Today, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship made its now-annual visit to Monaco. After unveiling next season’s 200-mph triangle racers, Formula E still had to put on a show in the Principality with its current cars. This year’s Monaco E-Prix was undoubtedly one to remember despite not being the no-holds-barred classic that the race’s inaugural edition on the full Grand Prix circuit was last year.
The first third of the race was largely processional, with Jaguar’s Mitch Evans leading the race from pole with Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein in pursuit. The real action commenced once the drivers began to go off-line to drive through the Attack Mode activation zone and shuffle the running order.
Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne was the first of the drivers near the front to activate Attack Mode in Casino Square. He was able to work his way back up the field, reaching third and putting himself in the perfect position to inherit the lead where Evans and Wehrlein made their activations. Wehrlein was able to get past both Evans and Vergne with his power advantage. The Porsche driver seemed to be en route to dominating the race, but his race would end prematurely.
Twenty-five minutes into the race, Pascal Wehrlein’s car shut off as he led the race. No radio, no steering wheel display, just a total loss of power as rounded Mirabeau on the run to the hairpin. As of the race’s conclusion, Porsche isn’t sure why the car had a terminal failure. Things got even worse for the German team; Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland attempted an ambitious overtake on Wehrlein’s teammate André Lotterer into Sainte Dévote, Monaco’s first corner. The Rowland’s rear tires briefly broke traction on corner exit. Rowland made contact with Lotterer, sending both cars into the outside barrier.
This would also be the portion of the race that determined the winner. Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne took the lead after Wehrlein’s retirement. As the full-course yellow was deployed to recover the Porsche, Vandoorne was able to game the deployment to extend his lead out to over three seconds. It was a large enough margin for the Belgian driver to activate Attack Mode for the final time without losing a position.
This happened just as the safety car had to be deployed to recover Rowland and Lotterer’s car. The gaps between all drivers were closed as everyone lined up behind the safety, cementing Vandoorne’s strategic advantage as the other contenders still needed to take their final off-line divergences. Mitch Evans would mount a late-race charge up to second place, but it was not enough. Stoffel Vandoorne would win the Monaco E-Prix and take the lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Race Results – Top 10
- Stoffel Vandoorne
- Mitch Evans
- Jean-Éric Vergne
- Robin Frijns
- António Félix da Costa
- Lucas di Grassi
- Nick Cassidy
- Sébastien Buemi
- Jake Dennis
- Nyck de Vries
Formula E will return for the Berlin E-Prix doubleheader at Tempelhof Airport in two weeks.