Jean-Eric Vergne, Lucas di Grassi, Punta del Esta, Formula E, 2018

Vergne withstands huge pressure from Di Grassi to win

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Jean-Eric Vergne soaked up race-long pressure from Lucas di Grassi to score his second win of the 2017-18 season and extend his championship lead.

Di Grassi, who lost pole position to Vergne after his time was deleted for striking a bollard during the pole position shoot-out, spent much of the second half of the race closely inspecting the tail of the Techeetah car. The pair made contact at times and crossed the line separated by less than half a second.

Vergne denied Audi a second consecutive victory but second place for Di Grassi is the best result so far of his luckless championship defence. However the reigning champion was still fuming over the circumstances of his lost pole position after the race.

Sam Bird joined them on the podium, the DS Virgin driver having closed onto the tail of the leading pair in the closing stages. However a mistake on the final lap meant he crossed the line two seconds in arrears.

Mitch Evans took fourth thanks to a superb pass on Alex Lynn – one of the race’s few stand-out overtaking moves. Lynn lost another place to Felix Rosenqvist before the chequered flag fell.

Oliver Turvey, Jose Maria Lopez, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Maro Engel completed the top 10.

Nick Heidfeld caused the only Safety Car period of the race when his Mahindra stopped after a single lap. He was joined in retirement by Sebastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jnr later in the race.

Video: Formula E 2017-18 round six: Punta del Este

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Vergne withstands huge pressure from Di Grassi to win”

  1. Great race! I hope we will get some excitement from F1 this year too.

    1. That was certainly tense at the end, hopefully the championship closes up a bit in the next few races although verne deserves the lead so far.

  2. Great race, spectacular defensive drive from Vergne, didn’t put a foot wrong despite that huge pressure from Di Grassi.
    Good racing all around, that pass of Mitch Evans on Felix Rosenqvist on the slippery fast corner was stunning.

    FE delivered today!

  3. When you come to check some F1 news and the titles spoil the Formula E race that you were planning to watch later…

    1. Tommy Scragend
      18th March 2018, 7:14

      When you’re planning to watch yesterday’s Formula E race later but in the meantime you’re daft enough to go on a racing web site…

    2. @keithcollantine I thought this had been adressed last season or the one before. We complained about the article headline giving results of other motorsports away and you stopped doing it. I noticed this season you have started again. Like Toxic I was also going to watch the race tonight but probably wont bother now.
      Yet another minus since changing the site :-(

      1. @brawngp Although it’s been hyped massively the race wasn’t all that good. One move by Mitch Evans is worth seeing, and DiGrassi pushing Vergne home isn’t all that special, happens in touring car racing every single race weekend.

        I just don’t understand that there’s a massive part of the fanbase complaining so hard about fuel saving and tyre saving in F1 whilst in FE the first stint is nothing else but exactly that.

        1. Shame Mitch didnt get a shot in F1 he was superb in this race.

        2. No one is saying that the first stint is great in FE. It will be better next year when the new batteries allow a full race without changing cars.

          Also I am not really sure that many people complain about Fuel saving in F1. Fuel saving is massively outweighed by Tyre saving and PU saving, neither of which are a thing in FE…

    3. I’m sorry but I always have to bite on this type of comment.
      Step 1: “I want to watch the race later, as though live, and avoid the result.”
      Step 2: *visits racing news website*
      Step 3: *anger that racing news website has provided racing news*

      If you want to avoid any sporting result, it is on YOU to avoid the news, not the rest of the world to shelter you from it. That, to me, means no social media, no news sites and starting all conversations with friends/relatives with “don’t tell me who won the race.”

      1. I agree. The only time I was dissapointed was in Mexico where I caught the result here as before it was always only in the weekend racing wrap. Now I know, I won’t do it again.

  4. Races can be good without easy/artificial overtakes. Who would thought? It’s just a little hard to have that when cars can’t get 2s within each other.

  5. It’s a shame that Di Grassi got that penalty, it’s very clear that he pass in the inside of the marker and he hit it with the side of the car and not above like others did. It was good for the show because otherwise he would cruise to the win. Anyway it’s nice to see him back on top where he belongs.

    In the other end of the rope, Prost and Buemi having so bad results shows how was good Renault’s car last year. Prost is terrible and Buemi is far away from his dominant showings.

    1. @miani
      Like the other offenders, he cut the chicane, full stop. The bollard was only there to provide a visual cue to the drivers, for whom the apex would’ve been invisible otherwise. Making contact with the bollard, no matter if lightly or full on, was impossible without leaving the track with all four wheels.

    2. @miani Buémi was on for an easy third place, that Bird could easily pick up after both Buémi and Abt had their issues,…

  6. Should Ferrari put JEV into Haas/Sauber once he seals FE title?

    1. @billyos He isn’t part of Ferrari anymore, though. He left the team at the end of 2016/ahead of last season.

  7. Who cares about those artificial vacuum cleaners when there was a real race going on at Sebring at the same time.

    1. @unitedkingdomracing Thank you, a race which had actual racing for a solid 12 hours apart from a few yellow flag periods. I simply cannot grasp how one can say FE was a good race and ignore Sebring. I guess it’s just the longevity of endurance racing…

  8. Loved it. The Punte del Este course really is excellent, hope they keep it on the calendar.

  9. @keithcollantine
    Hi Keith, have you considered creating a championships standings on your website where we can easily access the standings of the different championships? After an f1 race you publish the championship standings as an article but it would be handy to have a section to easily access all the different series standings.

  10. Enjoyed that race. It should also serve as an example of there not having to be loads of overtakes to enjoy a race – close battling for position is sufficient.

    F1 take note. 1 guy almost passing another guy for the lead every lap is more exciting than them passing each other using DRS for ten laps.

  11. Oh wait, Facebook doesn’t show the full race on video. Youtube stopped doing that as well last year, and now I’m left without a way of watching it in my region (except on an obscure TV sports channel which costs money), I think I will stop watching Formula E completely. It used to be an interesting series for me to watch, but if I can’t watch, I guess I will not care anymore about it.

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