Felix Rosenqvist consolidated his Sunday pole with an imperious win in Montreal while Lucas Di Grassi consolidated to take the driver’s championship as Sebastien Buemi’s title challenge went from bad to worse.
Rosenqvist immediately pulled to the right to cover his ground as Vergne and Bird dragged each other to the first corner but it was Stephane Sarrazin that caught a knock from behind and spun in front of the pack. As the concertina effect took hold, Sebastien Buemi was hit from behind from Antonio Felix Da Costa and suffered wing damage – scoring a meatball flag for his troubles.
The errant damage however had departed the car before being called in, inciting the rage of a furious Buemi being forced to pit for no reason – whether this was a pit-communication error remained to be seen but it would certainly make for an interesting debrief session – especially with both Renault e.Dams running in the last two positions.
Meanwhile his championship rival in Di Grassi was still in 7th, having been shuffled back two spots at the start. Rosenqvist however had pulled out 1.2 seconds despite those behind having more usable energy at their disposal.
Nick Heidfeld had disposed of Sam Bird for 3rd position while Di Grassi and Abt were running solidly in 7th and 8th. With the Renault’s so far back the ABT Audi Schaeffler pair now faced a philosophical dilemma of pushing to challenge for the team’s championship or consolidated the driver’s.
Up front, Vergne was now attacking Rosenqvist while Heidfeld and Bird were backing themselves into the path of Tom Dillmann. Perhaps a little too close as Dillmann found himself having to brake early and leave the door open to Jose Maria Lopez to steal third. Heidfeld suddenly began to lose pace and was passed by both Mahindras.
Engel and Piquet were the first to dive into the pits on lap 18 with the leader – Rosenqvist – doing the same a lap later. Vergne, Lopez, Di Grassi and Abt would each stay out hoping to gain clean air but were edging perilously close to 1% of usable energy. A lap later they were in, remarkably leaving Prost out front – albeit with 2% usable energy. Engel was doing a stellar
Abt would have a better stop than Di Grassi, leaving the Brazilian to battle wheel-to-wheel with season one champion Nelson Piquet. Having disposed of his countryman, Di Grassi was relieved to be handed 9th by his team mate. That said, neither of the ABT Audi Schaeffler drivers were making much headway and it looked increasingly like Renault e.Dams team’s title would be safe for another year.
Vergne meanwhile had now caught and passed Rosenqvist in turn three, the Frenchman taking advantage of the Swede attempting to lift and coast. The Frenchman’s economy of driving was coming on leaps and bounds since his entry into the category in season 2. His win in Montreal his first in the formula.
6th however was enough for Di Grassi to seal the title. The Brazilian’s maximum attack modus operandi had served him well in the final part of the season, leaving Buemi wondering if his contract negotiations with Toyota had been diligent enough.
Images: FIA Formula E
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