until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Winners and losers from Monaco Formula E

by Sam Smith
10 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

If you weren't in a factory Jaguar, Monaco Formula E was generally a bruising experience.

Here's our pick of who fared best and worst.



Jaguar scored only its second ever 1-2 in seven and a bit years of Formula E and did it in style with a race conducted masterfully.

It was in control for the majority of the E-Prix with a mix of eye-catching pace and strategic hegemony.

“We pulled off a great orchestration but can you do that every weekend? Probably unlikely, it’s very difficult,” team principal James Barclay told The Race.

Jaguar extended its teams’ points lead from 16 to 44, inflicting a dizzying blow to rival Porsche - which collected 25 points fewer in Monaco.

Consistency is always vital in Formula E and after a slightly scatty Misano earlier this month, Jaguar will now be eyeing likely chaotic double-headers at Berlin and Shanghai as further crucial tests of the way it can keep maximising team masterclasses of big-point orchestration.

“To have the points lead we have at this position in the championship is a really phenomenal position to be in,” added Barclay.

“But a line I always use: we will not be complacent.

“Sometimes you work incredibly hard and others just pip you and weekends like this when they come off and you get the 1-2, they’re very special.”

DS Penske

After two disappointing events when it was a peripheral player only, DS Penske scooped its biggest points haul since the Hyderabad E-Prix almost 15 months ago as it took third and fourth.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne, resplendent in a delicious one-off mid-1980s style JPS Lotus-like livery, were quick all weekend and were the only drivers who looked capable of worrying Jaguar.

The first phase of the race was strong as Vandoorne took his first attack mode early and emerged from it in the lead and with the Jaguars behind him.

But the crucial juncture came on his second attack when it looked like he may at least split the Jaguars up.

“Where I feel like we lost the race was when I took the second one, we nearly pulled it off to slot in between both Jaguars,” said Vandoorne, whose third place was his first FE podium since his Mercedes farewell in Seoul in August 2022.

“I think if we would have managed that it would have been a different race, we might have had a real chance at winning. 

“Having both of them in front of us, that’s where the games started to play out and where the gaps got created and they could take their attack modes for free basically.”

The lingering and awkward question was whether DS Penske could have allowed Vergne past Vandoorne to have a nibble at the Jaguars in the final half of the race.

No calls from the team came after Vergne’s relatively late second attack brought him out behind his team-mate.

Vergne was unhappy with not being allowed to give it a go and you could see his point.

But nonetheless DS Penske secured a strong result after a period recently where it has felt like the team is amidst a big period of change and transition following the arrival of Phil Charles from rival Jaguar.


It may feel very generous to have Porsche as a ‘winner’ after a race it started from pole but finished with just a fifth and a seventh.

But in the context of what happened to both cars in the race, achieving those points and elevating the team from third to second in the teams’ standings was indeed a ‘win’ of a kind.

The Porsche 99X Electric has for whatever reason struggled slightly in cooler conditions.

So, with the ambient temperature on the more unseasonal frigid side in Monaco, Porsche was delighted with Pascal Wehrlein’s well-executed pole and Antonio Felix da Costa’s first duel appearance of the season so far.

Despite a cautious start da Costa looked as if he was building a strong race until he was innocently caught up in a melee at the chicane on lap four via Sergio Sette Camara’s recklessly ambitious attempted move that sent Sebastien Buemi into the Porsche’s path.

Da Costa was furious over the incident.

“It’s always the same people,” he told The Race.

“Sergio went three wide into the hairpin. Of course that’s never going to work, he almost rode over Seb and I had nowhere to go.

“He’s not able to apologise, not even able to understand that he’s in the wrong.”

Da Costa dropped back to 19th at one stage and all looked lost, yet he still came through with some smart overtakes and a generally strong reading of the race.

“We had good pace and I was able to come back, which was fun,” he added.

“I’ve been here before in this kind of chain of events and I’ve always been able to come out of them with a bang.”

Sixth behind Wehrlein looked probable but then Oliver Rowland was able to vault da Costa just after the track went green from Nico Mueller’s safety car triggering an accident at La Rascasse.

“With four laps to go people started to play games again, stopping on the track to create a gap to go for the fastest lap, and I got stuck behind Pascal,” said a slightly dejected da Costa.

“I’m not allowed to pass him, and Rowland was able to go through.”

Wehrlein led for the first two laps before taking his first early hit of attack mode.

It was a surprising choice that team boss Florian Modlinger explained as an energy-saving tactic.

“When you lead, you lose lap by lap energy to the others because the others save in the slipstream and you cannot delay the attack mode too long,” he said. “This means you tend to go early, which we did.”

It didn’t work out and when da Costa fell back, the possibility of what Modlinger called “strategic play against your competition” was lost.

Wehrlein also lost out to Vergne when he was asked to give the position back after wrongly being assumed to have overtaken him under yellow flags while Vergne took his first attack mode.

Behind two blocks of Jaguars and DS Penskes, Wehrlein was effectively stuck and then sucked into battles he didn’t need to be in with Maximilian Guenther’s Maserati and Rowland’s meteoric Nissan.

With all that going on Porsche took useful points and usurped customer team Andretti in the standings, meaning that while there was an element of disappointment bigger points didn’t arrive, it could have been a whole lot worse.

Taylor Barnard

If the spectating Anthony Joshua was a looming enforcing heavyweight champion presence in Monaco last Saturday then Taylor Barnard was the ultimate wildcard rookie underdog challenger.

