Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis is targeting a finish as the top-ranked Brit in Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship ahead of the all-electric racing series’ return to the capital for the 2022 SABIC London E-Prix.
The track at the ExCeL London – a world-first indoor-outdoor circuit – looks set to host a full-capacity crowd for the first time after the debut race at the venue last season was limited to 10 per cent capacity due to the pandemic.
Formula E is the only motorsport series able to race in the capital, due to its sustainability credentials, and will visit the track in the heart of East London’s docklands for Rounds 13 and 14 of the Net Zero Carbon Championship.
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Dennis, who had an incredible rookie year in 2021, finishing third overall, won in his home race in London last season and goes into the weekend as the top-ranked Brit of the six-strong contingent.
He sits one place above Formula E veteran Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) and the 27-year-old remains confident of finishing the season top of his countrymen.
“I feel like if I somehow beat him that is testament to what we've done,” he said ahead of the race.
“I think it just gets harder and harder, the level of the drivers and crews each year. We finished top Brit last year, [are currently] top Brit this year, and whether I can keep Sam behind me is another story – he’s probably got the fastest car on the grid.
“If I can finish top Brit then great. I just want to keep working closely with my guys and building the relationship because obviously it's going to be important the next year. I'm very much focused on just making sure I've got the correct people around me for next year because it's going to be a big one.”
Image credit: Eurosport
It has not always been smooth sailing for Dennis this term. He has failed to pick up where he left-off last year and currently sits in 12th in the Drivers’ Championship, with just one podium to his name.
Dennis points to the team having to adapt this year since they lost BMW as their manufacturer.
“It’s obviously been a bit up and down,” he continued. “We started the season incredibly well with a third and a fifth. And then I think it may have given us some false hope as it raised everyone’s expectations because we thought we'd only get better just because we were a strong new team.
“I think we're still missing a bit to the likes of Jag, Mercedes and others. But overall, I think 10th to 12th is about where we're at in terms of the Drivers’ Championship.
“I think, as a team, we've done the best that we possibly can. It's just obviously losing BMW, and like a year worth of development has hindered us slightly, but I think we can still be relatively pleased with what we’ve achieved, especially in the last four races.”
Image credit: Eurosport
Dennis’ mind switches to London this weekend, the location of his stunning victory last season that was part of a British double-win with Mahindra Racing’s Alex Lynn winning the second race of the double-header.
All eyes will be on the Nuneaton man this weekend to see if similar glory can be brought to the streets of East London.
“I love racing in London. Obviously racing at home, I now live in London, so it's obviously even more special to me. London itself is always a special place.
“We qualified on the front row, and then we went on to win the race, and I got my family there. The car was obviously great, but really it was the thrill, excitement, and happiness that comes to mind.
“To win in your home race and to win a race in Formula E is never easy, but when you watch the race back, it's just amazing memories really.
“What can fans expect? Super close racing. I think the difference of the indoor and outdoor track brings a whole new element. The cars handle so different for us when we're on the indoor surface to the outdoor surface. There's a lot of contact which made it exciting and it's just London, so the British fans are great.
“Hopefully the weather is good and we can try and put on a good show, but nevertheless, it's going to be a good race.”
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The 2022 London E-Prix will be broadcast live from 15:00 BST on Eurosport 2 on July 30 & 31. Buy tickets and follow all updates from the race at ExCeL London here
'Insane' - Dennis victorious in opening race of London E-Prix double-header
'One of the hardest races I’ve ever done' - Dennis after London ePrix win
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