Piquet extends championship lead with Moscow ePrix win

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Nelson Piquet Jr has extended his lead at the top of the FIA Formula E drivers’ championship by claiming a  dominant win in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

The NextEV TCR driver seized the lead from pole-sitter Jean-Eric Vergne off the line, slipping down the inside into the first corner before pulling away into a lead that he would only lose through the pit stops.

Title rival Lucas di Grassi lost time to Piquet through the first stint of the race as he ran stuck behind Vergne in third place, but managed to pass the Frenchman with a quicker pit stop.

Di Grassi emerged from the pits some 4.7 seconds down on Piquet, and although he was able to close up on his compatriot, the Audi Sport ABT driver was unable to pass and eventually finished two seconds down in second place.

“It’s hard to express our feelings in these moments,” Piquet said after the race. “I knew coming back to the track like this would be our edge. I like places like this.

“We didd what we were supposed to do over here, we did our homework. Let’s go to London now.”

Despite leading the race for third place in the final stint, Jean-Eric Vergne lost two positions on the final lap after a rather odd incident. Sebastien Buemi made contact with the Andretti driver twice when trying to pass and cut the chicane, but Vergne did not re-take the position when Buemi slowed.

This prompted the e.dams driver to hold on to the position and also allowed Nick Heidfeld to find his way past Vergne for fourth place, leaving the Frenchman down in fifth at the flag.

Daniel Abt finished sixth to mark a good double score for the Audi Sport ABT team, whilst the Amlin Aguri duo of Salvador Duran and Antonio Felix da Costa finished seventh and eighth respectively. Nicolas Prost crossed the line in ninth for e.dams, with Justin Wilson finishing tenth on his Formula E debut for Andretti.

Piquet enters the final double-header in London with a 12 point lead over Buemi at the top of the standings, and with di Grassi also looming, we are set for a fascinating three-way fight at the final round of the inaugural Formula E season.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”