Audi Sport Abt Formula E team has won the first ever Formula E race with Lucas Di Grassi behind the wheel of the car, but last lap drama made the win possible.
Running second for much of the race Di Grassi had slipped down to third after the car swapping in the pit lane took place but a last corner incident between the then leader and second place man, Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld, saw him elevated from a podium position to a place in the record books. More on the crash a bit further down.
The start of the race saw Prost hold position at the front of the field with the two Abt cars falling into position behind the e.DAMS car.
On the very first lap there was drama up and down the field with Charles Pic in the Andretti Autosport machine lucky not to make contact with the wall – which he missed by less than an inch – but sadly Bruno Senna was not as fortunate and saw his first race over at the third corner when contact with Sebastien Buemi saw his left front wheel strike out on its own.
After the safety car came back in at the start of the fifth lap, Andretti’s second driver Franck Montagny was looking to make something happen and made up a number of places as the pit stop cycle started to get underway.
His rather exuberant entry into the pit lane saw Montagny gain a number of places alongside Nick Heidfeld who came out second and third behind Prost after their five metre dash across the pit garage.
The last laps of the race saw Heidfeld cut a four second gap to just over half a second and onto the last lap itself the German Venturi driver made a go up the inside of Prost going into the last corner but was hit by the Frenchman who swerved into the path of the German who was then launched into a high velocity crash with the barriers after going over the sausage kerbs.
Thankfully he got out of the car and sprinted over to confront his Rebellion Racing team mate but both of their opportunities to go down in history as the first electric single seater winner.
That all meant that when the cars took the chequered flag, Di Grassi inherited the win after losing touch with the top two with Montagny taking a very happy second place. Third on the track had gone to Daniel Abt but he was penalised post race for taking a drive through penalty so Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird inherited the last place on the podium.
Further down Charles Pic finished fourth, Karun Chandhok was fifth and Jerome D’Ambrosio was sixth.
At the opposite end of the field, Jarno Trulli couldn’t even complete the length between his starting position and the start line as his car refused to pull away, capping a bad day for the Italian who experienced woes in qualifying as well.
The next race for Formula E is in Malaysia at the end of November so hopefully all the cars should be fighting fit for round two.