Lucas di Grassi has won the first ever Formula E race in Beijing today after capitalising on an accident at the final corner between Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld on the last lap of the race.
The inaugural ‘ePrix’ was a great step into the unknown, but after years of planning, the series has made a promising start at the Olympic Park in Beijing with di Grassi claiming the spoils.
It was Prost who had dominated the race weekend until an ill-judged move at the final corner on the last lap of the race. The Frenchman picked up three points for scoring pole position ahead of di Grassi and Daniel Abt, and led the entire race before his final corner collision with Heidfeld.
Venturi racer Heidfeld had slowly made up positions through the race after starting in sixth place, and found himself catching Prost in the final few laps as the Frenchman struggled to keep the power up on his car.
On the run down to the final corner, Heidfeld moved to the inside of Prost, only for the Frenchman to cut back across and side-swipe the German driver.
Heidfeld proceeded to spin across the kerbing, launching his car into the air and into the barrier before coming to a rest on his roll hoop. Thankfully, he emerged from the crash unscathed, albeit furious with Prost’s actions. He was quick to take to Twitter after the race to make his feelings known.
Just to let everybody know: I am fine… physically… Could/would/should have won that. Now nothing… #racing
— Nick Heidfeld (@NickHeidfeld) September 13, 2014
di Grassi managed to pick up the pieces from this accident to slip past and claim the first ever Formula E victory ahead of Andetti’s Franck Montagny and Virgin’s Sam Bird. Daniel Abt had finished third on track, but was demoted to P10 after failing to take a drive-through penalty during the race.
Charles Pic finished fourth for Andretti, putting the American team on top of the teams’ championship, whilst Karun Chandhok came fifth for Mahindra Racing.
Although the final corner collision did overshadow the end of the race, it appears that the first outing for Formula E has been well received. There are definitely minor issues to iron out, such as the car changes at half distance, but on the whole, the series has enjoyed a good start in Beijing.
The series now takes a two-month break, returning on November 22 in Malaysia for the Putrajaya ePrix.