Di Grassi wins maiden Formula E title


Credit: Formula E

Lucas di Grassi won his maiden Formula E title after finishing seventh in the second round of the Montreal ePrix.

With Buemi starting the second race well down the grid it was clear he would need exceptional circumstances to take the title from di Grassi, and damage to his left rear in the first corner eliminated any slim hopes he had.

With loose bodywork the Swiss driver was ordered into the pits by stewards, even though the offending piece of carbon fibre had worked itself off.

The time he lost put him at the back of the grid, and although he fought his way back through the field, it wasn’t enough for the driver’s title, although Renault e.dams did secure a third constructor’s championship.

It was elation for di Grassi though who drove a cautious race knowing that he was comfortably ahead of Buemi.

An emotional di Grassi said afterwards, “It feels so good. I’m losing my voice already as we’re starting to party.

“I’ve made so many sacrifices, I did two races in Berlin with a broken leg, then I had to do last minute surgery to be fit for New York. We did a fantastic job this weekend, I’m so happy.

“It’s a dream come true, I’m so happy for the team, our partners, and myself. We really deserve it. I had to the job. It’s never done until the chequered flag.”

At the front of the field Jean-Eric Vergne finally took his first Formula E race win having come close in several other races over the season.

The Frenchman stayed out a lap longer and used his extra energy to hunt down Felix Rosenqvist, passing the Swede with just a few laps to go.

Vergne said afterwards, “Finally. It was close many times this year, even last year with Andretti. I’m so happy to get my first win, with my new team. It puts us in a great position for next year.”

Until then Rosenqvist had led every lap of the race, but ended up having to defend his second place from a resurgent Jose Maria Lopez.

Sam Bird finished fourth after seeming to struggle with battery temperatures, with similar problems effecting Nick Heidfeld behind him at the end of his first stint.

Having acting as a rear gunner for his Abt Schaeffler Audi team-mate, Daniel Abt grabbed sixth after being let through by di Grassi on the last lap.

Despite being pushed into a spin at the first corner, Stephane Sarrazin underlined the pace of the Venturi to recover brilliantly to eighth.

He was followed by Jerome d’Ambrosio and Tom Dillman who rounded out the points scoring positions.

Meanwhile Loic Duval had a taste of his own medicine following his penalty for causing a collision with Heidfeld yesterday.

The FF Dragon Racing driver hit the barriers after Robin Frijns made contact trying to pull off an ambitious move with just a few laps to go.

Round 12 – Montreal ePrix

POSDRIVERNATTEAM
1Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah
2Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing
3Jose Maria LopezARGDS Virgin Racing
4Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing
5Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing
6Daniel AbtGERAbt Schaeffler Audi
7Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Schaeffler Audi
8Stephane SarrazinFRATecheetah
9Jerome d'AmbrosioBELFF Dragon Racing
10Tom DillmanFRAVenturi
11Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams
12Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing
13Robin FrijnsNEDMS Amlin Andretti
14Adam CarrollGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing
15Antonio Felix da CostaPORMS Amlin Andretti
16Nelson Piquet JrBRANextEV NIO
17Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV NIO
18Maro EngelGERVenturi
19Loic DuvalFRAFF Dragon Racing
DNFNico ProstFRARenault e.dams