ONES TO WATCH: Can anyone stop the Kiwis in Jakarta?

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ONES TO WATCH: Can anyone stop the Kiwis in Jakarta?

The last four races has seen the flag of New Zealand flying high above the podium, and as we come towards the business end of Season 9, the scorching temperatures in Jakarta are certain to heat up the championship fight..

evans cassidy monaco celebration

The Jakarta International E-Prix Circuit is a popular one with the drivers with a challenging circuit - but the real test this weekend will be the rising temperatures in the cockpit.

Get ready for another bout of Formula E predictor, play along in the app for the chance to win exclusive prizes and be in the shot for the TAG Heuer Connected watch.

For the win

New Zealand has fast become a new superpower in Formula E, with the last four races being won by Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) as the pair have shared the spoils from Sao Paulo to Berlin and Monaco.

What's in common with those two drivers barring their home country, is the Jaguar power under the feet of both Cassidy and Evans. Initially, it looked like Porsche was the powertrain of choice for the GEN3 era scoring three wins out of three for the opening races, but Jaguar's I-TYPE 6 now looks like a formidable package as the championship fight has swung in their favour.

Screenshot 2023-06-01 at 14.35.28

However, it is the customer team, Envision Racing, who are the ones leading the way in the standings. Cassidy has been on a hot streak of late, with the New Zealander featuring on the podium five times in the last six races. He currently has two wins on the bounce from the second race in Berlin and then last time in Monaco.

Should Cassidy reach the top step for a third time in a row, he'll join teammate Sebastien Buemi and Antonio Felix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche) as the only drivers to win three consecutive races in Formula E.

evans leading jakarta season 8
Mitch Evans on his way to victory in the inaugural E-Prix in Jakarta last season

Last season in Jakarta, we saw air temperatures over 30 degrees, and it was Evans who mastered the heat to win the inaugural race here. The New Zealander perfectly calculated a late-race lunge for the lead and didn't look back.

FULL RACE: Relive all the action from last year's running in Jakarta

So far this season, we have already seen two hot ones in Hyderabad and Sao Paulo, and in both races, Cassidy and Evans were amongst the cream of the crop.

Cassidy could have won in Hyderabad if he'd have managed to find a way around Jean-Eric Vergne's seemingly impossible-to-pass DS PENSKE machine, and he came second to compatriot Evans in Sao Paulo - the Jaguar powertrain handling the heat perfectly.

Podium potentials

The black and gold DS PENSKE of Jean-Eric Vergne was shining in the sun in Hyderabad as he marched to victory. The win came out of nowhere as the Frenchman charged to the lead, and despite running on mere watts, he used all his skills to hold off Cassidy's advances.

While most of the championship headlines have been dedicated to the battle at the top, Vergne is keeping the top four honest, sitting in fifth and 34 points from Cassidy in the lead.

The Frenchman has three podiums finishes to his name in Season 9, and had an impressive run in Monaco, going from dead last to in the points with seventh around the tough Monegasque streets to pick up the new ABB Driver of Progress award.

vergne podium hyderabad
Jean-Eric Vergne has had three visits to the podium in 2023, his best coming with a victory in Hyderabad

The double champ took pole position and finished second in the 2022 Jakarta E-Prix. A good pair of races could keep him right in the fight, and a perfect gift to celebrate DS Automobiles' 100th race in Formula E.

After an unfortunate lull of not scoring any points for four rounds, Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis returned to the podium in Berlin and followed that up with third place and TAG Heuer Fastest lap for extra measure.

It's a pattern he'll want to maintain, but all of Dennis' points-paying finishes have come from podium positions. 

The Brit looks to have recaptured some of that confidence from earlier in the season. He's kept himself right in the title fight, just a race win behind Cassidy and only five points off Wehrlein in second. 

One-lap pace

After nine rounds, every driver has now progressed to the Duels and had a go at the knockout stages of qualifying in Season 9.

Apart from Robin Frijns' 100% win rate in the Duels, following his emphatic pole for ABT CUPRA in the wet in Berlin, NEOM McLaren's Jakes Hughes has the best win percentage with 75%.

hughes pole monaco
Jake Hughes has been been quick in qualifying in his rookie season with NEOM McLaren, the Brit has two poles to his name and a 75% win record in the Duels

The British rookie has claimed nine Duels wins in his rapid Papaya machine, a distinction he shares with Sebastien Buemi as the experienced veteran shares the one-lap plaudits with the rookie.

When it comes to the most appearances, Buemi and Mitch Evans have made it through the Duels on most occasions with seven apiece. And then next up with four appearances is Maserati MSG's Maximilian Guenther and Hughes.

Last season in Jakarta saw Jean-Eric Vergne claim the Julius Baer Pole Position ahead of then DS TECHEETAH teammate Antonio Felix da Costa - watch their Duel final in full below.

Vergne pole Jakarta

From what we've seen this season, pole doesn't necessarily mean a guaranteed victory. 

There hasn't been a lights-to-flag victory since last season, and the three most recent races have seen the three highest number of lead changes in the series history - even Monaco, a circuit renowned for being difficult to pass in other categories, saw nine lead changes.

Who will master the scorching temperatures in Jakarta double-header. Download the Formula E app to get logging those predictions now for the chance to win.