Published on April 25th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Di Grassi Triumphant In Spectacular Paris City Race
Lucas di Grassi has extended his lead in the FIA Formula E Championship with a flawless drive in the Visa Paris ePrix. The Abt Schaeffler driver sprung off the line to take the lead at the start. Aside from two laps during the car swap pitstop phase, he led the entire way.
The sell-out event crowd of 20,000, however, was denied the grandstand finish the race deserved when series debutant Ma Qing Hua crashed heavily in the closing stages.
The Chinese racer was unhurt, but the Team Aguri car was buried against the wall and the Qualcomm Safety Car was deployed. With only five laps left, the race finished under yellow flags, and di Grassi’s third win of the season was assured.
Sam Bird scored three points for securing Julius Baer pole position, but a slow start meant he was passed not just by di Grassi, but also by his DS Virgin Racing team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne. The two had a thrilling battle, trading paint in close-fought, but fair racing either side of the pit stop.
The contest ended when Bird made an error under pressure from Sebastien Buemi, who’d driven a charging race from eighth on the gird. The Brit outbraked himself and took to the escape road.
He was able to execute a spin-turn and rejoin but he was back in sixth. This left Vergne, who’d won the FanBoost vote, clear to equal his best Formula E result and clinch his first podium finish of the season.
Third for Buemi meant he’s conceded even more ground in the championship, and is now 11 points behind, but after the travails of qualifying, a podium finish was a decent result at a track where overtaking was proving difficult, even with the addition of the extra FanBoost power the Swiss driver’s fans had secured him.
2016 Visa Paris ePrix (Rd 7) – Race results
- Lucas di Grassi, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport, 52:40.324s (25)
- Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Virgin Racing, +0.853s (18)
- Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +1.616s (15)
- Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, +2.142s (12)
- Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +3.044s (10)
- Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +3.856s (11)
- Robin Frijns, Andretti Formula E, +5.141s (6)
- Antonio Felix da Costa, Team Aguri, +7.000 (4)
- Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +8.433s (2)
- Daniel Abt, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport, +9.479s (1)
- Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, +10.738s
- Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, +12.453s (2)
- Oliver Turvey, NEXTEV TCR, +13.721s
- Mike Conway, Venturi, +14.833s
- Simona de Silvestro, Andretti Formula E, +16.049s
- Nelson Piquet Jr, NEXTEV TCR, +6 laps
- Ma Qing Hua, Team Aguri, +7 laps
- Loic Duval, Dragon Racing, +41 laps