Pitched into the E-Prix only from the start of second practice with 20 minutes’ notice, after Sam Bird’s hand injury, 19-year-old Formula 2 driver Barnard entered the world of fight or flight, sink or swim at a dizzying pace.

“There’s nothing that you can do, mentally, physically, to prepare for an opportunity like that,” Barnard told The Race after finishing a highly impressive 14th.

“I just get thrown in at the deep end and you’ve got certain things that you have to do and you have to fill out, and that was kind of my situation.

“I didn’t have much time to think about it which, in hindsight, I think was for the better.”

Using team-mate Jake Hughes’ spare seat and similar pedal positioning arrangement, which he found to be “quite comfortable”, Barnard had a clean and unflustered E-Prix to emerge unscathed (no mean feat at a genuine FE street race) and amid a battle with Dan Ticktum and a recovering post-collision Buemi.

“The plan was to stay out of trouble, obviously, but you can never predict what’s going to happen, especially in a race like that,” said Formula E’s youngest ever race starter.

“I could feel myself building on it and getting more confident and putting the car in the right places lap by lap.”


After qualifying was frankly a disaster of badly timed laps and as a consequence not treating his tyres correctly, Rowland surged through the field from 15th on the grid to a sixth-placed finish.

“I chose the right place, right time, managed to make places when it mattered, took the attack modes efficiently - it was the most we could get out of today, so really happy,” Rowland told The Race.

Rowland tried to work in conjunction with team-mate Sacha Fenestraz, who qualified one place ahead of him, but they “didn’t get too much of a chance, I tried to help him out a few times, keeping someone a bit on the outside and try and let him through but our races kind of to-d and fro-d away from each other so we weren’t able to help each other as much as some of the other teams did.”

When Vergne backed up a chasing Wehrlein at La Rascasse to go for the fastest lap of the race, Rowland was able to pounce on the Porsche driver’s team-mate da Costa and snatch sixth place.

“I just went round the outside but he was also a bit naughty with me too,” added Rowland.

“If he thinks Tokyo was bad, that was 10 times worse than what he did to me.”

Fenestraz took four points for eighth after several engaging battles meaning he claimed his third consecutive score as he rebuilt from a bruising first half of the season in which Rowland has asserted competitive authority at Nissan.



Points wise Monaco was Andretti’s worst weekend for over a year as it claimed just a single point for Norman Nato’s spirited recovery drive after early race contact.

Title contender Jake Dennis had a rare off weekend with, despite a reasonable start in the first free practice session, little signs of pace in qualifying.

Andretti has struggled at stages this season with brake related issues via some new software packages it has been running and again this seemed to be a factor in why it was not on the pace for the all-important qualifying period. A stuck wheelnut that delayed proceedings and meant Dennis couldn't get his tyre performance where it needed to be didn't help.

Like Nato, Dennis was in the wars and got damage inflicted to his wing and tyre necessitating a pitstop. Although assisted by the Mueller/Hughes triggered safety car, he was in no man’s land and toured home in 19th. Without that, he may have been in the Rowland/da Costa battle for sixth.

It dropped Dennis to third in the standings, giving he and the Andretti team added motivation as they look to regroup for powertrain supplier Porsche’s home turf at Berlin next month.


Envision’s worrying points drought continues apace with now three consecutive no scores and just four points from the first five races.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the worst run that the reigning champion team has faced in its decade long history.

Its Monaco E-Prix initially looked to be packed with potential as Buemi made it through to the duels and lined up sixth after showing decent form in qualifying despite the fact he didn’t do a 350kW lap prior to that session starting.

But his race was ruined by Sette Camara’s ill-advised pavement straddling attempt at a move at the hairpin, meaning that he could only try to fightback in the hope of a highly attritional race.

That didn’t really play out and Buemi was left in an angry 15th place at the chequered flag. 

Team-mate Robin Frijns had another disastrous day. Practice and qualifying was reasonable with pace clearly evident but he missed out on the duels to da Costa by a scant 0.002s.

Starting ninth he slipped behind Jehan Daruvala at the start but soon started to make progress and ran seventh briefly before contact with Dennis brought him into the pits for a front wing change. He eventually finished in 17th place.

That meant Frijns had taken two points from five races, a similar record to Buemi. Through a mostly long list of contacts in races and getting spat out of the midfield maelstrom the first half of Envision’s title defence season has been nothing short of disastrous.

Edoardo Mortara

Mortara is always quick in Monaco and after free practice one, where he was seventh just ahead of team-mate Nyck de Vries, the cause for cautious optimism in the Mahindra camp ahead of the day.

Qualifying pace was also decent but not enough for the duels this time. He was then battling with Ticktum's ascending ERT into the Piscine/Chiron left/right on lap four when he went headlong into the barriers.

“With a technical issue the car remained accelerated, there was no way to avoid the incident,” Mortara told The Race.

Sam Bird

(Crash image courtesy of Emma Ridgeway)

Bird suffered a hand injury in his free practice one accident at Sainte Devote, necessitating a trip to the local hospital for scans.

A fracture on the same hand he broke at the London E-Prix in July 2022 was diagnosed and probable surgery will take place shortly back in his homeland this week.

It’s added doubt over when Bird may be fit enough to drive for McLaren again and also raises more questions about the long list of hand and wrist injuries in Formula E that have been caused by steering wheel kickback upon impacts with drivers smashing their hands on the side of the survival cells.

After his heroic win in Sao Paulo six weeks ago, Bird and McLaren have generally had a miserable time. A possible lengthy layoff and an unplanned reset was exactly what neither needed or wanted right now.

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