Bird holds on to win Rome ePrix
Sam Bird has seen off a late challenge from Mitch Evans to win the Formula E Rome ePrix as the New Zealander faded to ninth.
Bird (DS Virgin) won by nearly a second from a fast-finishing Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport) and Andre Lotterer (Techeetah).
Pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra) took the initial race lead and emerged in front when the car changes had been complete.
However, the Swede hit a kerb on Lap 23 and broke his left-rear suspension, bringing about an early end to his race.
Bird had run second to Rosenqvist until that point and therefore assumed the lead by around three seconds over Evans (Jaguar).
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A three-way battle for the lead developed between Bird, Evans, and di Grassi after the full course yellow.
Evans attempted a move with four laps to go but Bird managed to shut the door, and the New Zealander was instead passed by di Grassi two laps later.
Bird won by 0.970s but Evans slumped to ninth on the final lap when he all but ran out of useable energy on the final lap.
Daniel Abt (Audi) finished fourth from Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah), who leads the championship.
Rounding out the top 10 were Sebastien Buemi, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Maro Engel, Evans, and Edoardo Mortara.
Race 8 is in Paris on April 28.
Race results: Race 7, Rome
|1||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||58:20.656 (33 laps)|
|2||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+0.970|
|4||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+10.167|
|6||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||+19.835|
|7||7||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||+24.379|
|8||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||+26.350|
|9||20||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||+37.709|
|10||4||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||+40.739|
|11||28||António Félix da Costa||MS&AD Andretti Formula E||+42.680|
|12||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||+48.833|
|13||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||+49.331|
|14||8||Nico Prost||Renault e.dams||+1:13.880|
|15||27||Tom Blomqvist||MS&AD Andretti Formula E||+1:31.832|
|16||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||+1:44.774|
|17||6||José María López||Dragon Racing||+4 laps|
|DNF||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing|
|DNF||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Panasonic Jaguar Racing|
|DNF||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing|
|6||Nelson Piquet Jr.||45|
|8||Lucas di Grassi||39|
|14||António Félix da Costa||16|
|15||José María López||13|