Formula E: Pascal Wehrlein wins second Misano race in dramatic fashion

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Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein took a suprise victory in dramatic fashion at the second Misano E-Prix which saw Nissan racer Oliver Rowland lose out on the final lap. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on Round 7 of the 2024 Formula E season.

Polesitter Jakes Hughes led cleanly away with Vergne and Wehrlein plus the rest of the pack following close behind - the top three as they'd left the grid at the end of Lap 1.

Just as yesterday, drivers jostled for positions at the start of the race as everyone was eager to save energy in the early phases.

On Lap 4, race leader Hughes went through the attack zone to activate his first power boost. Despite the longer distance, the McLaren driver was able to hold on to the lead, albeit, a few corners later, he decided to give up his position to enjoy the benefit of a tow in a race that has been one of the most critical in terms of energy management in the history of Formula E.

Lap 6 saw Nick Cassidy lead the pack, but he also gave up his lead shortly afterwards with Nico Mueller taking over the leading position. On the next lap, Robin Frijns was tagged by three other drivers with the incident sending him straight on and into the gravel, requiring the Safety Car to be deployed for his recovery.

When the safety car left the track, drivers continued to jostle for positions with Mueller, Cassidy and Hughes constantly changing positions at the sharp end of the field.

On Lap 11, it was double disaster for Antonio Felix da Costa after the Porsche driver's disqualification on Saturday - the Portuguese getting into contact at Turn 1 which required his front wing to be replaced, sending him right to the back of the order.

On the same lap, Maserati driver Maximilian Guenther went through the gravel trap at the chicane, but managed to rejoin the track in P8.

When the race reached its halfway point, Rowland found himself at the front, followed by Wehrlein, Dennis and Mueller. On Lap 17, Mitch Evans stopped on the track, but the Jaguar racer was able to get going again, so there was no need for a safety car interruption.

Today's Misano race was two laps shorter than yesterday's E-Prix, meaning that energy level was slightly less critical. It also meant that drivers were able to pick up the speed earlier than on Saturday, and the times began to tumble at the half way stage. With seven laps remaining, Wehrlein and Rowland appeared to have the upper hand with the pair having started to escape from the chasing pack.

On Lap 21, Rowland took the lead away from Wehrlein and began to stretch his legs as the race approached its final stages. The pair opened up a slight gap to Dennis in third, with Wehrlein appearing powerless against Rowland.

However, Rowland endured drama on the final tour of the race as he ran out of usable energy long before the flag. It meant that Wehrlein swoop by the Nissan to win the second Misano race with Dennis following him home. Cassidy pipped Mueller on the line for third position to take over the silverware from the ABT driver.

Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz came home fifth, Sergio Sette Camara impressed again for ERT with sixth position. Jean-Eric Vergne followed in seventh, with polesitter Hughes only able to round eighth after running wide. Guenther continued his perfect Season 10 scoring streak with ninth for Maserati MSG Racing on home soil while teammate Jehan Daruvala scored maiden points with 10th.

The victory draws Wehrlein level with Dennis at the top of the Drivers' standings on 89 points with prior leader Rowland falling nine points back to third. Jaguar TCS Racing heads the way in the Teams' table - 16 points clear of Andretti.

“Very happy about the race today,” the Porsche driver stated after the race. “It was quite chaotic again in the beginning until the middle of the race.

“In the end, I wasn't sure if I should stay in the lead or let Rowland through. The pace he had just seemed a bit weird and too fast to try and defend. I didn't defend him hard, and was a bit surprised about his energy. I wasn't sure if the team had the correct information or not but in the end, it proved to be the right thing to do. It was a lot of managing in the end, the energy, the battery, the tires, just everything.”

Speaking about the miscalculation, Rowland said: "It sounds like something was missed on the grid, and when I crossed the line at the start it counted down a lap, which it shouldn't so I had one less lap the whole race.

"We raced well and we were super efficient when we were behind as well," he continued. 'I know now I had one lap less but I would have had no problem making it to the end just sitting third, fourth or fifth when that was the target, but when we have targets on the dash and a plan to take the lead when we get to a certain point of the race and that's what I did, and it did feel a bit too good to be true at the time. It's just one of those things, we win and we lose as a team.