FIA Formula E/LAT

Di Grassi clinches maiden Formula E title, Vergne wins Montreal finale

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MONTREAL, Canada – Lucas di Grassi has been crowned FIA Formula E champion after finishing seventh in Sunday’s season finale in Montreal, with title rival Sebastien Buemi failing to score.

Di Grassi moved into the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time this season on Saturday by winning the Montreal opener, opening up an 18-point lead when Buemi was disqualified.

Buemi’s struggles continued on Sunday as he qualified a lowly 14th, and was then hit at the start, forcing him to take a pit stop after being shown a black and orange flag, causing him to drop to the back of the field.

Buemi was able to fight his way back up to 11th by the checkered flag, but with di Grassi finishing seventh, the championship was comfortably settled.

The Brazilian is Formula E’s third champion in as many seasons, clinching the title despite taking just two wins compared to Buemi’s six, the Renault racer’s New York no-show proving costly.

The race itself was won by Jean-Eric Vergne, who finally took his first Formula E win after finishing second on six previous occasions, passing pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist in the second stint of the race.

Rosenqvist held on to second for Mahindra, securing himself third place in the drivers’ championship after Sam Bird could only take P4 on the day for DS Virgin Racing, finishing behind teammate Jose Maria Lopez.

Nick Heidfeld put in a quietly impressive display to take P5 for Mahindra ahead of Daniel Abt, who di Grassi let past at the line in the sister ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport car.

Despite closing the gap to Renault in the teams’ championship with a strong double score, the ABT squad was unable to deny the French marque a third straight title, clinched even though Buemi finished 11th and Nicolas Prost failed to finish.

Stephane Sarrazin recovered from a first lap spin to finish eighth for Techeetah, securing another double-score for the team, while Jerome d’Ambrosio and Tom Dillmann rounded out the points.

Formula E now takes a break until the start of collective testing in Valencia in October, with the opening race taking place in Hong Kong in early December.