15 Oct 21
- FAN ZONE
29 Sep 21
With the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at an end, we're taking a look back at the campaign in pictures. Next up, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Envision Virgin Racing, BMW i Andretti Motorsport.
Nyck de Vries flew out of the blocks and topped every session on the way to a maiden Formula E race win in the Diriyah season opener. From there, it looked a certainty that the talented 26-year-old would be in the mix throughout the series' first campaign as an FIA World Championship.
Another victory would follow in Valencia, with the Dutchman getting it right where many others got it horribly wrong. After that point, though, Mercedes-EQ traversed a tricky spell in mid-season, where de Vries scored just once between Rounds 6 and 11 - with the trip to New York at the end of that patch and a costly mistake in Monaco proving to be his lowest points this season.
Mercedes Team Principal Ian James has admitted his team had ‘failed massively’ in keeping their consistency following their early form, but despite a troubled run, de Vries found himself atop the standings - albeit with a slender six-point advantage over Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) - while Mercedes-EQ sat second in the Teams' running heading to home turf and the Berlin finale.
A double podium in London propelled de Vries to that Drivers' World Championship lead, but in reality he'd never been far away from that opening weekend onwards. A rollercoaster final couple of rounds in the German capital saw the Dutchman navigate the drama with his rivals falling by the wayside. A sticky qualifying spot ahead of the final round caused angst but he and the team did enough, with teammate Stoffel Vandoorne making the podium and ensuring a double, with Mercedes taking Teams' honours.
Vandoorne won in Rome and came home ninth in the standings, a podium shy of his teammate and ruing bad luck - particularly Oliver Rowland's wipe out move in London costing the Belgian a podium, and potentially the title.
Jaguar Racing headed into the finale with both drivers in with a shout of the World Championship title. Bird won in Diriyah on debut for the famous British marque and produced a stunning zero to hero drive in New York City after a practice shunt. A blank on home soil in London put Bird on the back foot and with what looked like a little too much to do in Berlin. A technical issue in Round 14 put paid to his title shot.
Teammate Mitch Evans was right in the hunt with the Kiwi leading the charge for the team in the Drivers' title chase after teammate Bird's retirement in Round 14. He looked to be in the box seat having taken third in race one, and given he'd qualified well ahead of his nearest championship rivals as well as standings leader and eventual World Champion Nyck de Vries. A technical issue prevented his getaway from the line, though, and abruptly halted a potential a run at the title proper.
Five podiums for Evans was a strong return, and both drivers and Team Principal James Barclay are more than happy with the progress made in Season 7. "This has been our best season and we have made huge progress," said Barclay. "To be only four points off first place is an amazing achievement. We’ll be back next year to fight for the title and to make it to the top step.”
Season 7 - Formula E's first as an FIA World Championship - didn't go entirely to plan for reigning champions Antonio Felix da Costa and DS TECHEETAH. The Sino-French squad headed into the campaign as Drivers' title treble winners and with a Teams' double in the bag. For da Costa, a single podium in Diriyah was the only silverware the Portuguese could accrue in the first half of the campaign.
Three non-scores - including a disqualification for running out of usable energy having led that extraordinary encounter in Valencia - was not what the DS driver would have hoped for but a statement victory via a last lap overtaking manoeuvre in Monaco signalled his title defence wasn't done yet.
Da Costa ended the campaign in the wall after a shunt with Audi's Lucas di Grassi. With competition stepping up a notch further in Season 7 - da Costa in eighth was just 13 points shy of champion Nyck de Vries in the end - and the odd niggle not going the way of the champions, DS had to settle for third spot.
Teammate Jean-Eric Vergne wound up 10th, with a Rome victory his highlight of the season and a podium in New York City in the shadow of Manhattan another high point. The two drivers, with three titles between them, were a match all season - it's going to be fascinating seeing them toe-to-toe again to round out Gen2 in Season 8.