Di Grassi crowned Formula E champion

Lucas Di Grassi celebrates his title

Lucas Di Grassi has won the 2016/17 Formula E championship with a seventh position finish in the final race of the season in Montreal.

Jean-Eric Vergne won the race as Di Grassi became the third different champion in the category’s three-year history.

Sebastien Buemi, on the other hand, had his second bad race in as many days, having been disqualified from Race 1 in Canada after an already frustrating race which saw him spray his anger at three different rivals.

Buemi’s 13th-place start put him in the firing line at the start for the second time this weekend, and he picked up mild bodywork damage when the pack concertinaed at Turn 1 after Stephane Sarrazin spun following contact from Daniel Abt.

That meant Buemi was flagged into the pits for repairs, and although the offending part fell off his Renault e.dams team still forced him to stop.

Buemi had made up two places before doing so but the impromptu trip to the pitlane ruined his race and made a difficult task almost impossible.

Though he charged back up the order, Buemi finished a point-less 11th, and his misfortune allowed di Grassi to coast to the end of the race.

Di Grassi was aggressive when required, though, after dropping to 10th at one stage.

He fought back to sixth, then handed that position to team-mate Abt on the final lap and clinched the crown at the third attempt in seventh place.

Di Grassi, who finished third in the first season and second behind Buemi in 2015/16, was in tears on his in-lap after snatching a title that seemed destined for Buemi until this final weekend.

Buemi’s disqualification on Saturday, having risen to fourth from 12th on the grid, and a poor qualifying performance for the final race meant di Grassi turned a 10-point deficit coming to Montreal into a comfortable 24-point winning margin.

The swinging title fortunes detracted attention from Vergne’s first win in FE, a feat he has been waiting to achieve since claiming pole on his debut in round three of the inaugural campaign.

Vergne had to catch and pass pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist in the second half of the race, after the Mahindra driver stopped a lap earlier than his pursuer to swap cars.

That gave Rosenqvist a five-second lead once Vergne stopped but also meant he had to go a lap longer in his second car, and Vergne gradually ate into the advantage.

He took the lead with a relatively simple move and eased clear to score his and Techeetah’s first victory in FE.

Rosenqvist briefly came under pressure from Jose Maria Lopez for second after the DS Virgin Racing driver charged from 11th on the grid.

Lopez faded on the penultimate lap though, leaving Mahindra’s Rosenqvist to secure third place in the drivers’ championship in his rookie season.

Sam Bird finished fourth behind team-mate Lopez, with Nick Heidfeld fifth in the second Mahindra.

Sarrazin recovered from his first-corner spin to claim eighth with a fighting drive, while Jerome d’Ambrosio and Tom Dillmann completed the point scorers.

The 2017/18 season starts with a double-header in Hong Kong on December 2-3.

Results: FIA Formula E Championship, Montreal Race 2

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault
2 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra +0.896
3 Jose Maria Lopez Virgin DS-Virgin +4.468
4 Sam Bird Virgin DS-Virgin +7.114
5 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra +21.933
6 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler +24.444
7 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler +24.855
8 Stephane Sarrazin Techeetah Renault +26.038
9 Jerome D’Ambrosio Dragon Penske +28.282
10 Tom Dillmann Venturi Venturi +28.591
11 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault +35.170
12 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar +36.548
13 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti +36.826
14 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar +36.972
15 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti +39.720
16 Nelson Piquet Jr NextEV NextEV TCR +46.751
17 Oliver Turvey NextEV NextEV TCR +49.116
18 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi +1:33.530
19 Loic Duval Dragon Penske +3 laps
DNF Nico Prost e.dams Renault Retirement

Championship Standings

Pos Driver Pts
1 Lucas di Grassi 181
2 Sebastien Buemi 157
3 Felix Rosenqvist 127
4 Sam Bird 122
5 Jean-Eric Vergne 117
6 Nico Prost 93
7 Nick Heidfeld 88
8 Daniel Abt 67
9 Jose Maria Lopez 65
10 Stephane Sarrazin 36
11 Nelson Piquet Jr 33
12 Oliver Turvey 26
13 Robin Frijns 24
14 Mitch Evans 22
15 Loic Duval 20
16 Pierre Gasly 18
17 Maro Engel 16
18 Jerome D’Ambrosio 13
19 Tom Dillmann 12
20 Antonio Felix da Costa 10
21 Adam Carroll 5
22 Esteban Gutierrez 5
23 Alex Lynn 3

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