOM McLaren - causing terminal damage to his car. Edoardo Mortara, meanwhile, lost the nose of his Maserati and was forced into to the pits from a promising fourth on the grid.
On Lap 2, Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) was removed from the equation – shuffled to 19th after the pack concertinaed; the Swiss overcooking it and hitting the rear of Maximilian Guenther’s Maserati at Turn 2. The first few laps saw standings leaders Wehrlein and Dennis gain good ground – the former up seven spots by Lap 3, dispatching Dennis for 11th then Nico Mueller (ABT CUPRA) for 10th at Turn 3.
With the first 18 runners within eight seconds of one-another at the end of Lap 5, drivers were trading places throughout – home heroes Sergio Sette Camara and Lucas di Grassi climbing to 14th and 15th to name a couple.
Of the top 10, Vandoorne - from the lead - Vergne in sixth and Bird in seventh were the first to move for the first of their two 50kW ATTACK MODE boosts while Wehrlein’s climb continued – seeing off Guenther for ninth on Lap 6. That handed da Costa the lead of the race, briefly.
The lead changed hands once again on Lap 7 at Turn 1, with Vandoorne forcing the issue and slipping his DS PENSKE beyond the Porsche, with Evans in the Jaguar following suit along with the Jaguar-powered Envision Racing of Cassidy. Damage to Sacha Fenestraz’s stricken Nissan – the French-Argentine clipping the right-rear corner of the car on a wall – caused a Safety Car for a restart on Lap 12.
Vandoorne led away, but was three percent down on energy to those behind – including the ever-frugal Jaguar powered Evans and Cassidy. Half way around Lap 12 at the chicane, da Costa battled back with a swift flick right then left to pass Cassidy and retake third. The Porsche driver then fought by Evans for second spot, with Cassidy able to take his compatriot with an opportunistic pass a the chicane having earlier swooped spectacularly for the lead from third at the restart.
The fight for the lead was impossible to keep track of come the start of Lap 14 – absolutely wild with three or four changes for the lead over a single lap and Cassidy coming out on top. Meanwhile, Dennis and Wehrlein came together at Turn 3 after Ticktum had clouted the former. Dennis suffered most and was forced into retirement, with another spell under the Safety Car required.
The restart came on Lap 19, with leader Cassidy and Vandoorne taking ATTACK MODE. Da Costa and Evans followed a lap later, with the top four shaking out in the same order of Cassidy from da Costa, Evans and Vandoorne – though the Jaguar made immediate moves for the lead.
On Lap 25, da Costa threw his chance of a podium if not the race win away at Turn 1 – overcooking it and missing the chicane – a costly lock-up down to seventh position. He’d make it up to sixth three laps later, with Wehrlein behind as the pair sought to work and climb together.
Four laps added to the 31 were announced to make up for time lost to the Safety Car. Bird saw his chance to jump with two percent energy (enough for two thirds of a lap here) in-hand on leader Cassidy and Evans.
On Lap 32, Evans took the initiative and the race lead from Cassidy, with Bird keen to follow double-quick. Da Costa, meanwhile, had split the DS’ of Vergne fourth and Vandoorne sixth and made it back into fourth spot over the start/finish on Lap 33.
Bird had energy to spare but nowhere to use it as Evans and Cassidy scrapped for the lead. Evans went super defensive on the final lap and made it stick for the race win from Cassidy and Bird – a Jaguar-powered one-two-three over the line.