Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr.,
representing the Chinese team NEXTEV TCR was crowned the first Formula E
champion. He won the championship despite the fact that he came 7th
in the last race held in London on July 28, 2015. The race was, however, won by
Englishman Sam Bird. For Bird it was his second win of the season.
Piquet drove in a very
determined fashion from start to finish, making up a lot of places, thanks to a
very aggressive strategy: his courage was rewarded with seventh place, enough
for him to triumph in the title fight, which also meant that, for the first
time, a Chinese team, NEXTEV TCR, has produced the champion in an FIA series.
Meanwhile, Bird took his second win of the season in front of his home crowd. Actually,
Bird took the chequered flag right behind Stephane Sarrazin, but on the slowing
down lap, the Venturi driver was informed he had exceeded the permitted energy
allowance. The inevitable penalty dropped him to 15th place. Bird’s great day
also included setting the fastest race lap, which was worth not just the two
bonus points in the classification, but also the Visa Fastest Lap Trophy in the
very race in which Visa Europe was the title sponsor. This was stated in a
press release issued by FIA Formula E.
The only redeeming factor for
India’s Mahindra Racing was that its driver Bruno Senna came in fourth in the
11th and final race, while teammate Karun Chandhok came in 13th.
Overall, after the final race, Bruno was tenth in Driver Standing, while
Mahindra Racing team came in 8th among the 10 contenders in the Team
Meanwhile, even the cleverest
of thriller screenwriters could not have come up with such an incident packed
script as the one delivered at the 11th and final round of the season. A crowd of
over 25,000 flocked to Battersea Park and packed thepacked the grandstands and
the eVillage, bringing the total number of people through the gates over the
duration of the event from Friday to Sunday, to around the 60,000 mark. They
were treated to two equally thrilling scenarios.
The first was the fight for
the win, which apart from the two aforementioned drivers, also involved
Belgium’s Jerome D’Ambrosio and France’s Loic Duval, who both finished on the
podium. The result meant that Dragon Racing finished second in the teams’
championship, right behind newly crowned champions e.dams- Renault. The second
big story of the day was the title fight, with three contenders, Buemi, di
Grassi and Piquet, who went on to cross the line in that order. However, only
the last of them was smiling about his finishing position, because the six
points that go with seventh place were enough to finish just a single point
ahead of Buemi in the classification. The Swiss driver paid the price for a
spin shortly after his pit stop: the mistake meant Bruno Senna got ahead of him
to finish fourth, his best result of the season.
The Brazilian proved to be an
unshakeable opponent for the e.dams-Renault driver, who tried his best in the
final few metres to take back the position that would have given him the title.
Lucas di Grassi would have needed a combination of favourable circumstance to
take the title and, in the end, sixth place was not even enough to allow the
Audi Sport ABT team to hang on to second place in the teams’ classification.
The remaining points places
were filled by the Mexican Duran (eighth), Englishman Turvey who finished ninth
just as he did yesterday in his debut weekend in Formula E and Nicolas Prost,
the only driver who has always finished in the points this season.
The day got off to a dramatic
start, as the battle for the Julius Baer Pole Position was hit by rain, just as the second group of drivers
were out on track. Therefore, for the first time ever this season, the special all-weather tyres
supplied to all Formula E competitors by Michelin, were given a stern test.
Paying the highest price for
the drops of rain that hit that track was Piquet, who was in the third group and
thus found himself in 16th place on the grid, behind fellow countryman di
Grassi (11th) but more importantly, a long way off Sebastian Buemi, his closest
title rival, who was sixth fastest. Quickest was Sarrazin who beat D’Ambrosio
by a whisker with Duval third and Bird fourth.
It was a closely fought and
tense race, which was very exciting for the spectators in the park and for those following the race on
television and the Internet. It was a great end to the inaugural season of the first FIA championship for
fully-electric single-seaters. “Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined
the final would turn out like this,” commented Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.
“It was an incredible day and we achieved what we set out to do; putting on a
great motorsport show in one of the most important cities in the world. We did
The season ended with a
prize-giving evening, which took place at the Natural History Museum in London. But thoughts are
already turning to the future. On 10 July, at the FIA World Council meeting, the
calendar for the second season will be published, while exactly one month
later, Donington Park circuit will stage the first of three official test
FIA Formula E Championship –
Visa London ePrix (Rd 11) – Results:
1. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing,
45:48.792s (29 laps)
2. Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon
3. Loic Duval, Dragon Racing,
4. Bruno Senna, Mahindra
5. Sebastien Buemi,
6. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport
7. Nelson Piquet Jr, NEXTEV
8. Salvador Duran, Amlin
9. Oliver Turvey, NEXTEV TCR,
10. Nicolas Prost,
11. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport
12. Simona de Silvestro,
Andretti Formula E, +24.610s
13. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra
14. Alex Fontana, Trulli,
15. Stephane Sarrazin,
16. Jean-Eric Vergne, Andretti
Formula E, 1 lap
17. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi,
18. Fabio Leimer, Virgin
19. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, DNF
20. Sakon Yamamoto, Amlin
Driver Standings (After Rd 11):
1. Nelson Piquet Jr 144pts
2. Sebastien Buemi 143pts
3. Lucas di Grassi 133pts
4. Jerome D’Ambrosio 113pts
5. Sam Bird 103pts
6 Nicolas Prost 88pts
7. Jean-Eric Vergne 70pts
8. Antonio Felix da Costa
9. Loic Duval 42pts
10. Bruno Senna 40pts
Team Standings (After Rd 11):
1. e.dams-Renault 232pts
2. Dragon Racing 171pts
3. Audi Sport ABT 165pts
4. NEXTEV TCR 152pts
5. Virgin Racing 133pts
6. Andretti Formula E 119pts
7. Amlin Aguri 66pts
8. Mahindra Racing 58pts
9. Venturi 53pts
10. Trulli 17pts
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