Vergne leads home historic 1-2

by Scott Douglas

Jean-Eric Vergne led home the first ever 1-2 in Formula E to win the Santiago ePrix ahead of Andre Lotterer.

Vergne never lost the lead of the race having started on pole, but came under immense pressure from his team-mate in the closing laps, leading to an epic five-way battle.

The two Techeetah drivers even made contact in the closing laps, with Lotterer running into the back of Vergne and nearly running both of them into the wall.

The team were suffering from radio issues meaning they were unable to call the battle off, and in the meantime Sebastien Buemi, Sam Bird and Felix Rosenqvist all caught up with the pair.

Vergne was able to hold on though for his second victory in the series, which propelled him to the top of the driver’s championship.

For Lotterer it was a welcome result after a disastrous start to the season, and by pressuring his more experienced team-mate he showed that he is now fully up to speed in the series.

Buemi and Bird kept their noses in the title battle by finishing third and fifth, and Rosenqvist drove superbly to come through the field.

A terrible qualifying meant that the Mahindra Racing driver started down in fourteenth, but despite a slow start he made up several places in the pit stops to finish fourth.

He was helped in part by Nelson Piquet Jr out-breaking himself while trying to overtake Buemi for fourth, which caused him to take to the escape road and dropped him down to sixth.

The second Panasonic Jaguar Racing car of Mitch Evans finished in seventh, ahead of Jerome d’Ambrosio, Antonio Felix da Costa and Nico Prost finished off the points scoring positions.

The race got off to a dramatic start with the safety car being deployed after a first lap that saw Maro Engel, Jose Maria Lopez and Nick Heidfeld all crash out.

It was particularly disappointing for Jose Maria Lopez who had a brilliant start to climb up to fifth, only to be squeezed into the wall by Bird.

Both Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler cars joined them on the list of non-finishers as reliability issues once again hit Lucas di Grassi.

It was the latest in a string of problems for the reigning champion, and has effectively ruled out any slim hopes he had of retaining his title.

1Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah
2Andre LottererGERTecheetah
3Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams
4Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing
5Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing
6Nelson Piquet JrBRAPanasonic Jaguar Racing
7Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing
8Jerome d'AmbrosioBELDragon Racing
9Antonio Felix da CostaPORMS&AD Andretti
10Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams
11Tom BlomqvistGBRMS&AD Andretti
12Luca FilippiITANIO
13Edorado MortaraSUIVenturi
14Oliver TurveyGBRNIO
DNFAlex LynnGBRDS Virgin Racing
DNFNick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing
DNFLucas di GrassiBRAAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler
DNFDaniel AbtGERAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler
DNFMaro EngelGERVenturi
DNFJose Maria LopezARGDragon Racing

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