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Formula E Jakarta ePrix I

100th race for DS Automobiles in Indonesia

After a double points finish despite starting from the back in Monaco, DS Penke is looking to celebrate its 100th Formula E start on Sunday in style

DS 100 Races

As the championship enters its closing phase, the contenders for the drivers' title are beginning to become clear with the top five in the standings all representing different teams.

For Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing), Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche), Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti), Mitch Evans (Jaguar) and Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Penske) - and also for a few others- there is still everything to play for.

Last year, drivers could only prepare for the Jakarta International e-Prix Circuit on a simulator by the teams as it was 100% new. At the end of the only race of the weekend, it was the cars prepared by DS Performance that scored the most points, thanks to the second place of Vergne and the 4th position of his teammate at the time, Antonio Felix Da Costa.

"JEV" was even dominant throughout the day, taking his 15th career pole position and then leading for much of the race, but was overtaken by New Zealander Evans seven minutes before the chequered flag dropped, after being forced to use more energy than the others to defend his lead.

DS 100 Races

DS 100 Races

Photo by: DS Automobiles

Stoffel Vandoorne, Vergne's team-mate this year, also seemed to enjoy the place. The then-Mercedes driver, who was to become world champion a few weeks later, finished fifth.

But who will lead the way this year? In general, a car that performs well on a track on day one is still there the next day.

In short, a strong performance from DS Automobiles on Saturday could herald a memorable Sunday to mark the 100th race for the French manufacturer.  

Almost everything has to be redone

If the track does not evolve (2.37 km for 18 turns), the arrival of the third-generation single-seaters puts everything back to zero in terms of preparation.

Although the teams will still have all the relevant data gathered last year, the drivers are forced to adopt a different approach. 

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske

Photo by: DPPI

"For me, we're starting from scratch or almost from scratch," said Vergne.

"It's true that this year it's easier to visualise the track, that we know the type of surface and that we have all the data from last season. But the cars are so different. We have to review all the braking points because the cars are more powerful and regenerate harder.

"The other thing to assess is the grip with the new tyres (Formula E has switched from Michelin to Hankook for the Gen3 era), and we have seen since the beginning of the year that the best operating windows are not easy to find."

In terms of weather, heat and humidity are expected to dominate, just as they did last season, with the race taking place on the same dates.

If the 2023 edition of the Jakarta E-Prix has the particularity of being a doubleheader for the first time, Formula E also has other curiosities.

Since January and the first race in Mexico City, the poleman has not won the race, and has never even finished on the podium! The only driver to have taken two pole positions - and to finish 4th each time - is Sébastien Buemi (Envision Racing).

In nine races, there have been seven different drivers on pole, and the top three drivers in the championship have never started from the top of the grid. In light of all these statistics, who will be the big winner of this Indonesian weekend? The answer will come on Sunday evening.

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske

Photo by: DPPI

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