Sebastien Buemi kept his cool to dodge a number of possible pitfalls and win Saturday’s Paris ePrix, extending his lead at the top of the Formula E drivers’ championship in the process.
Buemi scored his second pole position of the season in qualifying, edging out home favorite Jean-Eric Vergne by just 0.006 seconds in the final Super Pole shootout.
The duo enjoyed a close battle at the front of the pack for the first half of the race, with Buemi’s two-second lead being wiped away by a Full Course Yellow called following a crash between title rival Lucas di Grassi and Antonio Felix da Costa for Andretti.
The FCY was near enough to the pit window that the majority of the pack came in and swapped cars early, with Vergne pushing to catch Buemi and cutting the gap to one second in the process once the race was back under green.
Vergne’s race came to an end before he could begin to think about a move on Buemi, with a technical failure on his Techeetah car sending him into the wall and sparking a safety car period.
Buemi’s lead of seven seconds over Lopez was eradicated by the safety car, but the defending series champion did not panic, pulling out a healthy buffer once the race got back underway.
Buemi’s advantage was given one final challenge when another safety car was called in the closing stages after di Grassi crashed when chasing the fastest lap. However, it ended up playing into his hands when race control announced that the checkered flag would be shown under the safety car.
The win was Buemi’s fifth in six races so far this season, and extends his Formula E championship lead to 43 points over di Grassi, who failed to score a single point after his late shunt and a penalty for not meeting the minimum pit stop time.
Lopez took second for DS Virgin Racing, marking the three-time WTCC champion’s best result in Formula E so far, while Nick Heidfeld completed the podium for Mahindra in third place.
Felix Rosenqvist followed close behind his team-mate to take P4 ahead of Nicolas Prost, who gained a position from Robin Frijns when the Dutchman received a five second time penalty. Frijns was eventually classified sixth.
Nelson Piquet Jr. finished the race seventh for NextEV NIO ahead of Tom Dillmann, who was eight on debut for Venturi. Mitch Evans scored Jaguar’s third points finish in Formula E in P9, while Stephane Sarrazin rounded out the top 10.