Lucas di Grassi has taken the lead of the FIA Formula E championship after winning an eventful Putrajaya ePrix in Malaysia on Saturday afternoon.
Di Grassi started the race from sixth position, but brought himself into contention for the win after a solid first stint and a quick pit stop that allowed him to vault many of his rivals.
Pole sitter Sebastien Buemi had controlled proceedings throughout the first half of the race, only for an issue on his car to cause him to slow and hand the lead to Loic Duval.
Duval’s hopes of claiming his first Formula E victory were dashed after a slow pit stop that saw the Frenchman emerge behind Antonio Felix da Costa and di Grassi.
Nicolas Prost did lead the field after being forced into an early pit stop due to a software issue, but the need to save power throughout the second half of the race saw him drop down the order.
A frantic final period of the race saw da Costa’s car stop and start again, Andretti’s Robin Frijns make contact with the wall, Duval retire and Jerome d’Ambrosio crash out on the final lap while running in third place.
Di Grassi kept himself out of trouble in the final stages to claim his first win of the season and move into the lead of the championship as Buemi could only finish 12th.
Sam Bird came through to finish second for DS Virgin Racing, marking a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the Briton. After qualifying all the way down in 14th and with doubts over whether his second battery would work, Bird managed to make a longer first stint work before charging through the field late on.
The podium was completed by Frijns, who despite hitting the wall managed to continue and cash in from d’Ambrosio’s error to finish third for Andretti. Stephane Sarrazin bounced back from an issue on the grid to finish fourth ahead of Bruno Senna and da Costa.
Daniel Abt ended the race in seventh ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr, who also made a longer first stint work to charge through for his first points of the year. Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost rounded out the points in Putrajaya.