Nick Cassidy has backed up his win in Berlin with victory at the Monaco ePrix on Saturday to move to the top of the Formula E standings.
Cassidy fended off fellow New Zealander Mitch Evans in the dying stages and was helped by a late safety car, which neutralised the race until the chequered flag. However, it didn’t look like being Cassidy’s day earlier on Saturday.
The Envision Racing team didn’t show stunning pace around the streets of Monte-Carlo, and Cassidy’s ninth place in qualifying attested to that. However, the race itself was a different story, and Cassidy immediately began making his way through the field, taking two places off the line in an unusually clean start.
Jake Hughes’ pole position unconverted
Jake Hughes beat Sacha Fenstraz to pole position in a battle of the rookies’ pole shootout. The former had initially missed out on front place on the grid before a penalty for the latter saw the Argentine demoted.
However, the Brit began to quickly fall through the field, and Evans and Cassidy came to the fore. It had looked like being Evans day, the New Zealander who won the ePrix last year was in the lead until lap 18 when Cassidy made the race-winning move into Sainte-Dévote.
A homecoming to forget for Maserati MSG Racing
However, Evans remained in touch with Cassidy before Max Günther’s retirement changed the complexion of the race in the dying stages. Heading up to Massenet, the Maserati MSG Racing driver, who finished on the podium in Berlin, collided with Dan Ticktum in what the former described to Monaco Life as an “unsportsmanlike move.”
Further down the road, Edoardo Mortara wasn’t in contention for points, ultimately finishing 12th.
Günther’s collision left a five-lap shootout for the win, but Evans, despite applying pressure, couldn’t find the race-winning move. A crash between Evans’ teammate Sam Bird and Nico Muller neutralised the race, and it never restarted with Cassidy picking up back-to-back wins and taking the top spot in the drivers’ standings. Jake Dennis rounded off the podium.
“It’s a massive moment for me to win in Monaco”
Last year’s winner Evans rued a missed chance and felt that had he resisted Cassidy’s push for a few laps, the win could have been his.
“I think I could have kept him behind for a couple of laps, after that it would have been a different story, but that’s the way it’s gone today. Nick timed it perfectly,” said Evans. “There were moments in the race where I thought it was for me today, especially when I got into the lead,” he added.
“It’s a massive moment for me [to win in Monaco]. It was a tough, tough race. I still can’t believe it yet to be honest. My first reaction was, and nothing against Berlin, but this feels amazing. That’s pretty damn special so it’s going to take probably tonight to sink in,” said Cassidy.
Last year, it was Stoffel Vandoorne who took the chequered flag at the Monaco ePrix. He then went on to win the world title. However, Cassidy isn’t thinking too far ahead. “That’s one example, but I’m staying calm,” he told Monaco Life.
Winning the crown jewel of the Formula E calendar was a good omen for Vandoorne last year. Time will tell whether it will be for Cassidy this time around.
See more in our video of the Monaco ePrix below…
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Photo above by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life