Round eleven (the final round/race) of the inaugural Formula E racing series is now officially in the books
- Round One: Lucas di Grassi
- Round Two: Sam Bird
- Round Three: Sebastien Buemi
- Round Four: Antonio Felix da Costa
- Round Five: Nico Prost
- Round Six: Nelson Piquet Jr
- Round Seven: Sebastien Buemi
- Round Eight: Jerome D’Ambrosio
- Round Nine: Nelson Piquet Jr
- Round Ten: Sebastien Buemi
And some notes from qualifying:
Sarrazin takes pole in mixed conditions
London|28 Jun 15
Stephane Sarrazin claimed the Julius Baer pole position for today’s Visa London ePrix ahead of the Dragon Racing duo of Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval in a rain-affected qualifying session that added extra spice to the title fight.
The rain started to fall around Battersea Park shortly after the first group of five drivers took to the track and Venturi driver Sarrazin benefitted from running in the first segment as his time could not be bettered when conditions deteriorated later on.
Sarrazin said: “At first I wasn’t happy about being in the first qualifying group but this has worked out well with the rain coming. I tried to push early on and it paid off. Starting from pole, hopefully we can make up for yesterday where I hit problems with traffic and can come away with a good result today. We’ve also made a few set-up changes which have clearly paid off.”
D’Ambrosio had briefly held the top spot in the opening segment before he was deposed by Sarrazin as Duval slotted into third place ahead of Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird and Mahindra’s Bruno Senna in fifth.
Duval: “The weather was not so good and worse for group two. My aim was to beat Seb as he is looking so strong. I wasn’t able to beat Stephane but we tried. It’s always a gamble with the qualifying groups; sometimes good, sometimes bad.”
D’Ambrosio added: “That was a good qualifying session for us but also a lucky one. It’s a tricky track out there and even more so in the wet. It’s going to be interesting and we’ll see what we can do.”
The weather was much the same for the second qualifying group that featured the first of the three championship contenders: Sebastien Buemi. The e.dams-Renault driver, who won from pole position in Saturday’s race, was the fastest driver in the second segment but despite glancing the barrier in his effort, Buemi could not do better than sixth on the grid.
The rain began to fall even harder at the session’s halfway stage, which meant the best position the other two championship challengers, Nelson Piquet Jr and Lucas di Grassi, could aim for was 11th place on the grid given the wet track surface.
Piquet grappled with the conditions during the third section of the session, and the NEXTEV TCR driver lost the rear end of his machine at Turn 9 but managed to keep the car out of the barriers, but the championship leader ended up 16th on the grid.
Also in the third segment, Sakon Yamamoto broke the left-front wheel of his car on the barrier at the exit of Turn 11 and came to a halt, forcing an interruption with the red flag. The Amlin Aguri driver failed to set a time and so will start from the back of the grid.
Conditions had improved ever so slightly by time the fourth group hit the track but the drivers still chose to take it easy on their early laps. Oliver Turvey and di Grassi traded times good enough for the coveted P11 spot, but it was the Audi Sport ABT driver who prevailed, meaning he starts five places behind Buemi and five ahead of Piquet in the championship decider later this afternoon.
Nick Heidfeld slotted his Venturi car into seventh place ahead of Salvador Duran and the Trulli pair of Alex Fontana and Jarno Trulli who rounded out the top 10.
The race itself saw Sam Bird capture victory:
Notes on Sunday's race in London:
Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season
London|28 Jun 15
Visa London ePrix winner Sam Bird described Virgin Racing’s end to the season as ‘unbelievable’ after claiming his second Formula E victory at his home race.
The Roehampton-born Brit had failed to get on the podium after his win in Malaysia, but ended his season with a much-needed win.
“It’s been a mixed season for us at Virgin,” Bird admitted. “But what a way to finish, unbelievable, unbelievable. The race today, great race start in fourth. We were very strong and I was able to attack people into Turn 11, and we made the moves stick which is nice.
“The strategy was good as well, we were able to go a lap longer than Stephane , and hounded him all the way to the finish. I knew that he would be very tight on energy if not over and that was the case."
The double-race winner finished fifth in the driver standings, and now hopes to carry the momentum into the off season, where a technical partnership with the DS brand aims to put them in title contention.
“A win in the final race of the season always gives the boys back at base a bit of confidence to go into next year. It’s no secret that we have been working extremely hard with our chosen company for a long time.”
Bird also paid tribute to championship winner Nelson Piquet Jr and his remarkable speed throughout the latter half of the season.
Bird concluded: “In my opinion the most deserving champion and the speed that he showed in the middle of the year had us scratching our heads – it was horrible. I think he is a worthy champion.”
The overall winner for the inaugural season of Formula is Nelson Piquet:
Piquet etches name into history books
London|28 Jun 15
An ecstatic Nelson Piquet Jr expressed his delight at being crowned the first ever Formula E champion.
After a disastrous qualifying session in which he was out on track during the worst of the rain, Piquet lined-up 16th, with both of his title rivals ahead on the road.
Heading into the final Visa London ePrix in Battersea Park just five points ahead of Sebastien Buemi, Piquet looked to have put himself out of contention, but a composed race to seventh ensured he finished the day just a single point ahead of Buemi in the standings.
But after a less-than-auspicious start of the season in which he had only a five-race contract less than two weeks before the Beijing opener, Piquet reflected on a team journey that brought him, and the NEXTEV TCR team, into title contention.
“This championship has been really tough,” Piquet said. “We have worked really hard since the beginning of the season when we were completely lost. I would have been shocked even to have a podium by the end of the year, and we turned things around quickly.
“I adapted to the car really well, we got a good group of guys that really worked hard and trusted me, and believed in me. We kept working, kept investing and things kept getting better and better.”
An aggressive race strategy in which the Brazilian concentrated only on his race allowed him to go an extra lap in the first car, and the safety car period prompted by Fabio Leimer’s crash with a handful of laps remaining helped bunch the pack up enough for him to pass team-mate Oliver Turvey and Salvador Duran to claim the crucial seventh place.
“This morning when it was raining in group three right when I was on track, I just thought things could not get any worse. On the positive side of things it took a bit of pressure away from me because I had nothing to lose anymore.
“I was at the back of the field, so let’s be aggressive and see what we can do. It worked out – we had an aggressive strategy."
And finally, here are some videos from Sunday's race:
Highlights from inaugural season: