Formula E Montreal: Di Grassi takes points lead with race win

Lucas di Grassi will take a six-point advantage into Sunday's Formula E finale in Montreal after Sebastien Buemi lost the championship lead despite a charging drive in Saturday's race

Formula E Montreal: Di Grassi takes points lead with race win

Di Grassi held off Jean-Eric Vergne to win the opening part of the electric single-seater series' Canadian double-header and usurp Buemi at the top of the points.

A furious Buemi was denied a shock podium by the robust defence of Stephane Sarrazin on the final lap, but he will be relieved to minimise the damage to his title bid after starting 12th.

After his grid penalty for a battery change, triggered by a heavy practice shunt, Buemi was always at risk of midfield aggravation at the start.

He fell to 17th on an awful opening lap, picking up mild steering damage as a very conservative approach meant he got swallowed up in the midfield.

Buemi adapted the positioning of his left hand on the wheel to counter the offset steering and gradually regrouped, rising to a point-paying 10th by the end of the opening stint, which came prematurely on lap 15 of 35 thanks to a full-course yellow caused by the crashed Mahindra of Nick Heidfeld.

Buemi was tucked up behind di Grassi's team-mate Daniel Abt coming into the pits, nudging the German's rear end and gesticulating because he felt the German was deliberately holding him up.

He was released side-by-side with Abt after swapping cars, and got ahead of the German before receiving a punt up the rear after Buemi appeared to slow suddenly at the pitlane exit.

Buemi complained furiously over the radio, but ninth was his and he gained another position immediately when Adam Carroll dropped out of the points after inexplicably waiting to pit until the end of the full-course yellow.

Driving in a half-liveried second car, a legacy of the practice crash also forcing his Renault e.dams team into a barely-completed rebuild around a new tub, Buemi then caught and passed Oliver Turvey and Mitch Evans to run sixth heading into the final third of the race.

Jose Maria Lopez did Buemi a big favour when he crashed into the barrier at the final corner, sparking a safety car.

When racing resumed Buemi's team-mate Nico Prost moved aside without fuss, gifting Buemi fifth, and fourth was handed to him on a plate as well when Felix Rosenqvist hit the wall exiting the final corner and picked up damage to his left rear.

Despite catching Sarrazin and launching a final-lap assault, which included wheel-banging and side-by-side squabbling for three corners, Buemi was forced to settle for fourth.

The safety car that gave Buemi his late boost also wiped out a near-five-second advantage for di Grassi at the front, who suddenly had Vergne in his mirrors.

Vergne had got ahead of Rosenqvist in the car swaps, thanks to a tardy stop for the Mahindra, and passed Techeetah team-mate Sarrazin shortly before the safety car emerged.

He hounded di Grassi to the flag, but was never close enough to make a serious move.

Behind the top four was Abt, a charging Sam Bird - from 18th - and the muted Prost.

Evans, Robin Frijns and the crabbing Rosenqvist completed the points finishers.

shares
comments
Montreal Formula E: Di Grassi on pole, Buemi crashes and penalised

Previous article

Montreal Formula E: Di Grassi on pole, Buemi crashes and penalised

Next article

Sebastien Buemi disqualified from Formula E Montreal race one

Sebastien Buemi disqualified from Formula E Montreal race one
Load comments
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown Plus

Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown

It hasn't been properly reflected by the points table, but Antonio Felix da Costa has been nigh-on flawless in his Formula E title defence in 2021. Returning to the scene of his Berlin dominance in 2020, he has the chance to set the record straight and claim a remarkable against-the-odds second title

Formula E
Aug 12, 2021