Formula E in Seoul: Mass crash again, title decision postponed

Everything was arranged on Saturday for Stoffel Vandoorne to be crowned Formula E World Champion 2022. But after a turbulent first final race in Seoul, the Mercedes driver had to tremble again: Because of all things, main competitor Mitch Evans won in South Korea on Saturday and thus shortened his deficit in the championship.

The key to Evans’ triumph is already the start: from third place, the Jaguar driver pushes himself to the front in the first two corners. “I got off well, grabbed Oli (Rowland; ed.) in turn one and then Lucas (di Grassi; ed.) in turn two. It was tight, but he left enough space,” beams Evans after his mega launch.

De Vries trapped: The Mercedes slides under Di Grassi’s Nissan

There was no direct counterattack from the competition, because at the end of lap one there was a huge bang in the backfield: As on the penultimate race weekend in New York, there was another mass crash on the initially rain-soaked track. The result: no fewer than eight cars are stuck in the gang, six of which cannot continue.

Frightening: Last year’s champion Nyck de Vries rushes into the rear with his Mercedes Sébastien Buemi and pushes himself completely under the Nissan. The Dutchman then has to wait a quarter of an hour in the cockpit until Buemi’s jacked-up car is recovered and he can get out. Thanks to the Halo cockpit bar, however, de Vries remains unharmed.

With Porsche driver André Lotterer, a German is also among the victims of the pile-up, for him it’s over after just one lap. “I’m on the brakes, but it was like being on ice, there was nothing more to be done,” Lotterer explained after his retirement. The German also suspects the many road markings at the scene of the accident in curve 22, which become particularly slippery when it rains, as the reason for the mass crash.

Lotterer is also one of six failures due to the mass crash

Porsche team-mate Pascal Wehrlein finishes seventh and scores points, but he still has to be annoyed: After a strong qualifying and fourth place on the grid, a poor start prevented him from getting a better result. Nissan driver Maxi Günther is also frustrated: in eleventh place, the third German in the field narrowly misses out on the points.

Edoardo Mortara also got nothing on Saturday: First the Venturi driver got a time penalty after touching Jean-Eric Vergne in the fight for fifth place, then the former DTM driver retired completely after a puncture in the final phase and was therefore out as well from the title race.

The final on Sunday (live on ProSieben, race start at 9 a.m. German time) is now just a duel, with clearly better chances for the leader Vandoorne: The Belgian still races to fifth place on Saturday, Evans goes 21st despite the day’s win points behind in the final race of the season. He has to win again on Sunday, but seventh place is enough for Vandoorne to claim his first Formula E title.

Mercedes is also close to the crowning glory in the team championship: With a 31-point lead over Venturi, the Silver Arrows won’t let the title be taken away from them in the last race before they end the series.

Result: Formula E in Seoul, 15th of 16 rounds of the season

1. Mitch Evans (Jaguar) 30 laps
2. Oliver Rowland (Mahindra) +0.820
3. Lucas di Grassi (Venturi) +1.393
4. Jake Dennis (Andretti) +1.902
5. Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes) +2.470
6. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) +3.957
7. Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) +4.149
8. Robin Frijns (Envision) +4.508
9. Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah) +4,970
10. Nick Cassidy (Envision) +5.325

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