Lucas Di Grassi took an easy victory in the inaugural Paris E-Prix.
The Brazilian driver took the lead from Sam Bird at the start of the race and the Abt Audi Driver never looked back. The win further extends his championship lead over Sebastien Buemi with the Swiss driver coming third in the race.
GRID LINE UP
2. Di Grassi
10. Da Costa
Sam Bird got away poorly from pole suffering from wheelspin. Di Grassi overtook before turn one on the straight and Bird’s Virgin teammate Jean-Eric Vergne managed to muscle past at turn one with an intuitive move and the pair banged wheels in the following corners. Immediately Di Grassi began to pull away from the rest of the field. Loic Duval suffered from a mechanical fault early on. The Dragon Racing car gave up before the Frenchman had the opportunity to use his fanboost.
This brought out a Full Course Yellow and just after Duval pulled up Robert Frijns managed to get past Da Costa with a well timed lunge at turn 7 and Ma proved that he could race despite doubts over his skill with a great move
on Simona De Silvestro at the same corner.
Buemi put huge pressure on Oliver Turvey before easing past the Englishman in the underperforming NEXTEV car. This begun Turvey’s dissent down the order. Frijns followed Buemi past soon after. But Turvey was more cunning in his defense with Da Costa and the Portuguese driver had to go through a lot of near-misses and a whole lot of effort to pass Turvey.
Buemi charged past Sarrazin for fifth place and started to catch his e.dams teammate Prost. Nelson Piquet’s car suffered a mechanical fault but he was able to reach his second car and restart his race. Sam Bird began to become frustrated behind the stagnant pace of Vergne and was losing out to Di Grassi. Suddenly the two e.dams cars latched onto the back of the two Virgin racers and we had a great battle for the last few laps before the pitstops. Bird was pleading with his team to let him through but then decided enough was enough and took matters into his own hand. He dived up the inside of his teammate and the two cars touched but the positions still stayed the same.
The four cars pitted and came out in the same order as they came in. However the Virgin cars had managed to pull out a gap from the e.dams vehicles. Senna and Abt lasted longer on energy than the rest of the field in a plan to push in the closing laps. Bird also started saving energy for a late assault on Vergne after his engineer informed him of the plan. Buemi after falling as far as three seconds behind Bird became a man on a mission as he latched onto the back of the Englishman, thus beginning a big battle between Bird and Buemi. An overtake attempt with fanboost assist among over opportunist maneuvers failed until Bird succumbed to the pressure. He locked up and went straight off the track at turn 1. He resumed in 6th place. A great battle was about to begin with 5 laps to go between Vergne and Buemi but immediately after the mistake by Bird the safety car was deployed. Why? Ma crashed into the wall at turn 14. The Chinese driver slid, tried to correct the mistake but only made it worse as he slithered into the wall. The race ended under the safety car and Di Grassi seized his victory.
1. Di Grassi
8. Da Costa
15. De Silvestro