Seven things to look forward to in São Paulo

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Seven things to look forward to in São Paulo

The wait is almost over, as it’s race week again in Formula E.


The all-electric championship heads back to the beautiful Brazil and São Paulo for the fourth round of Season 10. The first three races of the year have seen three different winners, and there’s plenty more where that came from. 

These are the big stories to look out for over the weekend. 

Four possible winners in four races 

Unlike other current motorsport championships, Formula E has seen a variety of drivers stand on the top step of the podium this year. 

The first to lift that top trophy was TAG Heuer Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein, who achieved the Julius Baer Pole Position in Mexico City and converted it into his fifth win of the championship. The German-Mauritian driver now has two wins at the iconic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez under his belt, entertaining the ecstatic crowd, and currently sits second in the Drivers’ World Championship. 


Next up was reigning champ, Andretti’s Jake Dennis. The Brit converted a third place qualifying performance into his maiden victory of the year, and did so in style – with a winning margin of 13.289s. This huge gap was actually the second-largest gap between first and second during an E-Prix in Formula E’s 10-year history! However, things took a totally different turn the following day when both Dennis and Andretti struggled and could only manage 12th place. How quickly the tables can turn. 

THE ADDED LAP: Jake Dennis on his title defence, those 'struggles' and more

The final member of our trio of different winners was Nick Cassidy of Jaguar TCS Racing, who remains the only driver to appear on all three podiums so far this year. Cassidy, who joined the Jaguar team ahead of the new season, managed to make his way from third to first over the night race to put himself top of the standings on 57 points. 

However, as we approach São Paulo, there are still a handful of drivers that could become the next new winner in Season 10. Mitch Evans is still to achieve a podium this year despite the success of his new teammate Cassidy, but lifted the first place trophy here in 2023. Both Envisions are also looking strong, with Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns both picking up podium finishes in Mexico and Diriyah. You also can’t discount the DS PENSKE of Jean-Eric Vergne or even his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne; both former Formula E champions with Vandoorne getting pole here last year!

Will Jaguar repeat their Season 9 dominance here?

The last time Formula E visited São Paulo, Jaguar powertrains secured their first 1-2-3 result. It was also the second time in Jaguar TCS Racing’s history that they had two of their drivers on the podium.

Cassidy: "what's crazy about Formula E right now is how close and competitive the competition is"

Mitch Evans won the race as it made its debut, but it was a close fight for the top spot, with then-Envision driver Nick Cassidy finishing closely behind in second and Evans’ former teammate Sam Bird in third. 


In fact, the top three were separated by 0.507s here last year, and Evans and Cassidy crossed the chequered flag with just 0.284s between them which places them eighth on the closest winning margins in Formula E’s history. 

Evans won the race when it was Round 6 of the 2022/23 calendar and hadn’t been on the podium until then – a trend that he could replicate this weekend having been podiumless so far this season. However, there were concerns from Evans’ side of the garage early on in the E-Prix when the Kiwi reported that his powertrain wasn’t ‘behaving’ and ‘de-rating’, as well as being ‘slow and inefficient’. However, these issues sorted themselves out and he was able to keep the pack at bay and win the race. Bird also had brilliant power conservation during the race, which saw him enjoy a 2.5% battery advantage over leader Evans at one stage, and he still had a 1.6% advantage at the chequered flag! 

With the impressive start to the season that Cassidy, Jaguar and Envision have had, it’s very possible we could see a repeat of the same dominance at this 2.93km circuit. But, the Porsche-powered Dennis at Andretti thinks he has a good shot. 

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“The Jaguars were incredibly strong [in São Paulo] and it’s partly down to their strengths, and that they had about eight or nine traction zones,” Dennis told Formula E. “Ultimately, I think we’ll be competitive and strong. There’s no reason why we can’t go into that race thinking we can win it.”

All eyes on NEOM McLaren and Nissan 

Both powered by Nissan powertrains, the Nissan and NEOM McLaren teams saw a huge jump in performance in Diriyah. 

New signing Sam Bird was on a mission around the dusty Saudi streets, securing the ABB Driver of Progress award in Race 2 and almost doing the same the next day until he was forced to retire. The 37-year-old Brit had lined up ninth on the grid for Friday’s race, and finished just outside the podium in fourth. His teammate, Jake Hughes, also managed his best-ever Formula E finish on the Saturday by crossing the chequered flag in fourth too. 


