Vergne overcomes di Grassi in thrilling Formula E climax

Jean-Eric Vergne (left) battles with Lucas Di Grassi

Jean-Eric Vergne extended his Formula E points lead after coming through a thrilling race long dice with Lucas di Grassi to win the Punta del Este ePrix.

The former Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver was locked in a battle with di Grassi from the start after inheriting pole position from the Brazilian, who was penalised in qualifying for cutting a chicane.

Di Grassi chased Vergne hard in the early stages with the fight for the lead continuing after a brief Safety Car caused by Nick Heidfeld’s stricken Mahindra.

The top two made their mandatory car swaps on lap 19 with Vergne emerging from the pits ahead of di Grassi for what was a tense final 17 laps.

Di Grassi tried everything to pass the Techeetah driver which resulted in contact on two occasions as the race reached its climax.

However, Vergne managed to hold on to take the win by 0.4s from di Grassi to open up a 30 point lead at the top of the standings.

Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird briefly joined the top two to make it a three-way dice for the lead, before dropping back in the closing stages to finish third, 2.1s adrift.

New Zealand’s Mitch Evans produced a stunning drive from 16th to fourth after he was penalised in qualifying for a weight distribution infringement.

The result was the Jaguar Racing driver’s fourth top 10 finish of the season.

Felix Rosenqvist finished fifth for Mahindra ahead of Alex Lynn (Virgin Racing), who was one of three drivers penalised in qualifying for cutting the chicane.

Lynn had run as high as third in the race before dropping down to sixth in front of Oliver Turvey (NIO Formula E team).

The top 10 was completed by the Dragon Racing duo of Jose Maria Lopez and Jerome d’Ambrosio and Venturi’s Maro Engel.

Sebastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jnr retired after the pair were forced to switch cars early after incurring damage early in the race.

The Formula E Championship heads to Rome for Round 7 on April 14.

VIDEO: FIA Formula E Championship Round 6 – Punta del Este highlights

Results: FIA Formula E Championship Round 6 – Punta del Este 

Position Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 37 laps
2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 0.447s
3 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 2.611s
4 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 4.075s
5 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 4.224s
6 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin 7.672s
7 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO 11.818s
8 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 12.612s
9 Jerome d’Ambrosio Dragon Penske 22.242s
10 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 26.293s
11 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 27.335s
12 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 38.731s
13 Luca Filippi NIO NextEV NIO 39.926s
14 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 43.139s
15 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 47.194s
16 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 59.299s
17 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1 Lap
DNF Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault
DNF Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar
DNF Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Jean-Eric Vergne 109
2 Felix Rosenqvist 79
3 Sam Bird 76
4 Sebastien Buemi 52
5 Nelson Piquet Jr. 45
6 Mitch Evans 41
7 Daniel Abt 37
8 Oliver Turvey 32
9 Edoardo Mortara 28
10 Lucas di Grassi 21
11 Nick Heidfeld 21
12 Andre Lotterer 18
13 Alex Lynn 17
14 Antonio Felix da Costa 16
15 Jose Maria Lopez 13
16 Maro Engel 7
17 Nicolas Prost 7
18 Jerome d’Ambrosio 6
19 Tom Blomqvist 4
20 Luca Filippi 1
21 Kamui Kobayashi 0
22 Neel Jani 0


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