Sébastien Buemi wins enthralling Monaco ePrix

The 51-lap long race on the narrow street of Monaco didn’t leave any space for overtaking. Nevertheless it left enough space for Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) and Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) to shine.

Starting from Pole Position, the Renault e.dams driver Sébastien Buemi successfully defended his lead into the first corner and stayed at the top of the field, achieving a start-finish victory. In the meantime, Buemi and di Grassi were in a class on their own, having created quite a gap to their competitiors.

Towards the end of the race, di Grassi closed in on Buemi, adding some excitement but in the narrow streets of Monaco, where overtaking wasn’t really an option. The problem in Monaco is that there are no overtaking points. And as an experienced and very good driver, Séb knows how to close the door. In addition, I would never try at places where I can’t overtake and risk the whole race. If he’d left any door open, or any of the straights were longer than 360 metres, for sure, I would have had a go, said di Grassi.

Whereas Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra Racing) admitted that he couldn’t keep up with the two in front. I hoped I could stay closer and tried everything, but unfortunately they disappeared in the distance. Luckily I similarly had a gap to the back, but to be honest, I wasn’t confident until the last lap when I crossed the line, the German told.

Race winner Sébastien Buemi (middle) with second Lucas di Grassi (left) and third placed Nick Heidfeld (right) at the post-race press conference Photo: Annika Goecke

There have been a heated duel between Nelson Piquet Jr. (NextEV NIO) and Jean-Éric Vergne (Techeetah), seeing the Frenchman choosing the outside line going into turn Turn 3 hairpin. In lap 22, Vergne’s second try, the 27-year-old was pressing forward, setting himself next to Piquet Jr. who couldn’t easily vanish. While Vergne ended up in the wall, Piquet was able to continue, losing his third place, dropping down to fourth. The incident was under investigation without any further action taken.

The DS Virgin Racing team experienced a difficult race. Sam Bird broke his suspension after brushing the wall, coming out of the swimming pool chicane and was forced to pit. The Briton managed to continue the race three laps down, changing to strategy to get one point for the fastest lap, which he achieved on lap 24. Team-mate José María López changed to the same strategy after the race officials had made him pit to replace the damaged wings he sustained at the first corner. In the final results, both drivers were listed as not having finished.

The Faraday Future Dragon Racing duo had a race to forget. After a promising qualifying, Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Loïc Duval had to start from the back of the grid, after failing to do a 200kW lap, along with exceeding the number of permitted laps in qualifying respectively. In the race, the Belgian driver suffered from a powertrain malfunction shortly after the pitstop and his team-mate experienced a regenerative braking issue, leaving both of them unable to finish the race.

The American outfit Faraday Future Racing experienced a race to forget in Monaco Photo: Francois Flamand / DPPI/ Faraday Future Dragon Racing

MS Amlin Andretti’s António Félix da Costa initially finished in the points as ninth but dropped down to eleventh after a post-race drive through penalty for an unsafe release, which was changed to a 33 second penalty. It then promoted Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans on the last point scoring place in tenth. Maro Engel (Venturi GP), Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing), Daniel Abt (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport), Esteban Gutiérrez (Techeetah) and Nico Prost (Renault e.dams) completed the top ten.

After starting the European season in Monaco this weekend, Formula E now has a back-to-back encounter, travelling to Paris on May 20th.

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