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.