Vergne Wins Finale; Di Grassi Claims Formula E Title

Austin Collins Featured, Formula E 0 Comments

Lucas di Grassi won his first-career Formula E championship title Sunday on the streets of Montreal. (Formula E photo)

MONTREAL, Quebec – Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver Lucas di Grassi drove a conservative race on the streets of Montreal to claim his first Formula E world championship, as title rival Sebastien Buemi’s title hopes dramatically unraveled.

Meanwhile, France’s Jean-Eric Vergne put a bold move on Felix Rosenqvist to take his – and his Techeetah team’s – first-career victory in the all-electric championship during the finale to the Hydro-Quebec Montreal ePrix.

Di Grassi said that his championship win was a three-year process, going all the way back to the series’ inception.

“This journey began three years ago, when we started Season 1,” di Grassi explained. “We got a lot of good results, arrived in London fighting for the championship, even though I was disqualified from winning a race. Season 2, it was the same situation. Again I got disqualified from winning a race and now, finally, I came here as an underdog, 10 points behind and I had the nerves to keep it calm and did the job yesterday. Today, I managed to bring it home.”

“I am so happy for the team; so happy for the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport guys. They really deserve it. This season was our toughest, I would say. I had to do one race with a broken fibular. I really had luck on my side in some races — Hong Kong and Mexico, for example — so I guess this was our year and it is extremely satisfying and I am going to celebrate and party a lot tonight.”

After losing his season-long points lead Saturday, in the first half of the Montreal doubleheader, Buemi angrily confronted several drivers in parc ferme, including Robin Frijns, Antonio Felix da Costa and Daniel Abt.

To make matters worse, his second car failed post-race scrutineering, as his car was under the 880 kg minimum weight limit. Consequently, Buemi was barred from the results and his deficit to di Grassi increased to 18 points entering the finale.

On the initial start, with di Grassi starting in fifth and Buemi rolling off a distant 13th, Super Pole winner Rosenqvist got off to a fast jump over fellow front-row starter Sam Bird.

At the opening corner, Stephan Sarrazin in his Techeetah was spun by Mitch Evan’s Jaguar. As da Costa avoided the spinning Frenchman, he ran into the back of Buemi, damaging the Swiss driver’s right-rear tire guard.

Buemi continued to circulate around the circuit with the loose tire guard, prompting race control to issue the black flag so the crew could remove the wayward piece.

By the time Buemi entered the pits, the tire guard had already fallen off. In essence, the useless pit stop relegated Buemi to 20th and last on the rundown, including behind his Renault e.Dams teammate Nico Prost in 19th at that point.

Continued on the next page…

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