Buemi holds off Di Grassi for win in Monaco

Sebastien Buemi held off Lucas Di Grassi in the final laps to take his fourth win of the season. The Swiss driver pulled away from pole to build up a gap, only for Di Grassi to catch up in the final stages of the race.

Di Grassi let Buemi escape into the distance early in the race as he focused on keeping Nelson Piquet behind him. A small mistake from the NEXTEV driver saw him tap the wall and fall away from di Grassi.

After the midrace pit stop, the pair were much closer together, but Buemi used his FanBoost to try to build up a gap. Di Grassi, not deterred, spent the rest of the stint closing in on the leader. In the last five or so laps, the pair were racing nose to tail, Di Grassi trying to find the perfect way past to snatch the win. The Brazilian left it too late, though, and Buemi took the chequered flag only moments before Di Grassi.

Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld crossed the line third.

In the first stint, after losing hold of Di Grassi, Piquet was forced to defend against Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne. Vergne was doing everything to try and find a way past Piquet, and managed to get alongside the NEXTEV. As they came around a corner, the Frenchman was on the outside and Vergne appeared to turn into Piquet. The pair came together and Vergne hit the wall, coming to a halt. Piquet managed to keep going, but not before letting Heidfeld past.

With the safety car out to clear Vergne’s Techeetah, most of the grid dived into the pits.

There was problem after problem for the DS Virgin team. As the pack sped to the first corner, Bird was one of the biggest victims. The Brit managed to make up positions, but also made contact and damaged his front wing. A few moments later, he hit the wall and broke the back of his car, forcing him to pit.

Team mate Jose Maria Lopez was shown the meatball flag early in the race and also forced into the pits. Now it was a case of trying to take the fastest lap for both drivers, as they were both lapped.

Bird was the only driver to not swap cars during the safety car period, dropping him even further out of contention. He did manage to set the fastest lap of the race, but pitted again before the end of the race.

Lopez also endured an extra pit stop.

The Dragon Racing duo were also in and out of the pits in the final stages of the race. Jerome D’Ambrosio briefly stopped on track, indicating problems for the team. The pair finished the race 17th and 18th.

A quiet race for Maro Engel ended with him finishing fifth, behind Piquet and ahead of Felix Rosenvist. Engel may move up a position, though, as the incident between Piquet and Vergne is still under investigation.

Daniel Abt, Esteban Gutierrez, Antonio Felix Da Costa, and Nico Prost rounded out the top 10.

Results:

1 – Sebastien Buemi – Renault e.dams
2 – Lucas Di Grassi – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
3 – Nick Heidfeld – Mahindra Racing
4 – Nelson Piquet – NEXTEV NIO
5 – Maro Engel – Venturi Formula E Team
6 – Felix Rosenqvist – Mahindra Racing
7 – Daniel Abt – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
8 – Esteban Gutierrez – Techeetah
9 – Antonio Felix Da Costa – Andretti Formula E
10 – Nico Prost – Renault e.dams
11 – Mitch Evans – Panasonic Jaguar Racing
12 – Robin Frijns – Andretti Formula E
13 – Oliver Turvey – NEXTEV NIO
14 – Adam Carroll – Panasonic Jaguar Racing
15 – Stephane Sarrazin – Venturi Formula E Team
16 – Jose Maria Lopez – DS Virgin Racing
17 – Jerome D’Ambrosio – Faraday Future Dragon Racing
18 – Loic Duval – Faraday Future Dragon Racing
19 – Sam Bird – DS Virgin Racing
20 – Jean-Eric Vergne – Techeetah

Feature image credit: FIA Formula E Media

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