Vandoorne avenges lost win with emphatic race two victory in Rome

Formula E

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Stoffel Vandoorne won Formula E’s second race of the weekend in Rome, 24 hours after being denied victory from pole position.

Proceedings began behind the Safety Car for the second day in a row, a decision arising from the mixed weather conditions and concerns over the starting grid placement on a track which has been altered since last year.

Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy, who joined Virgin this season, started the fourth race of his Formula E career from pole position alongside fellow rookie Norman Nato. Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein lined up behind them on the second row.

Cassidy’s lead was short-lived: He held the lead for just two corners before a braking error saw him drop down the order. Nato inherited the lead but that also proved temporary, as Wehrlein was quickly able to make a move on him.

Di Grassi fumed after contact with Buemi
Cassidy briefly looked to set to bounce back, passing Buemi for ninth as he moved back up the order and looking like a serious threat for a podium. However he tangled with Oliver Rowland and ended up embedded in the TecPro at turn seven. He recovered but only to a distant last place, trailing the pack, and collected a post-race penalty to boot.

Wehrlein lost the lead to Vandoorne when he darted off-line to trigger his Attack Mode, with the view that he’d be able to get it back under the higher power mode. But to his misfortune the race was almost immediately neutralised and he had no opportunity to cash in his advantage.

Contact between Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi saw the latter tipped sideways into a barrier, tearing the front-left corner off his Audi on the wall. A full course yellow was called as the furious Di Grassi came to a stop in the turn four run-off.

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Once the racing restarted Wehrlein was not only unable to catch Vandoorne, but soon fell prey to Alexander Sims, the Mahindra driver claiming second place.

Cassidy took pole for his fourth Formula E start, but struggled
With eight minutes to go, Rene Rast hit the wall at the exit of turn 19, his wrecked car skidding to a halt. That initially prompted another yellow flag period, which led to a Safety Car deployment, leaving just two minutes of green-flag running at the end of the race, enough for a single lap of action.

Vandoorne kept the lead at the restart, Sims giving pursuit in vain. The pair had twice the remaining energy of third-placed Nato, who had Wehrlein all over him.

Under pressure from behind, Edoardo Mortara dramatically wrestled his car under control into turn seven. But Nyck de Vries and Sam Bird weren’t as lucky, ending their race in the TecPro at the same corner, after going into it three-wide with Oliver Rowland.

Vandoorne took the chequered flag ahead of Sims and Nato, but the latter finished with too little in his battery and was disqualified, handing the final spot on the rostrum to Wehrlein. Mortara’s acrobatics ensured he kept hold of fourth place ahead of Maximilian Guenther.

Despite adding nothing to his points haul, Sam Bird retains the title lead, as does his team Jaguar. Formula E will continue its season-opening run of double-headers at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, in two weeks’ time.

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Race result

PositionDriverTeam
1Stoffel VandoorneMercedes
2Alexander SimsMahindra
3Pascal WehrleinPorsche
4Edoardo MortaraVenturi
5Max GüntherBMWi Andretti
6Mitch EvansJaguar
7Antonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
8Sebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams
9Tom BlomqvistNIO 333
10Nico MüllerDragon Penske
11Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah
12Sergio Sette CamaraDragon Penske
13Jake DennisBMWi Andretti
14Oliver TurveyNIO 333
15André LottererPorsche
16Oliver RowlandNissan e.Dams
17Alex LynnMahindra
18Robin FrijnsEnvision Virgin
NCNorman NatoVenturi
DNFSam BirdJaguar
DNFNyck de VriesMercedes
DNFNick CassidyEnvision Virgin
DNFRene RastAudi
DNFLucas di GrassiAudi

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 8 comments on “Vandoorne avenges lost win with emphatic race two victory in Rome”

    1. I think it would be better if, under the safety car, they stopped the clock instead of reducing the amount of energy available. This is because safety cars take up far more of timed races than races done on laps. Maybe energy used under the safety car could also be considered to not count towards the 100% and the cars could just keep extra energy in the battery in case of a safety car; the issue of running out of fuel does not apply to Formula e.
      This way, we would always get a full 45 minutes of racing, and I don’t see what the downside is. Does anyone know why this rule is not in place currently?

      1. They could possibly slow the clock but they’re still using some energy under the safety car so they wouldn’t have enough to complete the race if they stopped the clock.

    2. Starts aside, I really enjoyed the races this weekend. It was a good track and both the races were close throughout with plenty of overtakes.

      I think the combination of narrow tracks and (relatively) strong cars is creating some good quality racing recently.

    3. Are the teams correct in the table?
      I thought Stoffel was driving for Mercedes, not DS Techeetah

    4. vandoorne is not driving for ds.

    5. Another decent race marred by poor organisation. For example, leaving debris on the track after a full course yellow, and wasting several minutes under the safety car fetching a crane when the stricken car was about ten metres away from an escape road.

      1. The wheels were duffed in Andy, they needed a crane. I was actually impressed with how quickly they got that car out of the way.
        Leaving the debris on track though, agreed that was unforgivable.

    6. Clinical execution by Vandoorne after a disastrous lockup by the pole sitter (interested to know if it was a software problem).

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