Formula E world champion Jake Dennis believes only himself, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans understood the new style of racing with the Gen3 car which gave them an advantage over the rest of the field.
The trio finished top three in the final Formula E standings and at least one of them were on the podium at every race.
Decision making was a key aspect in the 2023 season as the draggy Gen3 machine led to pack racing at some events, particularly in Berlin and Portland, where Evans and Cassidy were victorious, with Dennis not far behind.
“Me, Nick and Mitch understood the racing situation very well,” said Dennis when asked by Total-Motorsport.com about what made him stand out.
“I think it was very fluid compared to how it has been over the previous years of Gen2 where it’s all about numbers and strategy. Whereas this year, it was very much how the driver feels in certain situations.
“I felt like it was only us three, who understood that – when to take attack and when to use that position.”
No title expectations after Valencia testing
Pre-season testing in December 2022 saw Porsche struggle and it was widely expected Maserati had the powertrain to beat. However, Dennis won the season-opening Mexico City E-Prix and was second in the Diriyah double-header behind Pascal Wehrlein in both races.
Aside from Jean Eric Vergne‘s stunning win in Hyderabad and his second place in Cape Town, the Maserati-powered cars rarely featured at the front.
Meanwhile, Porsche and Andretti were consistently fighting for top positions and Jaguar came on strong as the season went on.
“I didn’t expect to win the race in Mexico and definitely not the title,” admitted Dennis. “We left the Valencia test thinking we were one of the slowest powertrains on the grid.
“We were missing around about one second per lap compared to the Maseratis at that stage. It was just a huge turnaround in terms of performance.
“I think Valencia didn’t play to our strengths as a powertrain. Nevertheless, to come back and have a Porsche 1-2 for the first three races was seriously impressive and something which I felt was deserved.
“The guys did such a good job in my team, but also the Porsche powertrain back in Stuttgart to realise our weaknesses and to turn it around.”
Rome was key moment in season
Dennis trailed Cassidy by one point with three races remaining and thought he had no chance of winning the second Rome E-Prix after Evans and Cassidy were out in front in the first event.
But, the New Zealanders collided when Evans misjudged his braking at the end of the back straight into a sharp left hander, so Dennis took 25 points while his rivals scored nothing.
The Andretti driver has revealed it was an important moment for his mindset going into the final double-header in London.
“I think from Mexico we definitely had a very efficient powertrain – something which was performing very well,” Dennis explained.
“Jaguar were catching and performing at an extremely high level but there wasn’t really any moment where I thought I couldn’t win it.
“The one moment where I thought, ‘this is mine now, this is mine to lose’ was probably race two in Rome on the Sunday when Mitch and Nick crashed.
“I think that was a crucial point in terms of the championship – a huge point swinging in my favour and something which is so rare at this level. For Mitch to make that mistake and to get those points were massive.”
When is the 2024 Formula E season?
The new Formula E season begins with pre-season testing from Valencia at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from October 23-27, with Mexico City hosting the 2024 opener on January 13.