Antonio Felix da Costa claimed a remarkable first Formula E victory after four cars ahead of him faltered in the closing stages in Argentina.
Sebastian Buemi, Lucas di Grassi, Nick Heidfeld and Sam Bird all hit trouble late on to give the Portuguese a memorable victory, Amlin Aguri’s first of the season. Buemi had led away from pole at the start of the race and looked in control until after the first pit stops but eventually buckled under pressure from di Grassi, clipping the wall at the high-speed chicane.
Di Grassi’s lead lasted just two laps before his suspension snapped at the same point, promoting Heidfeld up the order. But the German’s hopes of victory were then undone when he received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. Da Costa had already been elevated to second when Bird was handed a drive-through penalty of his own.
After Da Vosta inherited the lead from Heidfeld the drama stopped and he brought the car home victory, with Nicolas Prost and Nelson Piquet Jr rounding off the podium places ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, Bruno Senna. Jean_Eric Vergne finished sixth, though he could have been on the podium where it not for late contact with Alguersuari as the pair battled for third.
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Sam Bird cruised to victory at the second race of the Formula E season in Putrajaya ahead of championship leader Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi.
The Virgin Racing driver crossed the line to pick up the full 25 points and clinch his maiden ePrix win.
Bird said: “The weekend went really well, we were quick from the first outing and we were quickest in practice. Qualifying didn’t quite go our way as I think we were not in the best group for doing a fast lap time but we put that right in the race.
Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas di Grassi and e.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi both managed to fight their way through the field to stand on the podium despite starting at the back of the grid.
Bird’s win means he moves up to second place in the championship standings just three points behind Beijing race-winner di Grassi.
Nicolas Prost continued the strong form he showed in qualifying to finish fourth. The Frenchman started from 11th position after carrying over a 10-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision in Beijing.
The Qualcomm Safety Car was deployed on the opening lap to clean the debris from the track as Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti (Trulli) collided. Legge looked to make a pass on the inside but lost the back end and caused Cerruti to spin.
Mahindra’s Bruno Senna crashed heavily on the final lap in pursuit of Sebastien Buemi for the final podium spot. Senna said: “I saw Buemi and had an opportunity to get a podium but I made a mistake. I just went for it and got out on the marbles when I lost the car.”
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Audi Sport ABTâ€™s Lucas di Grassi stole victory in the inaugural Formula E Evergrande Spring Beijing ePrix after Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld crashed in a last corner battle for the lead.
Heidfeld walked away unscathed from a nasty looking incident after contact with Prost left him unable to control the car and flipped into the tyre barrier.
As the pair approached the final corner the Venturi driver dived up the inside in an attempt to the take the lead. The Frenchman moved left to defend and inevitably lead to their wheels colliding.
Heidfeld said: â€œI thought it was going to be a very big crash as well. Once I hit the kerb it felt like I was in the air forever. I closed my eyes and waited for the impact and then I thought â€˜Oh that was lucky!â€™ I have a small pain in my calf but apart from that Iâ€™m perfectly fine.â€
After clambering out from underneath the car Heidfeld, clearly aggravated, confronted Prost. However, Di Grassi wonâ€™t complain as he picks up the full 25 points and with it takes the lead of the championship.
He said: â€œFirstly, Iâ€™m happy Nick [Heidfeld] is ok and it shows how safe these cars are. To win the race is like a dream come true. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. The team did a great job all through practice and qualifying, yes we made a few mistakes but overall Iâ€™m extremely happy to be the first ever winner of a Formula E race.â€
Andretti driver Franck Montagny finished runner-up nearly three seconds adrift of Di Grassi as the Brazilianâ€™s team-mate Daniel Abt crossed the line in third place. On return to the pitlane Abt was handed a time penalty for exceeding the battery consumption. The German driver used 28.2kW of the allocated 28kW available.
Katherine Legge and Jaime Alguersuari were also penalised for being over the limit.
Virgin Racingâ€™s Sam Bird was eventually promoted to claim the final place on the podium. Andrettiâ€™s new signing Charles Pic put on a strong display to finish fourth ahead of Karun Chandhok.
Mahindra team-mate Bruno Senna retired on the opening lap after being squeezed between the two Amlin Aguri cars. The Brazilian broke his left-front suspension and consequently brought out the Qualcomm Safety Car.
Despite topping four of the five pre-season tests, e.dams-Renaultâ€™s Sebastien Buemi failed to finished after retiring on lap 19.
Takuma Sato picked up two points for Amlin Aguri posting the fastest lap of a 1.45.101 in the final moments of the race.
After a dream start in the first ever Formula E race in Beijing, Lucas di Grassi begins his title assault on the Barcelona World Cup.
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