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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Nicolas Prost claimed his second consecutive pole position in Putrajaya but will start from 11th on the grid following a 10-place grid penalty.
The e.dams-Renault driver clocked a 1:21.779s ahead of Dragon Racing’s Oriol Servia but the Frenchman will move back on the grid after picking up a grid penalty for the last-lap crash with Nick Heidfeld in Beijing.
Prost said: “My goal was just to stick it on pole so I could start 11th and that’s what we did. The Beijing pole was a bit of a surprise but here felt really good. We’ll have to see how the race goes, fastest lap would be great too but overall I’m really happy with the result and my performance.”
Both Dragon Racing drivers put in a strong performance to lockout the front row of the grid but following a post-qualifying investigation Jerome d’Ambrosio was sent to the back of the grid for exceeding the maximum power usage.
Speaking straight after qualfying the Belgian said: “This is a great result on a difficult track which is very bumpy. I thought I only had an ok lap and clipped the wall slightly which damaged my suspension – almost finished on three wheels. It’s a great result for the team, especially with Oriol on pole.”
Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird will line-up second with Daniel Abt in third. The Audi Sport ABT driver set the initial pace in the opening qualifying group with a 1:22.342s and remained fastest for a long period until Prost and Servia lowered the benchmark.
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