Buemi holds off di Grassi to take Monaco Formula E victory

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MONACO – Sebastien Buemi extended his lead at the top of the FIA Formula E drivers’ championship after holding off title rival Lucas di Grassi in the closing stages of Saturday’s Monaco ePrix, taking his fourth win of the season.

Buemi picked up his first pole of the campaign in qualifying earlier in the day, with long-term rival Lucas di Grassi taking second on the grid to set the stage for another tense battle between the pair.

Buemi made a clean start and forged an early lead over di Grassi through the first stint of the race, but a safety car period following a clash between Nelson Piquet Jr. and Jean-Eric Vergne allowed the Brazilian to close up once again.

With the strategy options on offer to teams removed by the safety car, forcing the majority of runners to pit on the same lap, Buemi was left to fight di Grassi through the second half of the race while keeping a careful eye on energy usage given the extended stint.

Buemi’s lead over di Grassi stood at over a second at one point, but the Brazilian made inroads in the closing stages of the race, leaving the pair to run nose-to-tail in the final few laps.

Di Grassi darted behind Buemi as he looked to make an overtake on the last lap, but the Renault e.dams driver was able to hold on and record his fourth win of the season.

Nick Heidfeld followed the pair home in third place for Mahindra, having gained a position at the start and then benefitted from the clash between Piquet and Vergne. Piquet was able to continue and finished fourth, but Vergne was less fortunate, being eliminated on the spot.

Maro Engel took his best result in Formula E with fifth place for Venturi ahead of Felix Rosenqvist, while Daniel Abt finished seventh for ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport. Esteban Gutierrez was eighth for Techeetah as Antonio Felix da Costa and Nicolas Prost rounded out the points in P9 and P10 respectively.

The next Formula E race takes place in one week’s time in Paris, France.