Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing held
his nerve in the closing laps of the CBMM Niobium Rome E-Prix presented by
Mercedes EQ and fended off multiple attacks from both Lucas di Grassi of Audi
Sport ABT Schaeffler and Mitch Evans of Panasonic Jaguar Racing to etch his
name in the history books as the first-ever winner on the streets of the
The DS Virgin Racing driver
pumped his fist in the air as he crossed the finish-line to complete an assured
drive under mounting pressure - from not one, but two drivers - as the laps
counted down in the inaugural race in Rome.
It was bad luck for Mahindra Racing Despite
picking-up maximum points for first place, it wasn’t a guaranteed victory from
the start as Felix Rosenqvist for Mahindra Racing retired from the front
mid-way through the race and gifted Bird the lead. The super Swede led away
from Julius Baer pole position and looked to be in control after the car swaps,
but Rosenqvist pulled over to the side of the track with broken left-rear
After a faultless day up to that point,
Rosenqvist seemed on course to close the gap on Vergne at the top of the ABB
FIA Formula E Championship, but it was to be Bird who would reduce the deficit.
Rosenqvist now sits 37-points
behind Vergne following technical problems in Mexico and salvaging points in
damage limitation mode in Uruguay. The Mahindra Racing driver will need to turn
it around in Paris, but as Bird has proved - one race can change the outlook of
Nick Heidfeld the other driver
from Mahindra Racing could only muster a 16th position.
Bird defended his position at
the head of the field with Evans and di Grassi looming large in his mirrors.
Making a slight mistake, Bird opened the door to Evans who swerved into the
slipstream of the now seven-time E-Prix winner down the hill approaching Turn
9. The Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver tried to make a move on the outside with
smoke pouring from his tyres, but to no avail as Bird kept his cool.
2018 CBMM Niobium Rome E-Prix presented by
Mercedes EQ (Rd 7)
1 - Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 58:20.656s
2 - Lucas di Grassi, Audi
Sport ABT Schaeffler, +0.970s (18)
3 - Andre Lotterer, TECHEETAH,
4 - Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT
Schaeffler, +10.167s (13)
5 - Jean-Eric Vergne,
TECHEETAH, +17.444s (10)
6 - Sebastien Buemi, Renault
e.dams, +19.835s (8)
7 - Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON,
8 - Maro Engel, Venturi
Formula E Team, +26.350s (4)
9 - Mitch Evans, Panasonic
Jaguar Racing, +37.709s (2)
10 - Edoardo Mortara, Venturi
Formula E Team, +40.739s (1)
11 - Antonio Felix da Costa,
Andretti Formula E, +42.680s
12 - Oliver Turvey, NIO
Formula E Team, +48.833s
13 - Luca Filippi, NIO Formula
E Team, +49.331s
14 - Nico Prost, Renault
15 - Tom Blomqvist, Andretti
Formula E, +1:31.832s
16 - Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra
17 - Jose Maria Lopez, DRAGON,
DNF - Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 22 Laps (3)
DNF - Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 18 Laps
DNF - Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, 15 Laps
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