The Zurich E-Prix – the first race to be held on Swiss soil since 1955 – was won by Formula E’s defending champion Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin). Despite having to settle for 10th spot, the 2017/2018 championship’s pacesetter Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) still tops the provisional points table ahead of the campaign’s last two races next month in New York.
The 2017/2018 campaign’s final European fixture lived up every bit to its promise, as did the drivers’ Michelin Pilot Sport EV2s which also made their maiden appearance at the narrow street circuit on the shores of Lake Zurich. Although the track surface was relatively low-wearing, the bumpy straights and repeated heavy braking effectively put tyres to a tough test.
Formula E’s latest new venue didn’t seem to suit Vergne who could manage no higher than 17
The day began well for New Zealander Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing) who claimed his first ever Formula E pole position. He went on to top the order during the race’s first half but was eventually passed by di Grassi who had previously picked off Sam Bird and André Lotterer.
The Audi Sport driver eventually crossed the line 7.542s clear of Bird who did his title chances a world of good by coming second in Switzerland to capitalise on Vergne’s woes. The late drive-through penalty handed to five drivers (Lotterer, Evans, Buemi, Lopez and Vergne) helped Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) to finish on the podium.
Lotterer (fastest race lap) and Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) rounded out the day’s top five, ahead of Nick Heidfeld whose Mahindra Racing team-mate Felix Rosenqvist lost ground with an early crash.