Cassidy may head into Round 15 P1 on the grid but it's Evans who takes the all-important three points for setting the fastest time in the Duels final. These points now create a big swing in the Teams’ Standings, as Jaguar try to chase both Envision and TAG Heuer Porsche for the title. Championship leader Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) qualified third and will start on the front row for the race where he can clinch his first Formula E crown.
After that penalty, Evans will start Round 15 from sixth on the grid.
Evans went against Cassidy in the finale, and with both drivers pushing to their absolute limits Cassidy appeared to kiss the wall on his lap. As a result, Evans emerged victorious, but it will be Cassidy who starts in that important P1 slot for the race in just a few hours. Lining up alongside him is Dennis, a copy of the Rome grid but in the opposite order. The drivers who started first and second in the two London races last year, finished first and second in the races too. Will history repeat itself?
The first Duels Semi was Evans vs Dennis. Despite Dennis having never lost a Semi Final this season, he was beaten by Evans when it mattered most! Evans finished four tenths ahead of Dennis, although the Jaguar driver will be serving a five-place grid penalty for his clash with Cassidy last time out in Rome. Dennis starts second.
The other duo fighting it out was the Envision duo of Cassidy and Buemi, the first time that both Envisions have reached the Semis in the same race this year. Nick was sent through to the Final, as his teammate Buemi made a mistake on his lap. Cassidy’s only other appearance in a Final this year was in Rome last time out, when he faced Dennis who went quickest. Buemi settles for a net third on the grid.
First up was Mitch Evans and Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE), with Evans’ having beaten him in the Duels once before. History then repeated itself, as Evans managed to set a time six tenths of a second quicker than the reigning champion. Although Evans has a five-place grid drop for his incident with Cassidy in Rome in this race, this also means that Vandoorne hasn't won a duel since Berlin, eight races ago. Evans wound up sixth after that penalty and Vandoorne will start eighth.
Next was Dennis and NEOM McLaren's Rene Rast, with the standings leader able to get through to the next Duels stage in an easy win. Rast lines up a fighting fifth.
Envision Racing's Sebastien Buemi made his third consecutive Duels appearance, his 10th of the year, as he took on the NIO 333 of Dan Ticktum. Although Ticktum had the crowd support behind him, he wasn’t able to convert it to any extra speed as he was knocked out by the Season 2 champ. Ticktum seals fourth on the grid in front of his home support.
Finally, Nick Cassidy took on the TAG Heuer Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein - the two both fighting for the championship although for the German driver, it’s a big reach. These two have fought each other on track before, with Cassidy beating him in the Cape Town Quarters. The same result occurred in London, as Cassidy kept his championship hopes alive as he progressed into the Semis. Wehrlein has it to do from seventh.
There was a dramatic moment when championship leader Dennis complained of a “huge power cut at Turn 9” whilst getting some laps in, in addition to mentioning that he’d hit the wall on another lap. However, that didn’t stop him from going on to set the quickest time of Group A by just 0.030s. It was a definite statement that he is ready to wrap up his first Formula E Drivers’ World Championship in London this weekend.
Joining him in the Duels was Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing), who is also statistically in with a chance of the title over this double header finale. He finished second, with reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) and NEOM McLaren's Rene Rast sneaking through in fourth.
ABT CUPRA’s Robin Frijns was able to get back on to the track, after crashing in Free Practice 2 several hours earlier. The Dutchman clipped the barriers, before whacking his car and its front wing into a wall with under a minute of the session left to go. Despite the best efforts of the team, Frijns finished Group A in last.
Pushing on the limit, Cassidy made a rare error when he lost the rear of his Envision car going into Turn 16. Taking time to decompress and get his thoughts together, Cassidy went again for a flying lap with his foot to the floor and managed to set a time of 1m10.721s. He ended the Groups with the fastest time in all the three sectors. His teammate Buemi was not far behind either, setting a time of 0.162s to make it an Envision 1-2.
In addition to the two Envisions, NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum once again got through into the Duels and was joined by Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein who has previously struggled with hsi qualifyings. This means all four championship contenders would progress into the next round!
Recent podium finisher in Rome, Norman Nato (Nissan) suffered a massive lock up on one of his laps and then went down a run off, and just missed out on the top four. The man who topped FP1 on Friday evening was forced to settle for fifth.