Vergne Captures Third Formula E Win This Season With Crazy Finish
APR 28 2018 BY MOTORSPORT.COM
Jean-Eric Vergne cruised to his third Formula E win of the 2017/18 season on the streets of Paris, extending his championship lead to 31 points.
Techeetah driver Vergne held the lead at the start, but was unable to build a gap over Sam Bird, who nudged a fast-starting Andre Lotterer slightly wide at the first corner to hold on to second.
The trio quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the pack, headed by Maro Engel, and ran nose-to-tail for the opening stint of the race before pitting together on lap 24 of 49.
Vergne emerged from the car swaps with a small cushion over Bird, as Lotterer began to pressure the DS Virgin Racing driver for second, ultimately forcing his way back with a heavy-handed pass on lap 35.
That allowed Audi man Lucas di Grassi – who cleared Engel by staying out two laps longer – to catch up, and corners later he picked off Bird to move up to third.
Vergne by now had amassed a lead of over four seconds, and with Lotterer holding off a charging di Grassi the Frenchman was able to manage the gap for his third win in five races.
There was late drama however as Lotterer appeared to run out of useable energy on the last lap. That allowed di Grassi through to take second, but moments later an unsighted Bird clouted the back of the stricken Techeetah car.
Bird crossed the line third with only three wheels, followed by Engel and Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams). Lotterer coasted home for sixth, ahead of Daniel Abt (Audi) and Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra).