Formula E Sao Paulo E-Prix 2024 race highlights: Bird wins after last lap overtake

Join us for live coverage of the Round 4 of the 2024 Formula E season as the Sao Paulo E-Prix takes place in Brazil


Sam Bird took a stunning victory at the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix with a last lap overtake on Mitch Evans to give McLaren their first win in Formula E.

Bird, who last won in New York in 2021, led the majority of the race, which saw the field bunched due to the reliance on energy saving, but Evans hit the front with seven laps to go and looked on course for victory.

But, Bird had other ideas and capitalised on overheating issues for Evans by going around the outside going into the penultimate corner of the race to take the lead.

Also on the last lap, Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein made contact at the final corner which allowed Oliver Rowland to sneak underneath and snatch third place.

Championship leader Nick Cassidy crashed out in the middle of the race when his front wing got stuck underneath his Jaguar but he still leads the title race by four points from Wehrlein.

Here’s how we brought you all the live action, updates, and behind-the-scenes insights from the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix.

Next stop: Japan

That’s all from us in Sao Paulo. Formula E will return in two weeks time on March 30, where the drivers will take to the all-new Tokyo street circuit. Plenty of unknowns await us at this exciting new destination… who will take victory in Round 5 of the 2024 Formula E season?

The championship as it stands

With Round 4 complete, the top ten in the Drivers’ Championship is as follows:

  • Nick Cassidy – 57
  • Pascal Weherlein – 53
  • Mitch Evans- 39
  • Jean Eric Vergne – 39
  • Jake Dennis – 38
  • Sam Bird – 37
  • Oliver Rowland – 33
  • Maximillian Gunther – 22
  • Sebastien Buemi – 20
  • Robin Frijns – 19

McLaren’s first victory

Meanwhile, it’s an extra-sweet victory for McLaren. It’s a return to grace for Bird, but also the Bicester-based team’s first Formula E win since it replaced Mercedes in 2023.

Rowland rounds out the podium

Oliver Rowland takes third place in the Sao Paulo E-Prix. It’s a satisfying sight to see the Nissan driver on the podium, particularly after the difficulties he encountered in 2023, which saw him depart Mahindra mid-way through the season.

Sette Camara under investigation

The ERT driver is under investigation from the stewards for an overuse of energy. He placed P16 overall, one position ahead of teammate Dan Ticktum.

Disappointment for Evans

It’s all love between the two old teammates, but Mitch Evans is clearly disappointed to have lost out on victory at the last minute.

“I feel like we did all the right steps, and these races are really hard to manage,” said Evans, who was quick to congratulate Bird on the race win.

Bird: Still life in the old dog yet!

“There’s still life in the old dog yet!” remarks Bird on the team radio.

What a victory for Sam Bird. He’s now the second oldest race winner in Formula E. It’s a thrilling return to the top step for the British driver.

“That was great,” Bird said after the race. “It means so much for everyone in McLaren. Everyone can now see the progress that’s been happening.

“I hope this opens the floodgates a little bit. It was a great race between me and Mitch [Evans], my old teammate.”

Sao Paulo E-Prix Top 10 classification

  • 1. Sam Bird
  • 2. Mitch Evans
  • 3. Oliver Rowland
  • 4. Pascal Wherlein
  • 5. Jake Dennis
  • 6. Antonio Felix da Costa
  • 7. Jean Eric Vergne
  • 8. Stoffel Vandoorne
  • 9. Maximilian Gunther
  • 10. Sebastien Buemi

Big victory for Bird

It’s victory for Sam Bird in dramatic final scenes. He takes the win from the grasps of Evans in the final moments, pulling off an audacious overtake that looked, for a moment, like it wouldn’t stick. But it does, and it’s a race win for Bird — his first since the 2021 New York E-Prix.

Bird wins the Sao Paulo E-Prix!

WOW! What have we just seen? It’s a great defensive display from Evans, but Bird goes round the outside at the second to last corner, jumping Evans for the lead in the final moments.

And Oliver Rowland emerges in third place too as he goes three abreast across the line with Dennis and Wehrlein.

Final lap: Bird still attacking Evans

Evans has the lead still, but Bird isn’t giving up the fight. He continues to chase Evans down for the win, but there’s no luck for the McLaren driver.

Lap 33: Evans still leads

There’s just two laps to go. Despite Bird’s best efforts, he can’t quite seem to get the jump on his ex-teammate. Meanwhile, Wehrlein is trying to close in on Dennis, as the two fight for that final podium position.

Lap 32: Evans holding off field

The competition is still strong as Evans continues to defend. There’s very little in it, and the race could still go the way of any of the frontrunners.

Dennis has a slight power advantage, but Bird is right on the rear of Evans.

Lap 30: Dennis overtakes Wehrlein for third

There’s just four laps to go, and it’ll be flat out to the end. Gunther shuffles up into P8, whilst Rowland finally gets past Vergne to take P6.

