Photo: Formula E

Rome E-Prix: Dennis wins to regain title lead as challengers collide

Jake Dennis has won Round 14 in Rome!

The British driver has taken the chequered flag in the second race of the Italian double-header, to move back into the championship lead. He now holds a 24-point lead in the standings.

It was a well-behaved getaway from the line as pole-sitter Jake Dennis led into the first corner, ahead of title rival Nick Cassidy. Nissan driver Norman Nato was not hanging around as he made a move up into second place as all 22 drivers squeezed into the tight corners of Rome. The two Jaguars of Mitch Evans and Sam Bird sat in fourth and fifth place before the former made a brave move past Nato who dropped back down.

After the first lap, Dennis still held his lead with his engineers telling him to stick to ‘Plan B’. Moments after, there was a huge crash as Cassidy attempted a move on Dennis but was crashed into by Evans who went over the top of the Envision. Both drivers dropped down to the back of the pack. In what was a prime example of the concertina effect, multiple cars were questioning whether they had damage or not after the Safety Car was deployed. The two McLarens were also unfortunate to be a part of the incident, as they dropped down to 20th and 21st by the start of lap four.

On lap five, Mitch Evans retired from the race after his damage was too bad to continue, a big dent in his hopes for the Championship. Shortly after, Nato’s car was also damaged after he attempted a move for the race lead but smashed his front wing into the back of Dennis’ Andretti. By the eighth lap, the majority of the drivers had taken their attack mode to gain some extra power. Dennis took the outside line to claim it and maintained his lead, ahead of Bird and Nato. Antonio Félix da Costa attempted a move into the site of the big crash that happened earlier, but the Portuguese driver went straight on. Dan Ticktum was enjoying a solid race in fourth place on lap 10.

On lap 12, the yellow flags came out after Lucas di Grassi made contact with the barrier following a move up the inside from Pascal Wherlein, the former’s tyre covered in the white of the circuit’s outer rim. It was soon gone away, however, as the top three continued their fight. Second-placed Bird, who had been all over the back of race leader Dennis, finally used his attack mode but fell back into fourth and behind Sebastien Buemi. Dennis and Nato then took their final attack and remained ahead of Bird.

With eight laps left, Dennis was still leading with more of an advantage over second than second had over third, in a fight that would be crucial to the Championship standings. The Maserati’s were having a brilliant home race, as they sat in a healthy fifth and sixth place. With four laps remaining, the Championship lead was 24 points from first to second.

As the race reached its conclusion, race leader Dennis had checked out and led by over two seconds to Nato who was still in a mighty fight with Bird for second place. As they crossed the line for the final time, it was the Andretti that would reign supreme in Rome.

Formula E returns to London next for the season finale. Can home hero Dennis win the title in the English capital?

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