Paris Formula E: Buemi wins again, Vergne and di Grassi both crash

Sebastien Buemi claimed his fifth victory of the season as his chief pursuer Jean-Eric Vergne and Formula E title rival Lucas di Grassi both crashed out of the Paris ePrix

Paris Formula E: Buemi wins again, Vergne and di Grassi both crash

Buemi was managing a threat from Vergne in the second half of the race when the Frenchman crumpled his Techeetah entry into the wall exiting the penultimate corner.

That promoted DS Virgin rookie Jose Maria Lopez, already on course for a first podium, to a best-ever finish of second, while Nick Heidfeld inherited third.

Buemi withstood an attack from Vergne on the outside into Turn 1 at the start, then eased clear of the chasing pack.

He had nudged his lead north of three seconds for the first time when di Grassi came together with Antonio Felix da Costa at Turn 7 on lap 20 of 49.

Di Grassi had been attacking da Costa for 13th and passed the Andretti driver on the outside, then moved across for the apex - where he was hit by the Portuguese, who kept his nose just on the inside.

That speared both into the barriers, although di Grassi was able to rejoin and make it back to the pits as a full-course yellow was thrown with da Costa's car stuck.

This triggered a host of slightly early car swaps, although when racing resumed on lap 23 Mike Conway, who did not pit, held a false lead for three laps.

When he stopped Buemi moved to the front again, only this time his lead over Vergne was little more than a second.

Buemi was extending his advantage when Vergne ran wide exiting Turn 13 on lap 34 and crashed into the wall and triggered a real safety car.

The Techeetah team suggested a mechanical problem was to blame.

Lopez inherited second and was keeping the pressure on Buemi until di Grassi crashed at Turn 8 two laps from the end and brought out another safety car.

By this stage di Grassi was just pushing for fastest lap, having picked up a drivethrough penalty for far too short a pitstop when he swapped cars after his first crash.

The upshot was an anticlimactic end to a chaotic race, with Buemi - whose championship lead over di Grassi is now 43 points - heading home Lopez, Heidfeld, Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns and Nico Prost.

There was an enormous gap after the lead sextet at the flag, because seventh-placed Daniel Abt suffered a car problem on the final lap and slowed dramatically on the back straight - with those behind him reluctant to overtake under yellow flags.

This was a massive boost for Frijns, who picked up a five-second penalty for speeding under the earlier full-course yellow but only dropped to sixth when it was applied.

Abt's drama promoted Techeetah's Esteban Gutierrez to seventh at the flag, but his own five-second penalty for a full-course yellow infringement dropped him to 12th.

This handed Nelson Piquet Jr seventh and debutant Tom Dillmann eighth, and also guaranteed a third-straight points finish for Jaguar and Evans, who should have been in the top six but lost a huge amount of time swapping cars.

Stephane Sarrazin picked up the final point in 10th having started from last.

RESULTS - 49 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 59m41.125s
2 Jose Maria Lopez Virgin DS Virgin 0.707s
3 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 2.043s
4 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 2.621s
5 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 3.521s
6 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti 7.999s
7 Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NEXTEV TCR 32.420s
8 Tom Dillmann Venturi Venturi 32.929s
9 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 33.369s
10 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 34.051s
11 Esteban Gutierrez Techeetah Renault 36.197s
12 Oliver Turvey NextEV NEXTEV TCR 40.082s
13 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler Battery
14 Mike Conway Dragon Penske 1 Lap
15 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar 1 Lap
16 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 2 Laps
- Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler Accident
- Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske Withdrew
- Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault Accident
- Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti Accident

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastien Buemi 132
2 Lucas di Grassi 89
3 Nicolas Prost 58
4 Nick Heidfeld 47
5 Jean-Eric Vergne 40
6 Felix Rosenqvist 40
7 Sam Bird 35
8 Nelson Piquet Jr. 33
9 Jose Maria Lopez 28
10 Daniel Abt 26
11 Robin Frijns 16
12 Mitch Evans 15
13 Oliver Turvey 15
14 Maro Engel 12
15 Antonio Felix da Costa 10
16 Jerome d'Ambrosio 10
17 Loic Duval 9
18 Esteban Gutierrez 5
19 Adam Carroll 4
20 Tom Dillmann 4
21 Stephane Sarrazin 2

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Paris Formula E: Buemi pips Vergne to pole, di Grassi in midfield
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