Dennis has now got past Wehrlein up into P3. Meanwhile, Evans is defending heavily, trying to keep the race lead out of the clutches of Sam Bird.

Lap 29: Three more laps added

Three more laps have been added, to make up for the time lost under the earlier Safety Car. That takes us to 34 laps total.

Lap 28: Evans takes first place!

Evans keeps trying, and finally manages to pip Bird to first. Bird is under pressure now, as Pascal Wehrlein starts to close in on him.

Lap 27: Evans attacking Bird for lead

Evans is getting racey, chasing down Bird for the race lead. He storms down the straight, but can’t quite close in on the McLaren driver.

Lap 26: Muller stops at Turn 2

Nico Muller is off! The ABT Cupra driver is stationary at Turn 2. Could we get another Safety Car?

Lap 25: Rowland closing in on Vergne for sixth

Oliver Rowland, down in P7, seems to be closing in on Jean Eric Vergne for P6. Meanwhile Vergne’s teammate, Vandoorne, finds himself in P9 — disappointing, after he started the race from P2.

Lap 24: Wehrlein can’t find a way past Evans

Wehrlein’s race engineer is urging him to make the overtake on Evans for P2, but he can’t quite make it happen.

Lap 23: Even energy left at the front

The top five are fairly evenly matched on energy, with around 41 percent remaining.

Lap 22: Gunther starring in ninth

There’s still much to be said about the brilliant performance Max Gunther has put in today. The Maserati driver is now up in ninth, firmly in the points, a remarkable recovery from that grid penalty.

Lap 21: Dennis on the move

With only 10 laps to go – not including any additional laps that might be added – it’s going to be a tough fight to the end for the front runners.

Jake Dennis is all over Da Costa. He manages to muscle past the Porsche driver, taking P4 from out under him. Dennis now sets his sights on Wehrlein.

Lap 20: Green flag!

Green flags waves, and the action in Sao Paulo gets back underway!

Sam Bird continues to lead, with Mitch Evans behind him in second and Pascal Wehrlein in third.

Lap 19: De Vries only driver yet to take Attack Mode

Nyck de Vries, down in P14, is the only driver yet to take any of the mandatory Attack Mode. At this point, most drivers – particularly those at the front of the grid – have taken both of their Attack Mode allotments.

Lap 18: Top 10 as it stands

  • 1. Sam Bird
  • 2. Mitch Evans
  • 3. Pascal Wehrlein
  • 4. Jake Dennis
  • 5. Antonio Felix da Costa
  • 6. Jean-Eric Vergne
  • 7. Oliver Rowland
  • 8. Stoffel Vandoorne
  • 9. Maximilian Gunther
  • 10. Sebastien Buemi

Lap 17: Safety Car still on track

It’s a front wing failure for Cassidy. Replays show that the front wing lodged itself under the front tyre of Cassidy’s Jaguar, resulting in the Kiwi losing control of the car.

The marshals are just moving his stricken Jaguar into safety before we get back racing.

Lap 16: Cassidy out of the race!

Nick Cassidy has ruled himself out of contention, having put it in the wall. The yellow flags have waved, and out comes the Safety Car.

It looks like Cassidy suffered a technical issue, the Jaguar losing it on Turn 9. Thankfully, the Jaguar driver is out of the car and okay.

Lap 15: Action everywhere

There’s plenty of action towards the back of the grid too. Max Gunther, who started P22 after taking a grid penalty, is now up into tenth. Meanwhile his teammate, Jehan Daruvala, isn’t fairing quite so well, finding himself P21

Lap 14: Dennis somehow moves to the front

Da Costa and Evans both take their last Attack Mode, shuffling them further down the pack. It’s now defending world champion Jake Dennis in the lead, the Andretti driver having worked his way up from P10 on the grid.

We’ve not seen much from Dennis so far — it’s been a silent but stealthy performance from the Brit.

Lap 13: Evans into first place

Evans is now up into the lead, ahead of Sam Bird. He’s got a half a second lead on the McLaren driver.

Da Costa is right on the rear of Bird, and manages to make the overtake. The Porsche driver is now second.

Mitch Evans in action during the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix | Formula E

Lap 10: Bird leads again

Evans now opts for Attack Mode, promoting Bird back to race leader after 10 laps.

Da Costa moves alongside Evans, eyeing up that second place spot. He gets by for a moment, but Evans is on the defensive and is quick to reclaim P2. You can’t take your eyes off this!

Lap 8: Da Costa leads then takes attack mode

The action is back underway and Antonio Felix da Costa is leading. Both he and fellow Porsche driver Wehrlein opt to take Attack Mode, whilst Mitch Evans uses this to his advantage, climbing up to second.

Evans is close on the rear of his old teammate Sam Bird, and manages to get past him for the lead of the race.

Lap 7: Safety Car deployed

There’s debris on the track and the safety car has been called out as Antonio Felix da Costa is now in the lead after Sam Bird takes his second attack mode.

