How Jaguar executed greatest Formula E strategy in history

Mitch Evans won in Monaco for the first time and Nick Cassidy played a big role to help his Jaguar teammate

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Strategy is crucial in any motorsport but executing it is very difficult. Formula E is arguably the toughest championship to pull off any plans made pre-race but Jaguar had the perfect 2024 Monaco E-Prix thanks to some brilliance from race-winner Mitch Evans and second-placed Nick Cassidy.

Cassidy started from third, with Evans in fourth on a circuit where track position is more important than other venues Formula E visit. However, Pascal Wehrlein started from pole position, with both DS Penske drivers of Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne up there too.

It was the team work of Jaguar though that outfoxed the rest of the field and the 1-2 must go down as one of the greatest strategic performances in motorsport and the best in 10 years of Formula E.

Evans jumps Cassidy at Turn 1

It looked like Cassidy was going to hold onto third place after the start but Evans managed to get around the outside of his teammate, who was slightly held up by Vandoorne in front.

There was no priority given to the driver ahead according to Jaguar even though Evans now had track position over Cassidy.

“We knew you couldn’t decide things that early because it was such a dynamic race,” explained team principal James Barclay to Total-Motorsport.com. “Probably the decisive moment was when Mitch developed a quick plan when Stoffel was not making it easy to get past.

“Mitch forced Stoffel to take his attack mode and Mitch got ahead. Then the two drivers working together, that’s what got the result. Hats off to the maturity and the way they both drove incredibly intelligent races, plus the team from the garage managing that incredibly well. That communication between driver and team was the best ever I’ve seen.”

That moment Barclay mentions is when Evans smartly let a small gap go to Vandoorne, enticing the Belgian to take his second attack mode.

You lose around two seconds when taking attack mode in Monaco but Evans only let a gap of about 1.5 seconds open up, so he was able to get alongside Vandoorne approaching Turn 5 at Mirabeau and Cassidy also slipped through.

“Where I feel like we lost the races [was] when I took the second attack mode,” said Vandoorne. “We nearly pulled it off to slot in between both Jaguars.

“I think if we would have managed that it would have been a different race and had a real chance of winning it. But, having both of them in front of us then, that’s where all the games started to play out and where the gaps got created that they could just take their attack mode for free, basically.”

Evans and Cassidy work together

With the Jaguars at the front, Cassidy intentionally let Evans build a lead so the latter could take his attack modes and keep first place.

It required great skill from Cassidy to keep Vandoorne and Vergne behind but he did so wonderfully, covering the inside at the right corners and not overdefending.

“JEV and Stoffel was attacking me like no tomorrow,” Cassidy told Total-Motorsport.com. “After Stoffel took his second attack mode, I lunged him into Turn 5 and that probably gave us a 1-2 or else I think Stoffel would have won today.”

At one point, Evans let Cassidy through and returned the favour so Cassidy could build a gap and take his attack modes without losing positions to the other cars.

Nick Cassidy leads Jean-Eric Vergne during 2024 Monaco E-Prix | Formula E
Nick Cassidy leads Jean-Eric Vergne during 2024 Monaco E-Prix | Formula E

After Cassidy‘s second attack mode, Evans got back into first place with around half race distance left, so the hard work of opening up gaps to help one another was done.

“We talked about it before the race. I think I was a bit lucky I came out of Turn 1 ahead of Nick at the start,” Evans told Total-Motorsport.com.

“As it played out, we came into a situation where we could help each other out. It was complete trust between Nick and me and we executed perfectly.

“It was just a really good team effort. I definitely owe one to Nick. It could have gone either way but luckily for me it paid off on my side.”

Jaguar overcome radio issues

Cassidy did ask on the radio if he could fight for the win or hold station for a 1-2. There was no direct team order but it was clear Cassidy didn’t exactly mount an attack on Evans for the win.

No doubt, their long friendship off the track definitely helped in a situation like Monaco, where good team work was required to get a 1-2.

It wasn’t always easy for the drivers to communicate though, as they had radio issues due to the poor signal at certain parts of the track in Monaco.

Mitch Evans celebrates his 2024 Monaco E-Prix win | Total-Motorsport.com
Mitch Evans celebrates his 2024 Monaco E-Prix win | Total-Motorsport.com

“It happened in certain corners and they were like ‘wait until Turn 4 to speak’ but I would always try at Turn 2 anyway!” said Cassidy.

“I was repeating messages, so it sounded like I was stressed but it was actually just stress about whether the team could hear us or not. Communication was difficult from a radio point of view.”

Barclay added: “It’s quite common here in Monaco. It always makes it stressful and you have to find the spots where there is signal but sometimes it moves around. There’s nothing like adding a bit more pressure!”

What happened to Wehrlein?

Pole-sitter Wehrlein had to settle for fifth place behind the Jaguars and DS Penskes in a largely frustrating race but he still leads the drivers’ championship by seven points from Cassidy.

Wehrlein hit out at race director Scot Elkins who told the Porsche driver to give a place back to Vergne after the safety car. Race control feel Wehrlein overtook Vergne before the first safety car but the German disagrees.

“The safety came at the wrong time but I had to let JEV through under the safety car even though I passed him when the track was green and the safety car came out two corners later,” Wehrlein told Total-Motorsport.com. “From my side, this is the fault of the race director.

“It’s not always the best thing to start on pole position. We didn’t maximise today and there were some wrong parts, like with the race director and being unfortunate as well fighting alone against both Jaguars and the DS cars.”

Momentum with Jaguar

Jaguar also made some software updates to the car in Monaco which Cassidy revealed took him time to get used to. Evans thinks the car definitely felt as well as it has all season, with Sao Paulo being another race where the Jaguar felt strong.

Evans is just 25 points behind Wehrlein in the standings at the halfway mark of the sseason whilst Jaguar are 44 points in front of Porsche in the teams’ championship.

“This is a momentum game and results like this give you a lot of energy,” added Barclay. “But we are not complacent. There is a long way to go and we need to keep on working hard.

“Days like this fill the tank with confidence and energy but you also have to keep grafting hard away from races. That’s what we will keep doing and approach every race like a new challenge and hopefully we can keep racking up the points.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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