When it rains, it pours! Precipitation in Paris causes mayhem for many of the cars causing crashes one after the other. Despite damage and treacherous conditions, Frijns achieves maiden win in Formula E.
Even before the Paris E-Prix began, we had controversy as both Mahindra cars had their qualifying laps deleted and were told to start at the back of the grid. This promoted Oliver Rowland to Pole Position to see if he could bring the car home in first place. The race started behind the Safety Car due to track conditions but Rowland was soon allowed to put his foot down and let the E-Prix commence.
Rowland managed to get himself 1 second ahead of Sebastian Buemi in second place but that did not last long, as Rowland crashed into the wall at turn 10, letting Buemi take the lead. This began to give Frijns hope that he could creep up from 2nd position to take the top spot. Frijns and Felipe Massa decided to take Attack Mode at the same time to see who would get in front through that particular struggle. Frijns managed to keep 2nd position and began to fight very close to Buemi who he eventually got passed. Buemi was then seen dropping down the pack due to a puncture and had to limp to the pits and went from top to bottom very fast.
Massa tried very hard to keep the podium position he had found but got passed twice by Andre Lotterer who pulled a wonderful overtake to take 3rd but as Buemi went to the pits, went up to 2nd. Massa then became victim from Daniel Abt who squeezed him out round a corner to claim that 3rd position from the Venturi driver. As most drivers were still trying to find their feet and thought they had the race all figured out, another obstacle revealed itself. With just over half an hour to go, it began to rain and rain hard!
Both Frijns and Lotterer at the top of the pack were seen sliding all over the place to find the grip in the wet conditions. Frijns gained front wing damage from his earlier fight with Buemi and it continued to trouble him as the hale started and the car vibrated along the floor. We then saw Tom Dillmann find himself in the wall, Mitch Evans loosing his front wing and then another huge pile-up like we saw in Rome. Stoffel Vandoorne seemed to nudge Rowland who then shunted straight into Alexander Sims causing his race to end there. Sam Bird also got caught out at the same turning where he spun and then went into the wall. Luckily for Bird and Rowland, they were able to get their cars going again and finished 11th and 12th overall.
The Venturi Formula E team had more heartache with Edoardo Mortara going into the wall but as he managed to redeem himself, he hit into the back of Alex Lynn, causing both their races to finish early. Massa had a spin later on in the race and then got nudged by Oliver Turvey which cost him more places, with 9th place the best he could do in Paris.
After two Safety Cars and three Full Course Yellow’s, Frijns managed to nurse his damaged car through the horrible conditions to take his first Formula E win. Lotterer and Abt rounded up the top three for a very interesting finish for the Paris E-Prix. Speaking to Dario Franchitti as he crossed the line, Frijns said it was the “hardest race of my life”. The trend continues with now 8 different winners with 8 different races and we will have to see if someone new will take the top spot in Monaco for the E-Prix on Saturday 11th May. Make sure you keep up to date with all the latest from Overtake Motorsport.
Feature Image Credit: Envision Virgin Racing Twitter