Vergne cruises while chaos occurs at end of Paris E-Prix

April 28, 2018

Vergne cruises while chaos occurs at end of Paris E-Prix

April 28, 2018

Jean-Eric Vergne captured a decisive victory in Saturday’s Paris E-Prix, Round 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.

It’s the third win of the year for the Frenchman, doing so in his home E-Prix and with a French powertrain as well. Renault powers his Techeetah car.

From pole position, Vergne only lost the lead during the pit stop cycle of the 49-lap race. He was consistently pressured, first by DS Virgin’s Sam Bird and later by Techeetah teammate Andre Lotterer, but the gap grew at the finish after an utterly chaotic final lap.

Lotterer withstood pressure from Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi, who was trying to get around the German for his third consecutive second place finish.

However, as di Grassi closed the gap down to Lotterer, he pushed Lotterer to the edge of his available energy left. When he needed to slow to make the finish of the race, things went crazy.

Vergne made it home all clear but behind him, di Grassi dove past Lotterer’s inside exiting Turn 10, before the final sequence of corners for second.

Bird, then, had too much momentum coming through the fast right-hand kink at Turn 12. Lotterer exited onto the racing line, but in doing so blocked Bird’s progress, and Bird crashed into the left rear of Lotterer’s car.

This left Bird’s right front wheel completely mangled. But with only two turns left, he limped across the line on only three wheels in third place.

This wasn’t the first coming together between Lotterer and Bird in the race. On Lap 35, Lotterer made a dive down Bird’s inside and locked up both his front tires, and nearly missed the corner. Bird hit Lotterer’s left rear wheel guard. Di Grassi then got past Bird for third a lap later.

With Lotterer even more wounded than Bird was, he dropped to sixth place behind Venturi’s Maro Engel and Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi, who completed the top five.

Daniel Abt in the second Audi was seventh, having made a number of impressive passing moves from 14th on the grid. Felix Rosenqvist, Oliver Turvey and Jose Maria Lopez completed the top 10.

Formula E has two weeks off until Round 9 of the championship, in Berlin on May 19.

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