Plenty of action in Monaco

ABB FIA Formula E World Championship was back in Monaco, where the series last raced in spring 2019.

The classic Formula 1 circuit is on a two-year cycle, but this time around, it was the full Formula 1 track, where the previous editions were raced on a shortened version.

The defending Formula E Champion, Antonio Felix da Costa had taken Pole Position for DS Techeetah, ahead of Robin Frijns in Envision Virgin Racing, Mitch Evans in Jaguar Racing, Jean-Eric Vergne in DS Techeetah, Maximilian Günther in BMW i Andretti, and Oliver Rowland in Nissan e.dams.

The latter had made an error during Super Pole, where the team was too late to send him out of the pits. Each driver has 30 seconds to leave the pits during Super Pole, and then start the flying lap, but the Nissan e.dams teams missed that window.

Norman Nato had a 2-grid penalty, for having ignored Yellow Flags during practice. That moved him back to starting position P12.

Championship leader Nyck de Vries had to start the race from last with his Mercedes-EQ, with the team opting to change both battery and gearbox. The Dutchman had made a small mistake during Qualifying, where he hit the button and switched off the 250kW programme, going back to the 200kW race programme. So his qualifying lap was quite poor anyway, so the team used that option to put some new equipment on the car, and take that penalty plus a 10 seconds Stop & Go penalty on top of that. Sergio Sette Camara was also positioned in the last row of the grid, since his team had to change some electronics on the car, after problems in the practice session, so he missed the qualifying.

Monaco ePrix 2021 start
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

All 24 cars got away quite smoothly, until we reached the hairpin, where we saw a multi-car crash between Alexander Sims, Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein. All were able to drive away, but Sims had to pit and retire.

Frijns took the lead of the race on Lap 3, after outbraking Felix da Costa into Turn 1.

Jake Dennis got a Drive-through penalty since he had charged the batteries to much during re-gen while braking.

There was a bit of trouble between Jean-Eric Vergne and Mitch Evans in the Harbour Chicane, that Felix da Costa used to get past the pair. The Portuguese driver had fallen behind them, when he was activating his Attack Mode.

Robin Frijns
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Frijns lost the lead to Felix da Costa, when he was activating his Attack Mode, but used the extra power to regain the lead.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Antonio Felix da Costa, Sam Bird, Jean-Eric Vergne and Nyck de Vries were the five drivers, that was awarded Fan Boost for this race.

The majority of the field was fast and using their second Attack Mode early in the race, so they wouldn’t have to worry about a potential Safety car or other disruptions later in the race.

JEV made a small mistake when he was trying to active his 2nd Attack Mode, so he didn’t cross the lines correctly. That was an expensive mistake by the French driver.

Evans managed to activate his second Attack Mode without losing any positions. That left the Kiwi in a good position to potentially grab third in the race.

Mitch Evans
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Felix da Costa took the lead of the race, when using Fan Boost through the tunnel, roaring past Frijns. Evans was still on Attack Mode, and made it into second, half a lap later. He took the lead of the race just two corners later. Impressively effective.

The Safety Car was deployed with 15 minutes to go, when Rene Rast hit the Armco, on the run out of Sainte Devote, after running side by side with Nick Cassidy, with not enough space for both drivers.

The race went green with 6 minutes and one lap to go.

JEV took Attack Mode right after the SC period, which dropped him to 8th, before he was able to get in line with the traffic again.

Evans appeared to be a cork in the bottle, with Felix da Costa running right underneath the rear wing. Vergne worked his way into fourth, after a bit of contact between Günther and Rowland in the Harbour Chicane, combined with him still being in Attack Mode.

Nyck de Vries stopped a few laps prior to the chequered flag, but he didn’t lose out on any points anyway, since he was far down the ranks already.

Antonio Felix da Costa
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

The drivers had to think a lot about their power usage on the final lap, with Evans having to be very cautious. That made it possible for Felix da Costa to race past him, going out of the tunnel.

When he finally made it past, Evans was even more of a blockage, resulting in contact between Frijns and Evans at the Swimming Pool, so Evans had to cut the chicane, to keep his position. He did however lost the position going towards the finishing line.

Antonio Felix da Costa crossed the finishing line as the winner, ahead of Robin Frijns, Mitch Evans, Jean-Eric Vergne, Maximilian Günther, Oliver Rowland, Sam Bird, Nick Cassidy, Andre Lotterer, and Alexander Lynn on P10.

Several drivers were very close at 0,0% power left, when they crossed the finishing line. So the stewards would have to check all the data before the final positions in the race can be confirmed.

Robin Frijns has gone into the lead of the Championship, ahead of Nyck de Vries, Mitch Evans, and Antonio Felix da Costa.

The next round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will be run on 19 and 20 June in Puebla, Mexico, with another double round to be held.

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