Punta del Este Formula E: Buemi wins, late drama for Vergne

Sebastian Buemi won his first Formula E race in the all-electric single-seater series' third round in Punta del Este in Uruguay, while Formula 1 convert Jean-Eric Vergne hit last-gasp trouble

Punta del Este Formula E: Buemi wins, late drama for Vergne

Buemi, who started fourth, leapt ahead of DAMS team-mate Nico Prost at the start to run third as Nelson Piquet Jr grabbed the lead from poleman Vergne, whose Andretti car suffered wheelspin as he attempted to cover the Brazilian's China Racing entry into Turn 1.

Piquet led for the opening dozen laps, but Vergne was all over him.

The Frenchman eventually found a way past with a decisive dive at the hairpin, but his power use had been high, which forced him to pit from the lead a lap earlier than his rivals.

As he did so, Stephane Sarrazin crashed out after slamming his Venturi car over the sausage kerbs at the quick chicane, which broke its suspension.

The safety car was required again, as it had been to recover Sam Bird's and Antonio Felix da Costa's cars earlier, and this, combined with the car swap cycle, jumbled up the order.

Nick Heidfeld took the lead, but was immediately given a drive-through for not taking the allotted time for his car swap.

Once he pitted, Buemi led from Vergne, who was again using much more power than those around him.

Piquet was running third, ahead of Prost, but the latter was also given a drive-through penalty, as his car had been detected over its power limit.

A late-race safety car for Matthew Brabham's crash, after he'd impressively charged from 19th to sixth, set up a classic finish.

Vergne pushed Buemi hard from the restart, and Buemi locked up and straightlined the second chicane. But just when it seemed Vergne would pounce again, his car slowed with broken front suspension.

Buemi: From F1 scrapheap to WEC title glory

As Buemi cruised to victory, Vergne's exit gifted Piquet second place, with Lucas di Grassi finishing third ahead of Jarno Trulli, Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna, who had been sent to the back of the grid due to an issue with when his tyres were fitted ahead of qualifying.

Senna also broke his first car's suspension when he clipped the wall avoiding Sarrazin's crash, but he was able to immediately pit and switch to his other Spark-Renault.

Prost finished seventh, followed by the penalised Jerome d'Ambrosio, Oriol Servia and Heidfeld.

RESULTS - 31 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 49m08.990s
2 Nelson Piquet Jr. China 0.732s
3 Lucas di Grassi Abt 2.635s
4 Jarno Trulli Trulli 4.163s
5 Jaime Alguersuari Virgin 4.698s
6 Bruno Senna Mahindra 5.197s
7 Nicolas Prost e.dams 6.514s
8 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon 7.567s
9 Oriol Servia Dragon 8.646s
10 Nick Heidfeld Venturi 10.563s
11 Antonio Garcia China 10.594s
12 Michela Cerruti Trulli 19.617s
13 Karun Chandhok Mahindra 54.175s
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Andretti Not running
15 Daniel Abt Abt 3 Laps
16 Salvador Duran Aguri 4 Laps
- Matthew Brabham Andretti Retirement
- Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Retirement
- Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri Retirement
- Sam Bird Virgin Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER THREE ROUNDS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Lucas di Grassi 58
2 Sam Bird 40
2 Sebastien Buemi 40
4 Nicolas Prost 24
5 Nelson Piquet Jr. 22
6 Jerome d'Ambrosio 22
7 Franck Montagny 18
8 Karun Chandhok 18
9 Jaime Alguersuari 14
10 Oriol Servia 14
11 Jarno Trulli 12
12 Charles Pic 12
13 Bruno Senna 8
14 Antonio Felix da Costa 4
15 Daniel Abt 4
16 Jean-Eric Vergne 3
17 Stephane Sarrazin 2
18 Takuma Sato 2
19 Nick Heidfeld 1


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Punta del Este Formula E: Debut pole for ex-F1 man Jean-Eric Vergne

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Series Formula E
Drivers Sébastien Buemi , Jean-Eric Vergne
Author Charles Bradley
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