Dennis: 'I was in a deep, dark place... we needed that'

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Dennis: 'I was in a deep, dark place... we needed that'

Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) ended a four-race scoring drought to dig both him and the team out of a slump with second place in the SABIC Berlin E-Prix Round 8.

Dennis Berlin

The Brit's weekend didn't start in the best way. He qualified well and lined up fifth on the grid. By Lap 5 he'd made his way up to second, and he hit the front at the appearance of the first Safety Car on Lap 12 but having been shuffled to sixth on Lap 31, Dennis overcooked it into the Airplane turn and took Antonio Felix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche) out in the process - the Portuguese was livid having climbed from 19th to fourth at the time. It was a costly mistake.

Sunday was the time to make amends, then, and he did just that. By Turn 1 he found himself seventh, with the pack just as close as they'd run the day before - just a couple of seconds splitting him from the race lead, even without an appearance for the Safety Car in Round 8.

Dennis slide exteneded

He was tasked with scrapping to keep in touch with the leaders while the top six fought nose-to-tail for pretty much the whole race. When winner Nick Cassidy was given the green light to bolt out front on Lap 33, Dennis admitted he couldn't live with the Envision Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6, which looked pretty peerless on both pace and energy.

With that run of contact and DNFs ruining his last four appearances, he decided to keep his cool, play it safe and bring it home, either way.

"It was a difficult race for sure," said the 27-year-old. "I felt after all the incidents I’ve had over the past couple of months that I got bullied for the first 60% percent or so of the race – it was just a disaster for me and everyone was dive bombing me. It was either turn in as if they weren’t there, or move out of their way, so I just kept going backwards and I ended up back in P10.

"There just came a point where I couldn’t keep accepting that so it was elbows out and take the risk, which is what I’d normally do. Nevertheless, we were smart with ATTACK MODE and we pushed when we needed to. It was quite costly to use in certain stages of the race but we were still good on energy.


"Then, Nick (Cassidy) made everybody’s life a lot easier when he hit the front with 12 laps to go. The pace was decent enough not to cause big effects for the guys behind and full credit to Nick – I don’t think any of us had the efficiency to do what he did and that’s why nobody passed him.

"With eight laps to go the [energy] targets were just too high for us and the lifts were just too small to go for a move – it was too high risk, especially in my situation where we had four or five DNFs in a row now. To get back on the podium is great for our morale and we can build on this going to Monaco. I think we’re in for more of a normal race where we’re not too energy limited.

"Making a move is naturally high risk. We weren’t far off in qualifying pace in the end, doing 1m06.800s or so – at the end of a race where tyres are hot. To overtake in these cars when you’re in that situation is virtually impossible – you just want it to stop."

"I accepted P2 with about six laps to go. I was obviously there to capitalise on any mistakes from Nick, but at this level, mistakes are rare. Nick also had driven a brilliant race for the win and ultimately, I was just happy to see the chequered flag. I felt like I’d not seen one of those without some kind of incident since January so it was a bit of a relief to be honest!

"I was in a bit of a deep, dark place yesterday after the crash with Antonio (Felix da Costa). I could see the team were quite down and weren’t in the best place, so we needed this. We needed it for the championship – not only for myself but the Teams’ championship. It was great to see everyone so happy at the end and it felt like a win for us to be honest, after all the bad luck we’ve had."