Formula E - Sanya ePrix: Vergne is the sixth different winner of the season
Defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) clinched his first victory this season and the sixth FE victory in a career today at Sanya ePrix in China, the sixth round of the 2018-2019 FIA Formula E Championship season. Vergne is the sixth different winner in six races of the fifth FE season.
After three ‘pointless’ races, the driver of the #25 DS E-Tense FE19 scored the maximum amount of points by winning the race at the 2.236 km circuit that hosted Formula E race for the first time. Vergne defeated pole-sitter Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) for whom it’s the maiden podium in his first Formula E season. The third man on a podium was Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport), who takes over the championship lead after six races.
The previous championship leader Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) didn’t finish the race, retiring in the opening minutes of the race. Shortly after Bird’s retirement, HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne also retired from the race reporting damage to the car. The next two drivers on the list of retirements early in the race were Dragon Racing teammates Felipe Nasr and Jose Maria Lopez.
Shortly after Jean-Eric Vergne made a decisive move on Rowland and took the lead, Alexander Sims crashed his car and left stranded on track, causing the red flag stoppage. At the restart, Vergne stayed in the lead but he was under investigation for not respecting the Safety Car procedure.
In the final minutes of the race, Lucas di Grassi was a victim of a crash on Turn 8 that caused full-course yellow, so Rowland had no more chances to attack Vergne on the last lap. Behind three drivers on a podium, the other point scorers are Andre Lotterer, Daniel Abt, Sebastien Buemi, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Pascal Wehrlein, Mitch Evans and Edoardo Mortara.
In the championship standings, Antonio Felix da Costa leads with 62 points on his account, three more than Jerome d’Ambrosio. Jean-Eric Vergne and Sa Bird are tied with 54 points, just one more than Edoardo Mortara and two more than Lucas di Grassi.
Formula E is now moving to Europe. The next race would be the Rome ePrix, scheduled for April 13, and then electric formulas will visit Paris, Monaco, Berlin and Bern.