Five things we learned in the London finale

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Five things we learned in the London finale

Here are some of the key learnings from two incredible races around the ExCel in London.

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That’s a wrap on Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. We have ourselves a new World Champion after an intense finale and reflect on the first year of the incredible GEN3 machines and all the new locations we’ve visited. However, for now let’s take a look back at what we learnt from the London E-Prix double header final. 

Champion of the world 

Being the last rounds of the season, we knew we’d leave London with a brand new Drivers’ World Champion. Going into the finale, four drivers were mathematically in with a chance: Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti), Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing), Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche). Dennis went into his home race weekend 24 points ahead, but as we have seen in the past, things can quickly unravel. 

Fortunately for Dennis, he was able to wrap up his title on the Saturday but mainly due to a miscommunication between the Envision duo. Cassidy, still in with a chance of the title, made a pass on his teammate, but the two made contact which broke his front wing and ultimately brought his race to a standstill. All the Andretti driver had to do was finish on the podium, which he did with a second place finish to earn his championship crown. 

He became the eighth of different champ in the all-electric series, and the first British driver to do so.  

dennis celebrates title in london

Customer teams overrule 

In both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Standings, customer teams reigned supreme and beat their suppliers. For Jake Dennis and Avalanche Andretti, the squad are a customer of TAG Heuer Porsche and their powertrain, but managed to make it out on top of the German giant in both championships. For Dennis, his biggest challenge was Wehrlein. But, despite Pascal’s strong start to the season, the now Season 9 champion was able to continuously find himself on the podium proving consistency is key. Dennis was also a huge help in getting Avalanche Andretti into third in the Teams’ Standings, also beating Porsche, as teammate Andre Lotterer only managed 23 points over the course of the season compared to Dennis’ 229. 

In the actual Teams’ Standings, Envision Racing finally clinched their first title to beat their powertrain supplier Jaguar TCS Racing. The pairing of Cassidy and Buemi put on a series of strong performances over the 16 rounds to come out on top, beating Evans and Sam Bird by 12 points in the end. 

"It took us nine years but it's an incredible feeling," said Sylvain Filippi, Envision Racing’s Team Principal. "The whole team did an incredible job. Ultimately, our team is really strong and that's why I'm so proud of them. It was an unbelievably tight season."

Elsewhere, Nissan also beat their customer team, NEOM McLaren thanks to a strong run in form from Norman Nato in the final few races, including a special podium in Rome. 

ExCel is like no other circuit 

Being half indoor and half outdoor, the ExCel Arena is always going to be unusual. Having been on the calendar since Season 7, the London venue is normally used as an exhibition centre but for one weekend a year becomes a round on the Formula E calendar. With Formula E being used to racing on bumpy streets in the middle of city centres, driving indoors is a big shake up with a completely flat and grippy surface. However, it’s made even crazier when you have heavy rain like we saw on the Sunday! 

Drivers were tested to their limits in the wet weather, and presented with a challenge that is pretty much unprecedented in motorsport to navigate a half indoor-outdoor circuit in the rain! Nevertheless, the talented grid managed it brilliantly. 

Breaking his own records

There’s no denying Dennis had an incredible season on his way to winning his first Formula E title. However, he only managed two victories on his way there - in Mexico and Rome - unlike his competitors who did double that. For Evans and Cassidy, both Kiwi drivers won four races each over the year, but it was still no match for Dennis who broke a Formula E record this season. 

Despite a small blip in his season, where he finished pointless for four races from Hyderabad to race one in Berlin, Dennis has almost always found himself on the podium. In fact, this season he managed to collect himself an outstanding 11 pieces of silverware from his top three appearances. The previous holder of the most podiums in a season was Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) who achieved eight podiums on his way to the Drivers’ World Championship in Season 8. 

Change is on the way 

Now Season 9 is complete, the silly season has already found itself in full swing. Several teams have already confirmed that change will be on the way, including Sam Bird leaving Jaguar and Robin Frijns departing ABT CUPRA. However, it’s likely that many more moves will be on the way. 

With rumour that Lotterer is out at Andretti, and conversations being had about Rene Rast departing McLaren after a season together, keep your eyes peeled to the Formula E website to see who ends up where. Perhaps we could even see some fresh faces in the paddock next year!