Rokit Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara finished top of the podium in Round 16 of the doubleheader in Seoul. But claiming 25 points could only put him in third place in the drivers’ standings. Jaguar’s Mitch Evans needed to win and hope Vandoorne finished no better than eighth in order to win the championship title.
The first race in Seoul on Saturday saw Evans take victory as multiple cars crashed in the first lap, causing lengthy delays in the proceedings. Norman Nato (Jaguar TCS), Sebastien Buemi (Nissan E.Dams) and Dan Ticktum (Nio 333 FE) slipped into the barriers at Turn 21. Mercedes’s Nyck de Vries also joined them, resulting in the safety car coming out to lead the way. Evans’s win was further cemented as Mahindra’s Alexander Sims hit the wall and froze the order of the race. Thankfully, all drivers were uninjured.
Although Evans kept his Drivers’ Championship hopes alive, the Kiwi could only finish seventh in the Formula-E finale on Sunday, having started at P13. Vandoorne only needed to finish ahead of Evans to claim the championship title having started the race with a 21-point lead.
“World Champions; wow,” said Vandoorne. “It's just the best feeling ever. Just look at the season we've had – the consistency and the car has been amazing and the team has done an incredible job – I think every single one of us deserves it. What we've accomplished is something special.”
Vandoorne's title triumph was also complemented by Mercedes' second successive teams' title, as it signs off from its three-season foray in Formula E on a high. The German team announced a year ago their plans to leave Formula E to concentrate on Formula 1.
Lucas di Grassi, who finished third in Round 15, surpassed 1,000 points gained through eight years of racing in the all-electric racing. The Brazilian is the longest-serving driver in the series’ history with 39 podiums from 100 races.
“It's been a very emotional day,” said Lucas di Grassi, moments after stepping out of his Rokit Venturi car in Seoul's Olympic Stadium. “It's a really, really big honor racing here. This is an amazing place, with amazing fans – thank you to everybody.”
Having been in Formula E since its inception, di Grassi has competed in all of the 100 races of Formula E.
“It's still such an honor and a privilege to compete with such a high-level field of drivers,” added di Grassi.