Numerous bits from different cars are on the track, including a pretty sizeable piece from Norman Nato’s Andretti, which the driver lost after making contact with the ABT of Nico Muller.

Lap 6: Cassidy on a charge

Nick Cassidy is on the charge, making a move on Stoffel Vandoorne for P6. The DS Penske driver manages to reclaim the position, even as Cassidy attempts another move up the outside.

Nick Cassidy in action during the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix | Formula E

Lap 4: Muller goes backwards

It’s been a rough start to the race for ABT’s Nico Muller, who has lost four places overall. He has Attack Mode, but hasn’t been able to get anything out of the increased power output. He’s still stuck firmly behind Nissan’s Oliver Rowland.

Lap 3: Da Costa takes the lead

Things are going from good to great for Da Costa, who now finds himself up in third then into first place.

The first Attack Mode allotments have now been taken. Frontrunners Wehrlein and Vandoorne have both opted for the first of their Attack Mode allotments, which sees the Porsche driver drop from the lead of the race. His teammate, Da Costa, is now leading.

Lap 1: Lights out in Sao Paulo!

It’s a strong start from pole-sitter Pascal Wehrlein, as Mitch Evans attacks right off the line, jumping Jean Eric Vergne to take third.

Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa get away well too, moving up to P6 from eighth on the grid.

The countdown begins…

There’s just three minutes to go, and the drivers are all lined up on the grid. The anticipation is building…

With power-saving the name of the game, it’s going to be a race that no one wants to lead, with a peloton-style race reminiscent of the 2023 Portland E-Prix looking likely.

We saw several peloton style races in 2023 and today should bring a similar type of racing | Formula E

Gunther starts from the back

The Maserati driver put in an impressive performance in qualifying earlier, with third behind Wehrlein and Vandoorne.

Despite this, Gunther finds himself starting from the very back of the grid after being handed two separate 20-place grid penalties for taking a new gearbox and inverter.

All eyes on DS Penske

DS Penske have put on an impressive display so far this weekend, with 2022 world champion Stoffel Vandoorne starting on the front row alongside pole-sitter Pascal Wehrlein.

Two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne won’t start far behind teammate Vandoorne, either. The Frenchman lines up third on the grid, having just lost out on the front row after being bested by Vandoorne in the qualifying duels.

The team will be under the watchful eye of its new Deputy Team Principal Phil Charles, who has recently joined DS Penske after six years with Jaguar.

Welcome to Sao Paulo!

After a lengthy break thanks to the cancelled Hyderabad E-Prix, Formula E is finally back. As the build-up for Round 4 of the 2024 season begins, we’re in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

There’s just 45 minutes to go before lights out and the excitement is building. It’s been hot all weekend, providing the drivers with an extra challenge to tackle in a race that will see the grid do their best to conserve energy.

Wehrlein on pole position

The second smallest gap between the top two separated Pascal Wehrlein and Stoffel Vandoorne with the Porsche driver taking first place on the grid by just 0.002s. 

Maximilian Gunther lines up third in the Maserati, with DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne in fourth place. The third row on the grid sees Mitch Evans of Jaguar alongside Sam Bird’s McLaren. Edoardo Mortara and Nico Muller line up seventh and eighth, with Antonio Felix Da Costa and Nick Cassidy rounding out the top 10. 

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche leads Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, and Mitch Evans, Jaguar at 2023 Sao Paulo E-Prix | Formula E
Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche leads Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, and Mitch Evans, Jaguar at 2023 Sao Paulo E-Prix | Formula E

What time does Sao Paulo E-Prix start

As anticipation builds for the electrifying Sao Paulo E-Prix, fans in the UK, can catch the high-speed action from 5pm on Saturday, March 16.

Over in the USA, viewers on the East Coast can tune in at 1pm Eastern Time (ET), while those on the West Coast should set their clocks for 10am Pacific Time (PT), ensuring no one misses the electric excitement on the streets of Sao Paulo.

Canadian racing aficionados can also catch the action at 1pm ET/10am PT. Meanwhile, Australian fans will need to rise early or stay up late to join in, with the race starting at 4am AEDT on Sunday morning.

CountryStart Time
USA (ET/PT)1pm / 10am
Canada (ET/PT)1pm / 10am
Australia (AEDT)4am*
*Following day

Where to Watch the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix

For fans eager to catch the electrifying action of the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix across the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia, there are multiple platforms ensuring you won’t miss a beat.

In the UK, TNT Sports 1 will broadcast the qualifying and race, with comprehensive coverage available digitally via discovery+.

American audiences can look forward to live race sessions on Roku, with CBS Network offering delayed coverage on Sunday for a recap of the highlights.

Canadian viewers are well catered to with TVA Sports and TSN 2 providing French and English coverage, respectively, of all the race action.

Over in Australia, Stan Sports is the go-to platform for live coverage of all sessions, ensuring fans down under can experience every thrilling moment as it happens.

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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