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Formula E Rome ePrix I

Rome Formula E race red-flagged after Bird crash triggers pile-up

A serious multi-car Formula E crash has caused the opening Rome E-Prix this weekend to be red-flagged. 

Marshals remove the car of Edoardo Mortara, Maserati Racing, Maserati Tipo Folgore, with a crane after a big crash on the 9th lap

The first of two races in Italy was halted on the ninth lap of racing after numerous cars were involved in a high-speed accident. 

Jaguar’s Sam Bird, who had started on the front row alongside team-mate Mitch Evans and had initially led the opening laps, lost control through the high-speed left-hand Turn 6 sweep having run wide when in fourth place. 

 

While Jake Dennis, Nick Cassidy and Maximilian Gunther immediately behind were just able to avoid the spinning Bird after the Briton had bounced off the wall, Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi was unable to avoid the stricken Jaguar, which had stopped broadside across the track. 

The heavy impact sent Bird’s Jaguar further onto the racing line, with DS Penske's Stoffel Vandoorne hitting the wall in avoidance before Edoardo Mortara’s Maserati suffered a heavy head-on collision with the Jaguar.

The resulting chaos and debris caused a concertina effect behind, which claimed Antonio Felix da Costa (Porsche), Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra) and Robin Frijns (Abt Cupra).

All drivers involved in the incident were able to extract themselves from their respective cars and have been checked in the medical centre.

The same spot on the track had already claimed the Andretti Autosport machine of Andre Lotterer earlier in the race, as well as the McLaren of Jake Hughes in qualifying - who was unable to start the race due to the damage caused in the crash.

Vandoorne was able to drive his damaged DS Penske back to the pits where it is being repaired ahead of a restart.

Championship protagonist Pascal Wehrlein also suffered suspension damage in the incident but was able to return to the pits.

The Porsche driver had dropped to the back of the field having damaged his front wing on the opening lap, which required the German to pit.

Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz had been leading from Evans and McLaren’s Rene Rast prior to the red flag, with a restart scheduled for 1605 local time.

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