After an almost 2-month hiatus due to the cancellation of the Hyderabad E-Prix, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship arrived in Brazil for the 4th round of the season. Nissan as a team and manufacturer would have a terrific day in the office on the streets of São Paulo whilst ERT and Mahindra would have a more mixed weekend. Asian Motorsport reviews all the action.

By Seb Tirado

Free Practice 1 & 2

Jehan Daruvala during FP1 | Credit: FIA Formula E

Mahindra’s Mortara would take a promising 3rd in FP1 with a 1:13.096, closely ahead of the ERT of Ticktum with a 1:13.138. Daruvala’s first experience of the São Paulo Street Circuit would land him in 9th with a 1:13.313 and Sette Câmara would go 11th for ERT with a 1:13.433. The two Nissans would finish near the bottom of the order, with Rowland finishing 18th with a 1:13.674 and Fenestraz finshing in 22nd and last with a 1:14.171. In-between them would come Mortara’s teammate de Vries in 19th with a 1:13.736.

FP2 would finish early under a red flag after Mortara stopped after the Turn 3 hairpin with an issue, ultimately classifying 17th with a 1:13.877. His teammate de Vries would finish an improved 7th with a 1:13.093. Nissan would also greatly improve with Rowland going 3rd with a 1:12.937 and Fenestraz in 11th with a 1:13.279. Daruvala would finish just ahead of Fenestraz with a 1:13.225. ERT would have a more mixed session with Sette Câmara in 8th with a 1:13.125 and Ticktum in 21st with a 1:14.171.

Qualifying 

Qualifying would see the Asian teams and their drivers split between the groups. Group A would have de Vries, Rowland and Sette Câmara. Group B would have Mortara, Fenestraz and Ticktum along with Daruvala for his Monegasque team of Maserati.

Group A’s drivers would all be eliminated, with Rowland 6th, de Vries 7th and Sette Câmara 10th in group. They would qualify 11th, 13th and 19th on the grid respectively.

Edoardo Mortara would give Mahindra their highest E-Prix start since Diriyah in 2023 | Credit: FIA Formula E

Group B would see Mortara progress his M10Electro into the duels by finishing 3rd in group. Fenestraz, Daruvala and Ticktum would all be eliminated and finish 8th, 9th and 11th respectively. They would qualify 14th, 16th, and 20th on the grid.

Mortara would be eliminated by eventual pole-sitter Wehrlein in the quarter-finals of the duels, ultimately qualifying 6th on the grid.

São Paulo E-Prix

The first few laps would see Daruvala and Fenestraz fall back from their starting positions whilst the two ERT cars would take early Attack Modes to try and climb from their 10th row start. In a bid to also make early gains, Daruvala would take both of his Attack Modes early. However, he would mistime his second usage due to the Safety Car being deployed for debris on-track, wasting his deployment. He would soon fall back the order once the Safety Car came in.

After the Safety Car, Rowland would cleanly climb further into the points, reaching 7th once the Top 10 had all completed their Attack Modes. Mortara and Fenestraz would take their first Attack Modes in this time but would fall down the now-bunched up pack. The Mahindra driver’s second Attack Mode would drop him even further down the order, as a second Safety Car deployed due to Cassidy’s Lap 16 crash would ultimately cause his deployment to be a waste. He would however still manage to climb a few places in the final third of the race, eventually finishing 12th behind Fenestraz in 11th.

Bird’s win and Rowland’s P3 would give Nissan their first ever double-powertrain podium | Credit: FIA Formula E

A frenetic final lap would see Bird give the Nissan-powered NEOM McLaren team their first E-Prix win with a last lap overtake on Evans into the second-to-last corner. Rowland would perform a similarly opportunistic move into the final corner and down the main straight, overtaking a struggling Wehrlein and Dennis and going from 5th to 3rd for a second consecutive podium. With two Nissan-powered cars on the podium, Nissan as a manufacturer would also boost themselves up the newly established Manufacturers’ Trophy standings. Elsewhere, Daruvala would finish in 15th behind de Vries in 14th. ERT’s difficult Saturday would see Ticktum finish behind Daruvala in 16th and Sette Câmara disqualified after the E-Prix for exceeding the race’s energy limit of 38.5KWh.

FIA Formula E Drivers’ Championship Top 10

  1. Nick Cassidy (Jaguar) – 57
  2. Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) – 53
  3. Mitch Evans (Jaguar) – 39
  4. Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Penske) – 39
  5. Jake Dennis (Andretti) – 38
  6. Sam Bird (McLaren) – 37
  7. Oliver Rowland (Nissan) – 33
  8. Maximilian Günther (Maserati) – 22
  9. Sébastien Buemi (Envision) – 20
  10. Robin Frijns (Envision) – 19

FIA Formula E Teams’ Championships Top 5

  1. Jaguar TCS Racing – 96
  2. TAG Heuer Porsche – 61
  3. DS Penske – 57
  4. NEOM McLaren – 55
  5. Andretti – 47

FIA Formula E Manufacturers’ Trophy

  1. Jaguar (Jaguar/Envision) – 123
  2. Porsche (Porsche/Andretti) – 95
  3. Nissan (Nissan/McLaren) – 88
  4. Stellantis (DS Penske/Maserati) – 71
  5. Electric Racing Technologies (ERT) – 2
  6. Mahindra (Mahindra/ABT Cupra) – 0

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship continues with a debut race on the streets of Tokyo, Japan on March 30th for Round 5.

Header photo credit: FIA Formula E

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