ONES TO WATCH: Will Jaguar maintain their São Paulo speed?

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ONES TO WATCH: Will Jaguar maintain their São Paulo speed?

For only the second time in Formula E history, one single powertrain as Jaguar TCS Racing and Envision locked out all the podium positions for the legendary British marque. This race is all about speed and efficiency, will Jaguar be able to pounce for another podium performance on Saturday?

jaguar sao paulo evans cassidy bird

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Slipstream city at the Sambadrome

These streets are usually home to floats and dancing, but we'll be bringing a different form a toe-tapping as the drivers dance on the brakes, coming off the long straights that make up this energy-zapping circuit around São Paulo's Anhembi Sambodromo.

PREVIEW: Formula E heads to São Paulo, Brazil for Round 4 of Season 10

There were seven lead changes during last year’s São Paulo race, with Mitch Evans making a pass for the win with four laps to go. It's a circuit where we'll see slipstreaming aplenty as the drivers look to their rivals to do all the work down the longest straight on the Formula E calendar.

For the win

All the talk heading into the race this Saturday will be about Jaguar's dominance and the titanic three-way tussle between the two factory Jaguar TCS Racing machines and the customer Envision squad.

It was Mitch Evans who came out on top, leading home Nick Cassidy - who is now with Jaguar after finishing second here for Envision - and former teammate Sam Bird rounding out a close podium that was covered by just over half a second.

Ahead of his race win in São Paulo last season Evans predicted that it was going to be a chess match with his game plan to stay out of trouble, be patient and play the long game. The race however, was more like chess boxing as the drivers balanced strategy while going wheel-to-wheel, but in the end it was checkmate for the New Zealander.

jaguar podium sao paulo 2023
Jaguar will be looking for another party on the podium in São Paulo

The New Zealander will be looking to run a similar game plan, that win last season came after a rough start to the season. After missing out on a podium shot in the first Diriyah race, Evans needs to get the ball rolling on his championship challenge.

It's been a better start on the other side of the garage though, new Jaguar TCS Racing recruit Cassidy has immediately been on the pace in the factory outfit, as it only took him three races to get his first victory in his new colours.

 

With a hat-trick of podiums to start Season 10, Cassidy is becoming a familiar sight on the rostrum, with that strong form putting the New Zealander atop the Drivers' standings after the first three rounds. He followed his compatriot Evans across the line last year in the Jaguar-powered Envision, so knows the potential of the car under his feet to carry that confidence into the race.

Podium potentials

There are plenty of names in the wings to spoil Jaguar's hopes, one driver who immediately threw himself into the hat was reigning champion, Jake Dennis.

READ MORE: Reigning champ Dennis gives update on his biggest rivals this season

The Andretti driver didn't have the chance to get in the mix last season after being put out of the race after a coming together. On the first episode of The Added Lap, the Brit believed that they didn't get the most out of the weekend in 2023 but feels like he has a competitive machine heading into São Paulo.

In the powertrain pendulum, the focus has mainly been on the battle between Jaguar and Porsche. But the discussion throughout the paddock is about the rise of the Nissan powertrain used by the Japanese outfit and their customers in papaya, NEOM McLaren.

hughes diriyah 2024
NEOM McLaren had a decent showing in Diriyah with a solid points haul

The McLaren pair in particular had a decent run in Diriyah, showcasing some decent energy efficiency with Sam Bird picking up a fifth on Friday and Jakes Hughes following up with a fourth the following day.

Bird in particular scored the ABB Driver of Progress award for working his way through the field, something which he did in São Paulo in 2023 as he picked off places to finish the race in third.

This is a track where energy efficiency and strategy will be key to scoring big. The key to success will be in biding their time and letting the slipstream do the work, waiting for the closing stages to make the jump and hit the head of the pack

One lap pace

Nissan had the speed in Diriyah, Oliver Rowland was on rails and this has been a strength of the cherry-blossom liveried machine. The Brit has always been good for that one-lap shootout, if you want someone for a fast lap you trust the driver from Barnsley.

In the race last year, Bird was rapid on his run through the pack, picking up the fastest lap bonus point for his troubles.

The drivers will want to start as far up the grid as possible, but this is a track where the grid position isn't key. The Duels will still be chance to score the first points of the weekend, and last year the pole position went to former champion Stoffel Vandoorne for his first pole with DS PENSKE.

sao paulo event race start

The pace was there over one lap for the black and gold machine, but the thing with leading in São Paulo is that you end up doing all the work for the drivers behind. There is a new addition to the team that could be the card up their sleeves, with former Jaguar technical director Phil Charles joins DS PENSKE as the deputy team principal and taking the helm of the outfit for this first time in São Paulo.

The black and gold machine has been closing the gap to the leaders, and with Nissan, McLaren looking to challenge Jaguar and Porsche, this race could be a turning point in the championship.

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