Vergne wins in Sanya after investigation

Formula E

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Jean-Eric Vergne was declared the winner of Formula E’s first EPrix in Sanya, China following a post-race investigation.

The reigning champion hit the front after overtaking pole-sitter Oliver Rowland on lap 19 of the race. Rowland tangled with Antonio Felix da Costa on the following lap, and though the Nissan EDams driver went on to finish second the pair are under investigation for the collision.

Vergne held his advantage through another lively Formula E encounter, which began with a first-lap full-course yellow when Felipe Nasr failed to get away from the line. Proceedings were red-flagged for a quarter of an hour when Alexander Sims hit the wall

The race ended under another full-course caution which was triggered when Sebastian Buemi tangled with Robin Frijns. Buemi, who was fastest in qualifying, lost pole position and had to start from the pits after violating Formula E’s braking rules. Having fought his way to the points places the tangle with Frijns ended his good work.

It sent Frijns’ car ploughing into Lucas di Grassi’s Abt Audi machine. Di Grassi, who had repeatedly failed in his attempts to trigger his Attack Mode, was eliminated from his points position on the penultimate lap.

Like his team mate, Andre Lotterer escaped sanction for an investigation and came fourth ahead of Daniel Abt. Buemi claimed sixth ahead of Jerome d’Ambrosio, Pascal Wehrlein, Mitch Evans and Edoardo Mortara. Sam Bird, who arrived in China as the points leader, was taken out on the first lap by Stoffel Vandoorne.

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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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  • 17 comments on “Vergne wins in Sanya after investigation”

    1. FE races maybe shorter than F1, but they manage to keep the winning suspense going long after the race is over.

    2. Missed this weekends race as well due to meetings. Will be waiting for full race to be uploaded to youtube.

    3. And the investigation was for… ?

      1. Vergne was under investigation for a fault at the safety car restart. As was Antonio Felix da Costa for the normal start. Both were cleared.

        I haven’t seen an “under investigation” for Buemi though. Both his overtake on Mortara and the collision with Frijns should have been. People were punished for less in the previous races.

        1. Apparently Buemi has got a 10s penalty for the clash with Frijns and has fallen back to P9.

          1. Glad so. He destroyed both Frijns’ and di Grassi’s race with that move.

    4. still far too much bumper cars for my liking. the last race was pathetic in that regard.

      just bumping into other cars to push them out the way should not be tolerated in my view, that just is not real racing. although i guess these terrible circuits they run on plays into it as its the only way to get by in many cases.

      the series has potential from a tech point of view but i just cannot get into the racing because i just do not like the circuits or bumper cars. also still not liking the gimmicks of the fan boost or silly action zone nonsense gimmicks.

      1. Wow thanks for that link! They look like amateurs out there. Unbelievable the amount of bumping. Granted it was wet on a tight course. But most of those bumps were totally unforced errors.

      2. The wheels are covered. What do you expect?

        It’s sub-par drivers driving rubber band cars. The series stinks.

        1. Hilarious …. I needed a good laugh. Thanks for the video.
          Those cars need Nerf-Bars.
          Tried to see the spectators, but it seems the organizers did their best to shield the course from prying eyes.
          Base on this, it doesn’t look like a business model that makes any sense.

      3. I think the racing would improve if they put bumpers all round the cars. Less retirements from hitting the walls and each other at least.

    5. Luke Hamblett
      23rd March 2019, 15:54

      See attack mode you refer to is no difference to DRS really its just an overtaking tool.

      Equally your reference to bumper cars is because the cars can actually race close to each other, I admit the track width does make it congested sometimes, but on the track action surely is better than a train of cars that cant overtake or follow behind another?

      The only issue I have is fan boost which is unfair and doesnt really add much.

    6. I haven’t seen this one yet… but it certainly sounds chaotic – again… ;-)

    7. I went into season 1 with an open mind but a few seasons in i’ve given up on it as it’s just become plainly obvious that it just isn’t for me as for as interested in the tech aspect as I am I just can’t get into the gimmicks, the tracks & how much contact there is.

      And the thing that annoys me with the gimmicks (Attack Mode & FanBoost) is that the cars are able to race pretty close & overtaking is possible without them so I just don’t see a good reason to have them & feel that attack mode in-particular just ends up been a silly distraction.

      If they dropped the gimmicks & clamped down on the contact i’d be more able to get into it but as it is I just can’t get into it.

    8. Another great race, puts F1 to shame.

      Can’t wait to see these cars develop to F1 speeds and race on real tracks. They are starting to out grow these street tracks now.

    9. Of the recent races I thought that was the weakest, largely because the track was awful. It was ridiculously narrow at the few possible passing spots and many of the corners were just slow and clumsy. It reminded me of a slightly rubbish go kart track. I also thought the standard of driving was extremely poor from some – di grassi should be ashamed of his error, very bad sportsmanship and/or a serious talent deficit.

      JEV stood out as a class act but the series does not seem to be rewarding the best drivers regularly. The races might need to be longer for that to happen. I expected people like frijns, werhlein, lotterer etc to be more consistently up the front but the shortness of the race leads to an element of randomness that is hard to overcome, especially with bad luck.

      I look forward to some better tracks, and I will keenly watch again as I think the series has real promise, but it’s clearly not without its flaws.

    10. Whole thing’s very silly IMIO, I’d sooner watch the Sleaford Mods TCR, ‘Total Control (electric) Racing’ vid.

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