Anyway, the wait is over: Stoffel Vandoorne lifted the cup and can say he is the Formula E world champion after the closing of the first eP in Seoul in the history of the category. This Sunday (14), Edoardo Mortara won the second race of the weekend, the day after Mitch Evans won the first race, but the Belgian was really destined to shine. The Jaguar New Zealander, the only one who could threaten the Belgian’s conquest, now has a mountain to climb after his poor classification and 13th place on the starting grid. He even tried, but there was no way around it: the world title is still in the Mercedes garage.
Race 2 in South Korea reserved a strong fight for victory and few emotions in the rest of the field, but it brought few surprises to a driver who already arrived knowing that he was very close to the long-awaited cup. Starting in fourth, Vandoorne kept himself out of trouble and did the necessary work to secure another podium – eighth in 16 races – in second place, and finally let out the champion’s cry. Jake Dennis completed the podium.
This Sunday’s race in Seoul marked some farewells in Formula E. The main one was in relation to the second generation cars, which made their last appearance in the category. Starting in 2023, the Gen3 single-seaters will be implemented at the beginning of the season and promise to bring the fastest sets in the history of the sport. In addition to the drivers’ title, Mercedes – which bids farewell to the FE – also secured the Constructors’ Championship in South Korea.
Now, Formula E returns only next year. Unlike this year, which saw the championship debut in Diriyah, the FIA calendar predicts the first race of the 2022/2023 season for Mexico on 14 January. The stage promises: it will promote the debuts of the Gen3 cars and the McLaren and Maserati teams, in addition to the return of Abt.
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Check out how the Seoul 2 eP went:
The start was smooth for pointer António Félix da Costa, but Edoardo Mortara lost second place to Jake Dennis and had to dive into the first corner to regain the position. Stoffel Vandoorne took a touch from the Brit on the way out, but held firm and held on to fourth place. In the second corner, Lucas Di Grassi was squeezed by Maximilian Günther and Dan Ticktum and several drivers ended up touching each other with the traffic jam that formed.
Trying to recover positions after a very bad classification, Mitch Evans gained a position in the first lap and appeared in 12th with 42 minutes to the end of the race. Up front, Mortara attacked Da Costa with everything and took the lead from the Portuguese, who needed to recover and even saw Dennis steal the second place. Evans continued his recovery and took the positions of Günther, Nyck de Vries and Pascal Wehrlein to enter the top-10.
At the opening of the third lap, the top-10 had Mortara, Dennis, Da Costa, Vandoorne, Robin Frijns, Di Grassi, Oliver Askew, Jean-Èric Vergne, Evans and Günther.
In the confusion that took over the first lap, three drivers retired and ended their participation in the season: Dan Ticktum, Oliver Rowland and André Lotterer. Soon after, Maximilian Günther went to the Nissan pits to repair the car and returned to the back of the grid, moments before Pascal Wehrlein and Nyck de Vries touched and also had to abandon the race.
While Mortara held a comfortable lead of just over 2s over runner-up Dennis, Evans pushed as hard as he could to take the eighth place from Vergne – who wouldn’t budge. Brazilian Sérgio Sette Câmara, who was looking to score for the second time this season, was fighting to enter the top-10 and was in 11th, pressing Nick Cassidy for tenth position.
On the 13th lap, Lucas Di Grassi also had problems and had to go to the Venturi pits, losing ground in the field and returning to the back of the grid. So, even with Mortara’s partial victory, the fight between the Monegasque team – which will become Maserati next year – for the Constructors’ title fell to the ground and ended up in the Mercedes garage.
Di Grassi’s fall, on the other hand, did some other riders good: Sette Câmara managed to get into the top-10 and was adding Dragon’s third point with tenth place, and Evans was eighth – still behind Vergne. With approximately 23 minutes of race to go, Günther was one more to retire after hitting the protective wall of the Korean circuit. As the German’s car was stopped on the track, the safety car was triggered and the field regrouped.
At the moment, the top-10 had the following order: Mortara, Dennis, Da Costa, Vandoorne, Frijns, Askew, Vergne, Evans, Cassidy and Sette Câmara. The entry of the safety car was another bucket of cold water in the – few – dreams of Evans, who had the extra power of attack mode activated and needed to hold the pace with the activation of the yellow flag across the track.
The restart was cleared with 13:30 of the race remaining on the clock, and went off without incident. Mortara went into attack mode on the first lap and almost lost the lead to Dennis, who however had to retract the car to avoid a touchdown. So Da Costa took advantage of the situation and used the extra power to get past the Brit.
However, the Portuguese’s situation got complicated at that moment: Dennis did not accept the loss of position and shared the corner with the DS Techeetah pilot, who was touched and sent directly to the wall – falling to the last place. Thus, Vandoorne profited from the situation and gained another position, entering the podium area with third place.
Few disputes still formed in the peloton, with the most dramatic of them involving Sette Câmara: the Brazilian was leading a train that included the cars of Norman Nato, Alexander Sims, Lucas Di Grassi, António Felix da Costa and Oliver Turvey, but he held on to the tenth position — without the front wing, worth mentioning.
Evans couldn’t get past Vergne at all and was in seventh, which in itself already nailed Vandoorne’s title. On the 28th lap, the Belgian’s race managed to improve: the Formula E race direction announced that Dennis would be punished in 5s for touching Da Costa, which made the Mercedes driver move up to second place.
The last minutes of the race did not reserve strong emotions, with the main highlight becoming pole-position Da Costa: the Portuguese picked up his pace after being touched by Dennis and started climbing the peloton, passing by Fenestraz, Nato, Turvey, Sims and Di Grassi until reaching the 11th position. Sette Câmara was punished in 5s for having changed direction many times in dispute with Nato soon after, which made António enter the scoring zone.
Edoardo Mortara walked all the way in first place to secure his fourth win of the season — tying Mitch Evans for the biggest winner of 2022 — while Vandoorne walked calmly in third place, aware that Dennis would lose the position due to the 5s penalty.
Once again, the Belgian’s calm and regularity made the difference. Without taking any risks, he got rid of two drivers who were ahead of him and got involved in confusion – Dennis and Da Costa – to finally let out the cry of world champion.
Formula E 2021/2022, Seoul eP 2:
|1||AND DEAD||Mercedes venturi||34 laps|
|6||JE VERGNE||DS Techeetah||+9,471|
|10||AF OF THE COAST||DS Techeetah||+22,226|
|11||L DI GRASSI||Mercedes venturi||+24,546|
|13||S. SETTE CHAMBER||Dragon Penske||+27,813|
|16||S FENESTRAZ||Dragon Penske||+36,270|
|18||NUMBER OF VRIES||mercedes||NC|
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