Buenos Aires Formula E: Sam Bird resists Sebastien Buemi for win

Sam Bird held off the recovering Sebastien Buemi to deny the Formula E championship leader a back-to-front victory in a thrilling Buenos Aires ePrix

Buenos Aires Formula E: Sam Bird resists Sebastien Buemi for win

The two drivers started from opposite ends of the grid after the Briton claimed pole in his DS Virgin DSV-01 and Buemi spun in qualifying, but were locked together over the final half a dozen laps of the race.

Buemi attacked with earnest but Bird defended intelligently and, having saved slightly more energy, withstood all the points leader could throw at him to earn a deserved win.

That Buemi was even in the hunt for victory was remarkable given he lined up 18th, though he could have been nowhere near the front had he not survived a lurid slide at Turn 1 as he lunged from 18th to 15th in one move at the start.

His progress was then metronomic in the early stages and he ran sixth by the time the mid-race car swaps started, while 12 seconds ahead Bird nursed a narrow lead over Antonio Felix da Costa out in front.

A loss of energy for Buemi's Renault e.dams team-mate Nicolas Prost and a race-ending stoppage for da Costa elevated the Swiss driver to fourth, before another stroke of good fortune.

With the luckless da Costa's Team Aguri car stuck on track a safety car was called, which handed Buemi the opportunity to complete a stellar comeback.

He passed Stephane Sarrazin immediately after the restart, then set about catching Lucas di Grassi, who was harrying Bird for the lead having jumped to second in the pitstops.

Di Grassi was rebuffed by Bird and Buemi wrested second from his title rival after going side-by-side into Turn 7 with a quarter of the race remaining, though his excellent progress halted there thanks to the efforts of Bird.

Di Grassi drifted back in the closing stages but completed the podium, though he and Buemi were placed under investigation immediately after the race.

Sarrazin took fourth behind the rostrum finishers, while Prost - also under investigation post-race - was fifth despite going off the road and lightly nosing the wall shortly after exiting the pits.

Loic Duval had an understated drive to sixth ahead of the returning Nick Heidfeld, who recovered from a difficult qualifying session to score good points from 13th.

Robin Frijns, Oliver Turvey and Bruno Senna completed the points finishers, with British debutant Mike Conway unlucky to wind up 15th after spinning shortly after the restart having run as high as fifth.

RESULTS - 35 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sam Bird Virgin Virgin 45m28.385s
2 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 0.716s
3 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 7.525s
4 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 9.415s
5 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 11.316s
6 Loic Duval Dragon Venturi 15.660s
7 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 16.444s
8 Robin Frijns Andretti Spark 18.685s
9 Oliver Turvey China NEXTEV TCR 22.007s
10 Bruno Senna Mahindra Mahindra 22.456s
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin Virgin 24.482s
12 Nelson Piquet Jr. China NEXTEV TCR 24.641s
13 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 27.998s
14 Simona de Silvestro Andretti Spark 36.171s
15 Mike Conway Venturi Venturi 39.581s
16 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Venturi 1 Lap
- Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri Spark Electrical
- Salvador Duran Aguri Spark Accident

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastien Buemi 80
2 Lucas di Grassi 76
3 Sam Bird 52
4 Loic Duval 32
5 Jerome d'Ambrosio 30
6 Stephane Sarrazin 28
7 Nick Heidfeld 23
8 Robin Frijns 21
9 Nicolas Prost 21
10 Antonio Felix da Costa 16
11 Bruno Senna 11
12 Oliver Turvey 10
13 Daniel Abt 10
14 Jean-Eric Vergne 6
15 Nelson Piquet Jr. 4
16 Nathanael Berthon 4

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Buenos Aires Formula E: Sam Bird on pole, Sebastien Buemi last

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Series Formula E
Drivers Sébastien Buemi , Sam Bird
Author Scott Mitchell
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