Sebastien Buemi wins first ever Monaco ePrix
Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi (e.dams Renault) is a winner of Monaco ePrix, seventh round of FIA Formula E Championship. Race was held on modified and shortened F1 street-track in Monte-Carlo. Buemi wins in front of two Brasilian drivers – Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (NEXTEV TCR).
Buemi made a good start from pole position, so he was clear of the first lap carnage that took place behind him. Daniel Abt and Nico Prost went wheel-to-wheel through the first turn, but as they ran down the new piece of track that leads towards the exit of the tunnel, Abt was squeezed into the wall.
As his car ground into the barrier, Bruno Senna was left with nowhere to go and vaulted over the back of the Audi Sport ABT entry, flying through the air before crashing down. With the already narrow track blocked, many drivers were left with nowhere to go. Among those to pick up damage were Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Salvador Duran, Jean-Eric Vergne and Loic Duval. Senna and Alguersuari retired after crash, others restared with changed cars.
After restart of the race we saw three-way fight for the lead. Lucas di Grassi pitted early for swapping the car, but Buemi exited the pits ahead of Brazilian driver. Di Grassi tried a move around the outside of the Harbour Hairpin, but Buemi held firm. Di Grassi’s earlier stop meant he had to conserve more energy, and having defending the attack from the Brazilian, Buemi was perfectly placed to achieve his second win in championship.
“To win in Monaco is a great feeling. I knew about this thing of everyone starting on pole and not winning the race, so it was good in the end to finally manage that, especially here as we could see it’s very difficult to overtake“, said Buemi.
Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was fourth, Jerome D’Ambrosio came to the finish fifth to keep his strong recent run going, while Prost took sixth to keep himself in the title mix. Having avoided the opening lap crash, Stephane Sarrazin scored Venturi’s best result of the season so far in its home race in seventh.
Scott Speed picked up a damaged front wing during the first lap incident, but stayed out. Some fine passing on Charles Pic and Antonio Felix da Costa took him up to eighth, but Speed had exceeded his energy usage and was given a 33-second time penalty. This moved Pic into eighth and da Costa to ninth. Nick Heidfeld was boosted into 10th, giving Venturi a double points haul at home.
In the drivers’ standings, di Grassi has stretched his lead over Piquet to four points, while Buemi has moved up to third a further six points back.