Jake Dennis wins the opening Formula E race of the 2022-23 season.
The Andretti Formual E driver took the race lead after a mistake from Lucas Di Grassi opened the door. From that point on, he was untouchable, despite a safety car bringing Di Grassi back onto his tail.
Di Grassi got a good start from the race lead but was unable to shake Dennis in the opening laps. Any gap he did have was immediately wiped away on lap two when the safety car was brought out to clear Robin Frijns’ car. Frijns had made contact with the rear of Norman Nato’s Nissan at the Turn 9 chicane. The incident left Frijns with a broken left wrist and Nato limping back to the pits to retire.
Almost as soon as the race turned green four laps later, the yellow flags were brought out again. This time Sam Bird had suffered a drive shaft failure as he left the final corner and came to a stop at Turn 2. Another safety car period followed.
After the second restart, Dennis and Jake Hughes were close behind Di Grassi. Di Grassi would spend the remainder of the race defending, but not from Dennis. A small mistake allowed Dennis to come through, but the Mahindra Formula E driver closed the door before Hughes could come through.
As Hughes and Andre Lotterer battled for a way past Di Grassi, Dennis extended the lead at the front of the field. Di Grassi’s train of drivers gradually grew until a spin for Edoardo Mortara brought out the safety car for a third time.
Di Grassi was brought back onto Dennis’ tail, but there was little he could do to keep with the Andretti driver once the race restarted.
Dennis spent the second half of the race gradually extending his gap and managing his energy, to cross the line 7.8s ahead of P2.
Di Grassi lost second as he took his second Attack Mode. Pascal Wehrlein, who was already using the extra power, swept through. Di Grassi was in Attack Mode for longer than the Porsche driver but couldn’t find a way back through.
Wehrlein then extended his own gap to Di Grassi, but couldn’t close in on Dennis ahead.
The pressure on Di Grassi mounted in the closing stages of the race. Hughes, Lotterer, Sebastien Buemi and Antonio Felix Da Costa were now all in a train behind him. In the final laps, all four attempted some risky moves. Hughes looked closest to making one stick, but ran up against yellow flags for debris.
It was Lotterer who managed to sweep past Hughes in the final laps, taking fourth behind Di Grassi.
Buemi held off Da Costa for sixth.
Mitch Evans climbed up from 10th on the grid to finish eighth, ahead of Nick Cassidy and Stoffel Vandoorne. Maximillian Guenther took 11th from Jean-Eric Vergne on the final lap as the DS Penske driver coasted over the line with no energy remaining.