Last lap drama sees Wehrlein take Round 7 win in Misano

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Last lap drama sees Wehrlein take Round 7 win in Misano

TAG Heuer Porsche made amends for their race one strife in Misano with Pascal Wehrlein measuring a drive to his sixth Formula E win, the German stealing by Oliver Rowland (Nissan) on the final lap of the race while reigning champion Jake Dennis (Andretti) wound up second with Jaguar TCS Racing's Nick Cassidy pinching third at the flag.

Pascal Wehrlein

Wehrlein played his hand perfectly, and looked to be in the box seat with 10 laps to go as the Porsche sat some 2& to the good on all those around him in terms of usable energy. The German had decided it more prudent to follow early leader and polesitter Jake Hughes through the early stages then Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) and Nico Mueller (ABT CUPRA) before Nissan's Oliver Rowland made the jump for P1 on Lap 20. 

On an energy critical circuit such as Misano, this looked to be the best policy and entering the final stages it didn't look possible that Rowland would be able to hold the lead and finish the race given Wehrlein's energy advantage. Onto the final lap, though and over radio, Porsche had informed Wehrlein that his powertrain was derating - regulating itself in the heat - leaving the German seemingly unable to challenge Rowland's lead.

RESULTS: The full 2024 Misano E-Prix classification

The Brit was indeed holding fast but it wouldn't last; Nissan seemingly miscalculating his usable energy remaining - through a technical issue rather than human error - seeing his car crawl to a half way around Lap 26 with the chequered flag seconds away - a reprieve for Porsche, and doubly so with Wehrlein taking Round 7 after the team's Round 6 disappointment.

Dennis did well to clamber from ninth at the start to second at the flag for Andretti, with Cassidy jumping from eighth to third with a last-ditch, final corner move on ABT CUPRA's Nico Mueller for the final spot on the podium - breaking the German team's hearts with metres left to race. Mueller had earlier led the race - previously only sitting P1 across three laps in his Formula E career. Still, ABT's best result since Lucas di Grassi won in London for the team in 2021.

Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz came home fifth, Sergio Sette Camara impressed again for ERT with sixth position - following up teammate Dan Ticktum's fifth in race one, a six-season high for the Anglo-Chinese squad. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) followed in seventh, with polesitter Hughes only able to round eighth after running wide.

Maximilian Guenther continued his perfect Season 10 scoring streak with ninth for Maserati MSG Racing on home soil while teammate Jehan Daruvala scored maiden points with 10th. That marked the first points for an Indian driver since Karun Chandhok finished in the top six in Formula E's first two races all the way back in 2014.

That victory draws Wehrlein level with Dennis at the top of the Drivers' standings on 89 points with prior leader Rowland falling nine points back to third. Jaguar TCS Racing heads the way in the Teams' table - 16 points clear of Andretti.

Formula E returns on 27 April with Round 8 on the inimitable streets of Monte Carlo, Monaco.

As it happened...

race start s10 r07

Polesitter Hughes led cleanly away with Vergne and Wehrlein plus the rest of the pack following close behind - the top three as they'd left the grid at the end of Lap 1.

Drivers jostled to find space and clean air over the early laps - desperately trying to avoid the pinch points at Turns 8 & 9 and fall foul of contact, with the field split, as it was in race one, by just five or so seconds. On Lap 4, Hughes and Vergne, one and two, were the first to jump for ATTACK MODE - the first of two mandatory 50kW power boosts to be used as the drivers and their engineers decide in the encounter. From there, Hughes ceded the race lead to the DS driver, having led until that point while Wehrlein and Cassidy then jumped for ATTACK and occupied P1 and P2 respectively at the end of Lap 5.

frijns replay going off s10 r07

ABT CUPRA's Nico Mueller was next to lead, with the top 10 pretty much level on usable energy remaining on Lap 7, while Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) caught his wing in contact, sending him straight on and into the gravel, requiring the Safety Car to be deployed for his recovery - the Dutchman complaining he was "sandwiched". On Lap 9 the race went green once again, with Mueller leading Wehrlein and Cassidy away, while much of the pack leapt for their second ATTACK MODE activations right away.

On Lap 11, it was double disaster for Antonio Felix da Costa after the Porsche driver's disqualification on Saturday - the Portuguese getting into contact at Turn 1 which required his front wing to be replaced, sending him right to the back of the order.

Mueller hit the front again on Lap 13, with Wehrlein in behind, while Rowland picked his moment to push - taking third from Wehrlein before moving into th race lead, as Mueller was shuffled first to third by the Nissan then reigning champion Dennis' Andretti.

The times began to tumble at the half way stage, some two seconds a lap quicker than the opening third - Rowland and Wehrlein opening up a slight gap to Dennis in third and the chasing pack behind.

Wehrlein looked to be in the box seat with 10 laps to go - the Porsche driver with a massive 2% usable energy in-hand on those around him. On Lap 18, The German leapt to the front of the field with enough in-hand to punch his way through the air out front to the finish.

Final Lap in Full

Rowland took the lead through Sector 1 on Lap 20, looking to gain track position with five tours to go. The Nissan driver was still far short of Wehrlein's remaining energy - surely this would only help the Porsche driver's cause? The German's engineer was over the radio to his driver to make a move for P1 with four laps to run with the lead pair pulling two seconds on third-placed Dennis.

Wehrlein seemed powerless, though, with his battery derating - overheating - heading into the final lap. Drama, though, saw Wehrlein swoop by the Nissan as Rowland slowed to a crawl, running out of usable energy long before the flag. Dennis followed him home with Cassidy pipping Mueller on the line for third position - heartbreakingly close to silverware for the ABT CUPRA squad.