How Vergne and Mortara's last lap battle in Jakarta played out

A close-quarters finish in the Indonesian capital saw DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Eric Vergne challenge Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evan's for the win, while ROKiT Venturi's Edoardo Mortara battled it out with the Frenchman for second. The challenge between all three championship contenders is representative of just how tight it is at the top as the title fight heats up in the second half of the season. Here's how it all played out. 

After clinching Pole, it was Jean-Eric Vergne who led way into the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship's inaugural race in Jakarta, followed closely by his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa, Jaguar's Mitch Evans in third and ROKiT Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara in fourth.

As da Costa fell away from the lead battle, it was Vergne, Evans and Mortara leading the way as a pack until Evans made a surprise move in quick-time on the two-time champion for the lead into Turn 7 with five minutes left of the race.  

"I think hats off to Mitch and Jaguar - they were there were simply faster today so I couldn't quite grab it," conceded Vergne immediately after the race. "It was really tight at the end with Vergne, I thought I was going to pull away but my tyres started going off as soon as I got past him. I was under a bit of heat but I got the job done," said Evans, giving his first-hand account of the closing moments that secured him his third win of the season.

While all eyes were on the battle between Evans and Vergne, the Frenchman was increasingly under attack from Mortara behind him as the Venturi driver vied for second with more energy in hand.  

"We had a good race in Jakarta today. Qualifying was already very good and then we had an intelligent race, which was very difficult with the temperatures being so hot and humid," said Mortara after the race. 

"To manage the tyres and the battery was not easy today, but we managed it and, at the end of the race, I could see that they were fighting in the front. I was part of that fight and I was hoping for some kind of move from Vergne to be able to gain some places but unfortunately it didn't come. 

"Still, I'm extremely happy with another podium. That's was the plan. We crossed the line with 0.0% energy - if you exceed a certain number, the power goes down, so the goal is actually to get that down to the line, just like we did. 

"I could see that I had a little bit more energy reserved than Mitch but I could not pass."

All crossing the line within a second of each other, Evans led Vergne and Mortara to claim the win in the first Formula E race in Jakarta. While a photo finish isn't unusual in Formula E, the podium - made up of three of the top four championship contenders - shows how tight its getting at the top as the battle to be crowned Season 8 champion heats up in the second half of the season. 

Despite steering clear of the front runners in Jakarta with a fifth place finish, Mercedes-EQ's Stoffel Vandoorne holds onto his standings lead with 121 points, but only just. Gaining on him fast is Vergne with 116 points, Mortara now on 114 and Evans on 109 points.

With the championship heading to Marrakesh on July 2, another round with sweltering temperatures looks set as the title battle rages on.