Vergne first to win two races this season with victory in Monaco

by Scott Douglas

Jean-Eric Vergne became the first driver to win twice in the 2018-19 ABB Formula E championship after he took a commanding victory in Monaco.

The DS Techeetah driver led every lap from pole, and despite being under severe pressure from Oliver Rowland in the closing laps he held on to take victory.

In fact the entire top four were nose to tail as they crossed the line, with Felipe Massa getting his maiden podium in the series and Pascal Wehrlein getting fourth as the group drove away from the rest of the field.

It could have been better for Wehrlein who was running in second but locked up into turn one early on and he lost two places as a result – although he was able to get the extra point for fastest lap.

With the tight layout of the shortened Monaco track it meant overtaking was difficult but further back there was excitement late on.

Sam Bird made great strides after starting near the back, using late braking into turn one to get past several drivers as he made his way up to sixth.

But this was to be for nought after he was hit from behind on the last lap and lost his rear right tyre, meaning he wasn’t able to cross the finishing line.

It meant that Sebastien Buemi was able to cruise to fifth after holding up a huge pack of drivers for most of the race, and Antonio Felix da Costa regained sixth place for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

Mitch Evans finished in seventh ahead of Daniel Abt and Andre Lotterer who had both made limited progress in the race until the melee on the closing lap.

They were helped further after previous championship leader Robin Frijns was squeezed in to the wall by Alexander Sims into turn one, with Frijns breaking his front suspension and Sims suffering damage to his bodywork that leave him down in fifteenth.

It meant that Alex Lynn was also able to make up enough places on the final lap to get his first point for Panasonic Jaguar Racing, although he’ll be disappointed having run far higher earlier in the race only to fall down the order.

Stoffel Vandoorne just missed out on points in eleventh, although he too was passed too many times on the tight Monaco circuit.

And it was disappointment for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi, who was pinned into the wall by Sims again after the British driver didn’t see him and moved out wide on the entry to turn three.

The result means Vergne retakes the lead of the driver’s championship, just five points ahead of his team-mate Lotterer.

Frijns drops to third with da Costa just behind him on seventy-eight points, just nine off the lead.

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