Di Grassi extends his Formula E championship lead with dominant victory
Lucas di Grassi extended his Formula E points lead with a dominant performance in the inaugural Paris eprix.
The Abt Audi Sport driver beat poleman Sam Bird into Turn 1 and raced into a commanding lead early on.
He was granted an easy conclusion when Ma Qing Hua crashed heavily five laps from the end of the race and brought out the safety car, which allowed di Grassi to secure his third win of the season under caution.
The Brazilian extends his championship lead to 11 points over Sebastien Buemi, who finished third, behind Jean-eric Vergne.
Buemi inherited the final podium position after a mistake from Bird, shortly before Ma crashed, sent the British driver down the escape road at Turn 1.
Bird had run third for the entirety of the race up until that point after also losing out to DS Virgin Racing team-mate Vergne at the start.
The two touched wheels at Turn 2 and came to blows again before the car swaps, Vergne hanging on each time – but the delays allowed Buemi and the other Renault e.dams car of Nico Prost to make it a four-car fight for second.
They held position through the pitstops, after which Vergne and Bird pulled away from Buemi, who took longer to warm up his tyres but soon set a couple of new fastest laps to draw onto the tail of Bird’s car. A couple of half-hearted looks were rebuffed and Bird appeared to have his rival covered, but he locked up defending into Turn 1.
He performed a swift U-turn down the escape road, but tumbled to sixth behind Buemi, Prost and Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin.