Dennis takes maiden Formula E win
By Mat Coch
Monday 26th April, 2021 - 11:07am
Jake Dennis has claimed a lights to flag victory in the second Formula E Valencia E-Prix, his maiden success in the category.
The BMW Andretti Motorsport pilot started from pole and never relinquished top spot throughout to head Andre Lotterer and Alex Lynn to the finish.
Dennis was unrivalled into the first corner in a race that was far more settled than the previous day’s encounter, helped in part by dry conditions.
A train of cars quickly developed, a headwind down the front straight leaving many to opt to sit in the slipstream rather than use additional energy with an attempted move.
The entire field was in the train with no significant gaps, a state which only started to break up as drivers began taking the first Attack Mode period, pulling cars out of the train and shuffling the order.
During that phase, the top six were able to break clear, while Dennis was able to just edge away to the tune of a one-second advantage.
Having despatched of Oliver Turvey, who’d worked his way into second during the first Attack Mode melee, Lynn reeled in Dennis once more.
In doing so, he brought the train back with him, the top 10 in a line with only a small gap back to the rest of the field.
Contact for Lynn at Turn 8 saw him run wide and slip down the order, giving Dennis some breathing space.
Lynn had been tagged by Norman Nato, who then inherited second spot as a consequence.
Dennis quickly took Attack Mode while he could do so without losing track position.
A strong drive from Stoffel Vandoorne came to an end after a clash with Sebastien Buemi while dicing for 11th.
The pair tried to round Turn 8 side by side, but Buemi didn’t leave the Belgian enough room leaving him to clout the tyre wall with the right front of the car.
The field then began to be stretched as the race moved into its final 10 minutes.
Deenis headed the field, as he had done throughout the race, from Nato with Lotterer ahead of the hard-charging Rene Rast – who’d climbed from 14th on the grid.
Nato’s place in that train was something of a misnomer, as he picked up a five-second penalty for his earlier clash with Lynn.
Dennis’ advantage disappeared as he started the final lap.
With the time ticking down, he was instructed to slow down in the final sector to ensure there would be only one more lap.
It allowed the leader to race without energy saving on the final tour, the Brit holding on to take victory in the E-Prix.
Nato crossed the line second but his time penalty dropped him off the podioum, Lotterer taking the spot with Lynn climbing back into the top three after his mid-race skirmish.
Oliver Rowland was fourth with Nato classified fifth at the flag.
Though he failed to feature in the race, Nyck De Vries continues to lead the Formula E Championship after six races.
He holds a nine point advantage over Vandoorne (48), with Sam Bird and Robin Frijns equal on points (43) in third.
Formula 1 heads to Monaco for its next round on May 8.