Nick Cassidy put in an immense performance at the inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix, to claim his first podium of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and his first of the Gen3 era, in what was so nearly a perfect day for Envision Racing.
Cassidy delivered one of the best drives of his Formula E career, with the New Zealander having pulled off some stunning moves at Turn Three on his way from ninth, to second. He made cracking progress early in the race despite having started on the fifth row, with the Envision driver having made the most of the incidents that occured in front of him.
Through excellent pace and mistakes by others, Cassidy found himself behind Jean-Éric Vergne in what was the fight for the win, with the New Zealander having boasted up to four-percent more energy than the Frenchman at one point. Despite his energy advantage, Cassidy failed to overtake Vergne for the lead, with the twenty-eight year-old having missed out on victory by just four-tenths of a second. Nevertheless second was an excellent result, in what initially looked like a double-podium for the team.
After starting third on the grid, Sébastian Buemi made an excellent start and briefly led some of the opening phase of the race, whilst the frontrunners all took their Attack Modes. The Swiss driver once again had strong pace but slipped to third late on behind his team-mate; however, Buemi looked safe to claim third. The former Formula E Champion did cross the line in third to the jubilation of the team, but late drama turned their smiles, into frowns.
Buemi was awarded a seventeen-second time penalty after the race, with him having been judged to have used too much power at a point in the E-Prix. He was understandably fuming, with the penalty having dropped him from third, to fifteenth. It also meant his run of finishing every race in the points ended, with him having also slipped to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, one place above his team-mate.
Despite Buemi’s misfortune, Envision maintained third in the Constructors’ Championship and closed the gap to Avalanche Andretti Formula E, who like Jaguar TCS Racing, had a weekend to forget.
Reflecting on the race, Cassidy shared how “super happy” he was with his result, but that he felt “sad” for Buemi and the two Jaguar drivers, who both retired from the race.
“I’m super happy with the first podium of the season. I really feel for Seb and also the Jaguar team today, all four of the Jaguar-powered cars were great and we all deserve to be up here at the front, so happy for myself, but sad that as a team we aren’t all able to celebrate after all the hard work the teams have put in this weekend.”