The provisional 2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship pacesetter Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah/Michelin) produced a lights-out to chequered flag performance to win his home race. The Parisian was joined on the Paris E-Prix podium by Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) and Sam Bird (DS Virgin).
The Techeetah driver laid the foundations for his success in the French capital by claiming pole position which enabled him to control from in front for all 49 laps, despite pressure from Bird and team-mate André Lotterer.
Indeed, these three men spent the race’s entire first half clear in front and were blanketed by less than a second after 24 laps as the mid-race car swaps began. After the pit stops, the order remained unchanged, although Vergne succeeded in extending his lead.
A particularly quick change allowed last season’s champ di Grassi to edge past Maro Engel (Venturi) who managed to re-join ahead of Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams).
With more energy to play with, and aided by the afternoon’s fastest race lap, di Grassi soon caught the leading trio, while Lotterer pulled off a brave manoeuvre to pass Bird on Lap 35. Next time around, it was di Grassi’s turn to ease past the Briton to move up to third spot.
In a surprising finale, however, and with the chequered flag in sight, Lotterer suddenly slowed and was overtaken by the Brazilian. Bird was unable to avoid colliding with the stricken Techeetah but went on to cross the line in third place… on three wheels.
Lotterer ended up sixth, behind Buemi (5