Just Electric

Evans victorious in Seoul to keep championship hopes alive

Mitch Evans keeps his championship hopes alive with victory in the inaugural Seoul E-Prix.

The race was disrupted by incidents at the start and end and finished behind the safety car.

Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished fifth, heads into the final race of the season with a comfortable championship lead, while a retirement for Edoardo Mortara knocks the Venturi man out of the championship fight.

An opening lap incident took six drivers out of the race and caused a lengthy red flag period. The drying track left a slippery surface and multiple cars were caught out in the third sector. Of those, Norman Nato was the highest placed in P11 and hit the barriers first. Sebastien Buemi soon joined him in the barriers, and was hit from behind by Nyck de Vries, who managed to put his car beneath Buemi’s. Andre Lotterer, Oliver Askew, Dan Ticktum, Nick Cassidy and Oliver Turvey were all also caught out.

Cassidy and Nato managed to make it back to the pits and restarted at the back of the field, but the remaining six drivers retired on the spot.

By the time the red flag, Evans had already shot into the race lead. A slow start for pole sitter Oliver Rowland allowed Lucas Di Grassi to take the lead and Evans follow him past. Di Grassi held onto the position at turn one, but Evans came through at the following corner to lead the race.

Rowland managed to reclaim second from Di Grassi just before the red flags.

On the restart, Rowland couldn’t stick with Evans. There was no movement in the top four, who were separated far enough that even Attack Mode didn’t make a difference in the standings.

Evans had a comfortable gap to Rowland in second when Rowland’s team-mate Alexander Sims hit the wall in the final five minutes of the race.

The Full Course Yellow was shown, which soon became a safety car.

The race would not resume and Evans earned his fourth victory of the season. Rowland took second, his first podium finish of the year, with Lucas Di Grassi completing the podium.

Jake Dennis had briefly run third after taking the position moments before the red flag was thrown, but positions were reverted to the order at the end of sector two and he was moved back to P4. He came under attack from Jean-Eric Vergne early on but held off the Techeetah driver to take fourth.

Behind them, Stoffel Vandoorne managed to take fifth from Vergne. He couldn’t challenge Dennis for position but P5 was enough to keep him 21 points ahead of Evans going into the final race of the season.

The third title contender, Mortara, had a frustrating race. He had been fifth when the red flags were brought out and came under attack from Vergne on the restart. Mortara moved twice under braking, causing Vergne to hit the rear of the Venturi as he tried to find a way through. Both Vergne and Vandoorne passed Mortara. Mortara was then handed a five second penalty for moving under braking. He continued, but had dropped out of the points when he made contact with the wall at turn two late in the race. The incident, which was possibly caused by a slow puncture, forced him to pull off at one of the escape roads and bring an early end to his race.

Elsewhere, Pascal Wehrlein finished seventh ahead of Frijns and Da Costa. After his lap one incident, Cassidy managed to recover to finish P10.

Bethonie Waring

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