Jake Dennis opens up ahead of Formula E title defence: There’s a target on my back

Only Jean-Eric Vergne has defended his Formula E title in the series' 10-year history. Can Jake Dennis be the second driver to do it?

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Jake Dennis feels he has a target on his back as he prepares for the defence of his Formula E title and emulate Jean-Eric Vergne as the only double champion since the series began in 2014.

Dennis, who drove in a Formula 1 weekend for the first time at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Red Bull in FP1, became Britain’s first Formula E champion in the summer, wrapping up the title with a race to spare in London.

He won the season-opening Mexico City E-Prix in 2023 and will be looking to repeat that perfect start this Saturday when Season 10 begins.

“There’s definitely a target on my back, no doubt about that,” Dennis told Total-Motorsport.com. “We are running the number one as world champions and everyone wants to beat us.

“In terms of pressure, from my side, it’s very much the same. We just need to focus on doing the same job as what we’ve always done and perform as well as last year.

“For me, it’s more just a relief because now I’m champion I’m very much more relaxed and not having to sort of prove myself I guess.

“I still want to win. I want to win all the races and try and become champion and beat everyone else wearing a helmet. So even though we have done it once, we want to do it again.”

Formula E field to close up?

Envision won the 2023 Formula E teams’ championship from Jaguar, Andretti and Porsche, with a big points gap to DS Penske in fifth.

The top four teams all had Jaguar and Porsche powertrains, with only two wins in the season not coming from outside of those manufacturers.

Dennis thinks the other teams will close up but expects to still be fighting at, or near, the front along with new Jaguar pair Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy, both of whom ran him close to the title in 2023.

Jaguar and Porsche will still probably have the best powertrain but I just think the gaps will close up,” explained Dennis, who signed a multi-year contract with Andretti to stay with the team beyond 2025.

“You will probably have races where DS and Maserati are probably performing a little bit better because they clearly have a good powertrain.

Max Guenther basically dominated the whole of Jakarta and they can clearly get that thing in a good window, then they should be performing quite well.

Nissan and McLaren should also close the gap, so I think it’ll be a little bit more close racing but I’ll probably still say Jaguar and Porsche having the edge, especially on race pace.”

Nick Cassidy celebrates victory in Monaco with Jake Dennis and Mitch Evans | Formula E

Difficult to score high number of points and podiums

Despite a close title fight for most of the season, Dennis scored a record-breaking 229 points and an unprecedented 11 podiums from 16 rounds.

During his championship-winning campaign, Dennis had four consecutive races where he failed to score points and thinks that won’t be possible if he wants to defend his crown.

“There were a few reliability issues for other teams and that obviously cost points,” explained Dennis. “Nick and Mitch started off really poorly last year, which won’t happen this year.

“So I don’t think you can afford to have four or five races and not score any points. Our total points last season was very strong and I think that will be probably enough to win it again.

“I think scoring that many podiums will be more difficult because you’ve got McLaren, Nissan, the DS powertrain, which will be more consistently on the podiums. Whereas last year, it was very much just Porsche or Jaguar on the podium and it was one of the two.

“This year definitely won’t be like that. You’ll have a lot more mix, so I think scoring 11 podiums will be extremely challenging.”

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