Sebastien Buemi took victory this afternoon in Punta del Este to make it two from three races so far this season and to secure back-to-back wins at the venue.
As well as crossing the line first, the Renault e.dams driver also set the fastest lap of the race. Meanwhile, first season champion Nelson Piquet crashed out heavily on the final lap. Sam Bird, who’d started the race in third, came to a halt halfway through the race on the main straight. Jerome d’Ambrosio and Loic Duval, the Dragon Racing drivers who’s started in first and second positions, finished in third and fourth.
Sam Bird had made a strong start to move into second position. It was just the opposite for Bruno Senna, who suffered a puncture after contact and had to pit for a tyre change (the first time we’ve seen that in Formula E, despite the low profile tyres being used).
Sebastien Buemi, meanwhile, was determined not to hang around. He set the fastest lap until that point on lap six and drove through the front runners to take the lead at the end of lap eight.
Nathanael Berthon took a spin on lap 10, which brought out the yellow flags briefly, before Senna then drove head on into the tecpro wall, before reversing out and continuing.
By lap 14, Buemi had pulled out a 2.9s lead over d’Ambrosio while matching the Dragon Racing driver on energy, showing just how efficient and fast the Renault is. By lap 15, that gap had increased to 3.37s.
Lucas di Grassi, meanwhile, had moved up into a position to hound d’Ambrosio on the way into the pits. A slick stop by the ABT team put him out on track ahead of the Belgian, a position he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race.
Just after the pit stop, Bird came coasting to a halt on the main straight, making it the second time in a row that he’s failed to finish at this event.
Bird’s demise brought out the Full Course Yellow system, which allowed di Grassi to get very close to Buemi on the restart.
Piquet, meanwhile, got busy passing in the final laps, moving past Sarrazin on lap 24 to take ninth position, just behind his team mate, Turvey. When Turvey was then awarded a drive-through penalty for not meeting the minimum pit stop time, Piquet advanced.
Di Grassi dropped back from Buemi again. By lap 26, the Brazilian was 1% down on energy and 1.8s behind the Swiss driver. To underline the performance gap, Buemi had set another fastest lap on lap 23, which would stand.
Vergne got very interested in a points position and passed Sarrazin on lap 26 and set his sights on Piquet. The two diced and then made contact as JEV passed Piquet and then Piquet cut back.
On the final lap, Piquet crashed heavily while Buemi went on to win again at the track that marked his first Formula E victory.
Provisional race classification
- Di Grassi
- Felix da Costa
- De Silvestro