For Nissan, Saturday showed just how quick they could be. Track evolution helped, but Oliver Rowland was rapid to earn himself the pole position and latch on to third to get the team their first podium of the season. Sacha Fenestraz has proved his speed throughout his rookie year too, with both teams and all four drivers being genuine competition further up the field. 

Podium brings 'confidence' for Nissan returnee Rowland 

Street circuit supremacy 

Diriyah, São Paulo and Tokyo later this month mark three consecutive street circuits in a row. This design of track is part of the championship’s core DNA, as much as we are buzzing about visiting the Misano or the Shanghai International Circuit among others this year, we can’t help but love street racing. 

Three long straights are connected by tricky chicanes, sweeping corners and tight turns, which makes this circuit in São Paulo a challenging lap for the pack. Starting on the main straight that's usually reserved for carnival floats and revelry, there will be a different type of dancing as the drivers put their toe tapping to use on the brake pedals into the series of sharp turns that feed to a looping hairpin that fires the field down the straight! This straight is broken up with another challenging right-left-right series of corners to another long straight. The final sector sees more passing opportunities in the run to the finish line.


In 2023 during its first appearance on the calendar, we witnessed a wild 114 overtakes around this E-Prix! Do you think we’ll be seeing a similar level of passes? We certainly hope so. 

Is the DAC going to be back?

TAG Heuer Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa, the Formula E Season 6 champion, has had quite the slow start to his 2024 campaign. The fan-favourite has been a part of the all-electric championship since the first season and has picked up eight wins and 19 podiums during that time – he knows his way around these tricky beasts. 

However, over the first three races, da Costa has had one non-finish and a best result of 14th, whilst his teammate Pascal Wehrlein currently sits second in the drivers’ standings. It’s not been an easy time for the Portuguese pilot, but with this long break between races most hope Antonio will be back and ready to fight in São Paulo. 

More new faces on the podium 

Over the first three races we have welcomed seven different drivers onto the podium from six teams! Mexico welcomed winner Wehrlein from Porsche, alongside Buemi at Envision and Cassidy at Jaguar. The following round was time for Andretti’s Dennis, Cassidy again and Vergne in his DS PENSKE. Finally it was time for Cassidy’s triumph, with Frijns in his Envision and Rowland from Nissan in third. 

Robin Frijns P2 Diriyah podium

Yet, looking at the level of competition across the grid, there are so many more faces that could find themselves on those top steps. Evans is still waiting for that podium break, with the likes of McLaren showing awesome potential, and Fenestraz still waiting on that long-awaited top three finish. Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther even got close in Mexico City, and DS PENSKE's Stoffel Vandoorne scooped up pole position at this circuit a year ago. So many opportunities and the chance to increase that incredible statistic even more. Who do you think will be the next new addition to the podium club in Season 10?

Mahindra making moves

One team to look at over the Brazilian blockbuster promised this weekend is the Mahindra Racing team. Home to Edoardo Mortara and Nyck de Vries, this team has shown some great potential from the bottom half of the grid. The Indian manufacturer has been transparent with the improvement and goals they’ve set themselves over the next few years, but a super strong driver line-up means they’re getting closer to the points-scoring territory. 

Nyck de Vries on his Formula E comeback, why Mahindra and what really goes on in Drivers' group chats

De Vries alone has made up 14 places in the first three rounds, with Mortara managing 13 places gained. The latter of the two also got so close to the taste of points with an 11th place during Saturday’s race in Diriyah. Keep a lookout for them in Brazil to see what this talented duo can get up to.

SCHEDULE: Where, when and how to watch or stream the 2024 São Paulo E-Prix Round 4

The São Paulo E-Prix gets underway on Friday 15 March with Free Practice 1 at 16:25 local time.

WATCH: How to watch or stream Formula E's Sao Paulo E-Prix where you are

Then it's on to race day on Saturday 16 March as Free Practice 2 kicks off the day at 07:25 local, qualifying follows at 09:40 local with lights out on Round 4 at 14:00 local/17:00 UTC.

View the full schedule in your time zone and check the broadcaster listings or tap the Ways to Watch button above to find out where to watch all the racing action where you live.