As the championship enters its final stages, the contenders for the drivers’ title begin to emerge with the top five in the standings all representing different teams.
For Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing), Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche), Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti), Mitch Evans (Jaguar) and Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Penske) – and also for others – there is still everything to play for.
Last year, the drivers could only prepare for the Jakarta International e-Prix Circuit on a simulator made by the teams, as it was still completely new. At the end of the only race of the weekend, it was the DS Performance-prepared cars that scored the most points, thanks to second place for Vergne and fourth place for his team-mate at the time, Antonio Felix Da Costa.
“JEV” dominated for much of the day, taking his 15th career pole position and then leading for much of the race, but was then overtaken by New Zealander Evans seven minutes before the checkered flag, after being forced to use more energy than the others to defend his advantage.
DS 100 Races
Photo by: DS Automobiles
Stoffel Vandoorne, Vergne’s teammate this year, also seemed to like the place. The then Mercedes driver, who would become world champion a few weeks later, finished fifth.
But who will be the leader this year? In general, a car that performs well on a track on the first day will also be strong the next day.
In short, a strong performance by DS Automobiles on Saturday could herald a memorable Sunday for the French manufacturer’s 100th race.
Almost everything to be redone
If the track doesn’t evolve (2.37 km for 18 bends), the arrival of the third generation single-seaters puts everything back to zero in terms of preparation.
Although the teams still have all the relevant data collected from last year, the drivers are forced to take a different approach.
Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske
Photo by: DPPI
“For me it starts from scratch or almost,” said Vergne.
“It is true that this year it is easier to visualize the track, that we know the type of surface and that we have all the data from last season. But the cars are very different. We have to review all the braking points because the cars are more powerful and they regenerate harder”.
“The other thing to look at is grip with the new tires (Formula E switched from Michelin to Hankook for the Gen3 era), and we’ve seen since the beginning of the year that it’s not easy to find the best windows operational”.
As for the weather, it is expected that heat and humidity will dominate, just like last season, with the race taking place on the same dates.
If the 2023 edition of the Jakarta E-Prix has the distinction of being a doubleheader for the first time, Formula E also has other curiosities.
Since January and the first race in Mexico City, the poleman has never won a race or been on the podium! The only driver to have taken two pole positions – and to have finished fourth each time – is Sébastien Buemi (Envision Racing).
In nine races, there have been seven different drivers on pole position and the top three drivers in the championship have never started from first place on the grid. In light of all these stats, who will be the big winner of this Indonesian weekend? The answer will come Sunday evening.
Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske
Photo by: DPPI