Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah, Formula E, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Vergne scores lights-to-flag Monaco EPrix win

Formula E

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Jean-Eric Vergne won a Safety Car-free but action-packed Monaco EPrix, leading every lap from pole. Former Formula One driver Felipe Massa scored his first Formula E podium at his home race, in the Principality, coming in third.

Monaco qualifying was complicated by grid penalties earned for collisions during the Paris round, which saw fastest man Oliver Rowland demoted to fourth and Vergne taking pole position. Second-placed Mitch Evans was then penalised for breaching Super Pole procedure – for which he only received a reprimand. However, as it was his third reprimand of the season, this incurred a 10-place grid drop, demoting him to 12th and putting Pascal Wehrlein to the front of the grid.

When the lights went out all the cars got away cleanly, despite boldly going four-wide into Saint Devote. The first third of the race passed largely without incident, until Wehrlein locked up going into the hairpin and dropped back from second to fourth, behind both Rowland and Massa.

All three proceeded to activate Attack Mode to recover ground – but a close fight between fourth, third and second place allowed Vergne to pull out a small but significant two second lead, on this short track.

After 38 minutes, fifth-placed Sebastien Buemi had also backed up a significant train of drivers behind him – falling back from the four leaders and building up some extremely close drivers. Alexander Sims behind Buemi was unable to get past, but able to back Alexander Lynn into the clutches of BMW teammate Da Costa, who then overtook him.

Sam Bird, meanwhile, went on a tremendous charge from 14th on the starting grid to join the front of the train, along with teammate Robin Frijns, rapidly moving from the start of the points up to competing for Buemi’s spot.

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A very short Full Course Yellow caused by debris from Lynn’s car (which didn’t stop him running) and Maxi Gunther’s retirement for unknown reasons, allowed the leaders to bunch up again but not for the pack behind Buemi to reach them. However, on the restart Di Grassi was squeezed off track and into the wall on the lead up to Saint Devote, retiring with broken suspension.

Rowland, Vergne and Massa activated their final Attack Mode with five minutes to go, with Wehrlein leaving it until the very last minute to count the clock down. However, the order remained the same until the chequered flag – and Vergne took the race with less than 1% of energy remaining, Massa crossing the line on 0%.

Sam Bird’s efforts were poorly rewarded – a collision with a BMW in the close cars behind Buemi left him out of the race and from 6th to dead last.

Vergne’s win puts the reigning champion on top of the points standings by five points from Andre Lotterer with four races to go.

Provisional classification – ABB FIA Formula E Monaco Eprix 2019

1. Jean-Eric Vergne – DS Techeetah – 51 Laps
2. Oliver Rowland – Nissan e.Dams – +0.201
3. Felipe Massa – Venturi – +1.261
4. Pascal Wehrlein – Mahindra – +1.439
5. Sebastien Buemi – Nissan e.Dams – +6.215
6. Antonio Felix da Costa – BMWi Andretti – +15.956
7. Mitch Evans – Panasonic Jaguar – +16.213
8. Daniel Abt – Audi – +16.400
9. Andre Lotterer – DS Techeetah – +16.848
10. Alexander Lynn – Panasonic Jaguar – +18.112
11. Stoffel Vandoorne – HWA AG – +18.55
12. Jose-Maria Lopez – GEOX Dragon – +18.860
13. Jerome D’Ambrosio – Mahindra – +21.488
14. Gary Paffett – Venturi – +21.853
15. Alexander Sims – +26.934
16. Tom Dillman – NIO – +31.861
17. Sam Bird – Envision Virgin – +1 Lap
18. Robin Frijns – Envision Virgin (DNF)
19. Oliver Turvey – NIO – (DNF)
20. Lucas di Grassi – Audi – (DNF)
21. Edoardo Mortara – Venturi – (DNF)
22. Maximilian Guenther – GEOX Dragon – (DNF)

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 6 comments on “Vergne scores lights-to-flag Monaco EPrix win”

    1. Unbelievable year for Sam Bird. Every single race somebody crash him out.

    2. Yes! The results table, thank you @hazelsouthwell

      1. @johnmilk ha – apologies for previous absence of that, it’s a nightmare to do after the end of the race because report + results have to pretty much be done between end of race + end of podium, to get to the press conference. [sweating profusely.gif]

        1. @hazelsouthwell it worries me that I know precisely which gif that is

    3. Pretty tame race by FE standards, except for a mad few laps nearing the end where everyone thought ‘oh, theres not long left, better go for a lun… ah damn’. Still enjoyed it though.

    4. @hazelsouthwell
      Any word on what happened with Lotterer and his bizarre attack mode failure?

      Interesting race. Cat and mouse up front, but Bird was amazing until Evans gavd him the puncture. Gutted for him (again).

      Massa must have been just meters from running out of power (in fact the graphics momentarily said 0% as theh came ul to the finish line, but then went back up tl 1%). Would have been ironic if Wehrlein had got him in the last meters (after Mexico).

      Also, Formula E needs to get its act together on post race penalties! I read on Autosport about penalties for da Costa and Abt, but their own website says nothing, and the results are not updated.

      Finally, big kudos to the Monaco marshals, once again proving best in the world. That full course caution was so short!
      I don’t understand why everywhere else ,(F1 included) they can’t respond as fast. Once the safety car / vsc / full course yellow has been called, the marshals should be straight out there!

    Comments are closed.