Buemi takes victory around the streets of Paris

  • 20 May 2017 17:08
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Buemi has won his 11th Formula E race after leading from pole to the finish line. The Swiss driver was untroubled as he bolted away when lights went out and kept local favourite Jean-Eric Vergne behind.

While the gap at the front built up, Felix Rosenqvist overtook Esteban Gutierrez for fourth position. Gutierrez started the race in P5, his best ever starting position in the all-electric series. Daniel Abt also got by Mike Conway who returned after missing out on last weekend's Monaco ePrix.

Lucas di Grassi was then seen engaged in battle with debutant Tom Dillmann, with the Frenchman holding back the title protagonist. The battling held up di Grassi who was then caught by Antonio Felix Da Costa.

The two were locked in battle for a number of laps before they came together, eliminating Da Costa from the race. Di Grassi was able to continue but his race was effectively ruined. A full course yellow emerged which prompted several drivers, including Buemi and Vergne at the front to pit.

Di Grassi's day got worse when his pit stop was 10 seconds under the minimum time, which resulted in him getting a drive through penalty. Adam Carroll was also found to have breached the rules while pitting and received the same punishment as di Grassi.

Robin Frijns then got by a struggling Gutierrez and moved his Andretti up into sixth position. All seem neutral at the front of the field until the camera switched to show the Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne in the wall.

The Frenchman appeared to suffer some sort of suspension failure on his car, which consequently ended his race on lap 34. The safety car was deployed and the field formed up, with Jose Maria Lopez inheriting Vergne's second place.

The safety car peeled away and racing resumed, while Lucas di Grassi went into the pits for modifications to his car. He was going for the fastest lap of the race wich would earn him a couple of more points in the championship in an attempt to save his day. 

However, while running on track, the Brazilian had a huge lock up which sent him into the wall with 3 laps to go. The safety car was once again deployed while marshals attempted to recover the car. Gutierrez and Frijns both received 5 second time penalties for speeding under the first safety car.

The race was declared to be finishing under the safety car, meaning Sebastian Buemi took the chequered flag. Lopez was second while Mahindra will be delighted with their day as Nick Heidfeld claimed the final spot on the podium with his teammate Felix Rosenqvist in fourth. 

Tom Dillmann will be ecstatic with his result as he earned points on his Formula E debut, filling in for Maro Engel who this weekend competes in DTM. 

 

Fergal Walsh

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