Monaco Increase Management’s Pascal Wehrlein (TAG-Heuer Porsche) ended a frustrating weekend in Saudi Arabia as he added a seventh place to yesterday’s P8 in the Diriyah E-Prix, round 3 of the FIA Formula E World Championship. The win went to New Zealander Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS) ahead of Dutchman Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) and Britain’s Oliver Rowland (Nissan).
Starting tenth on the grid after qualifying meant that the 36-lap race was going to be an uphill struggle for the 29-year-old German, and despite finishing three places further up the field at the chequered flag, Pascal must surely have expected better results on a track where he scored a double win last year.
Round 3 was in the end rather a processional affair, with the top 10 finishers circulating for the last third of the distance in single file separated by 5 seconds, but Pascal can at least be satisfied to have taken away three positive aspects from Diriyah.
Firstly, he was the first of the four Porsche powertrain drivers to finish the race, three places ahead of yesterday’s runaway winner Jake Dennis (Andretti Porsche); second, he drove an attacking race throughout, making a total of four overtakes on Sette Câmara, Daruvala, Bird and Vergne, the last three under Attack Mode, and third, he extended his scoring streak to an unrivalled 14 races.
After this weekend in Saudi Arabia, the erstwhile leader is now second in the World Championship standings, 18 points behind Cassidy, with Vergne and Denis third and fourth, as they head half-way around the world for round 4 at Sâo Paolo in mid-March.