Stoffel Vandoorne will have to wait a little longer before he wins the Formula E title. After arriving in South Korea at the weekend with a 36-point lead over his nearest pursuer, Mitch Evans, the Belgian could actually do better than fifth in the first race in Seoul.
After qualifying on a wet track, grip conditions remained uncertain at the start with several patches of moisture present despite a trend towards improvement. In evidence, a huge pile-up took place after just a few minutes of running – with no less than eight cars, mostly gunning just under braking – and triggered the red flag.
We even feared the worst for Nyck de Vries, who crashed under Sébastien Buemi’s car. An accident fortunately without consequence, while the Dutchman can thank the presence of the halo on his single seater, which allowed him to pull out unscathed from his exit from the track.
After a neutralization lasting just over half an hour, the drivers could participate in the restart in the order in which the race had been interrupted. That’s how Mitch Evans, author of a remarkable first start from his third position on the grid followed by a sublime overtake on the inside over Lucas di Grassi, inherited the lead.
His opponents will never see the New Zealander again, author of a solitary rider to the checkered flag ahead of Oliver Rowland, who managed to regain the advantage over Di Grassi during the test. After his victory in Race 1 two weeks ago in London, Jake Dennis this time has to settle for a place at the foot of the podium in front of Vandoorne, who therefore returned 15 points to Evans and saw the New Zealander with 21 units in the championship.
Vergne grabs sixth place
Sixth place then went to Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne, author of a solid run after starting from ninth on the grid, finishing ahead of Pascal Wehrlein. The top 10 is completed by Robin Frijns, António Félix da Costa and Nick Cassidy. The other tricolor on the grid, Norman Nato, meanwhile, finished in 13th place after being involved in the accident that prompted the suspension of the race.
In the standings, if Evans therefore remains in the race for the title tomorrow, Edoardo Mortara cannot say the same, the fault of a retirement. The Swiss is thus relegated to 51 points behind Vandoorne, who he can no longer catch up with.