London ePrix Round Two: Prost wins again as Di Grassi and Buemi collide; Buemi crowned Champion with fastest lap

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Celebrations after the race. Sebastien Buemi (SUI), Renault e.Dams Z.E.15. London e-Prix, Battersea, London, United Kingdom. Sunday 3 July 2016. Photo: Adam Warner / LAT / FE.

The atmosphere was almost unbearable, the tension rising, and it all exploded on turn three as the Championship contenders Lucas Di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi ended up entangled at turn three.

With unrepairable damage for both of them, they had to limp to the pits to change to their second cars – their only hope of winning the Championship would be to set the fastest lap of the race.

However it wasn’t easy for them. As Di Grassi headed out to lay down his attempt for the two salvageable points, the Safety Car was deployed for Sam Bird’s stricken DS Virgin Racing just as Di Grassi had set the fastest two sectors of the race. Once it was called back in, Di Grassi did a 1.27.037.

Sebastien Buemi bided his time in the pits, and eventually headed out, only for the Safety Car to be called out for Robin Frijn’s broken Amlin Andretti after his collision with Loic Duval. It was a miserable day for the Andretti team, as Simona de Silvestro stopped on track.

The rest of the field weren’t letting Buemi and Di Grassi have all the fun. There were scraps aplenty through up and down the field. Antonio Felix da Costa had a train forming behind him, and having backed those behind him into each other. Frijns mounts D’Ambrosio in the squabble, gifting the Belgian some rear wing damage.

Frijns didn’t last much longer, as D’Ambrosio’s teammate Duval mugged him in a corner and forced him into the wall, ending his race.

Daniel Abt took second place from countryman Nick Heidfeld, and Jean-Eric Vergne also tries to get past, but to no avail. He managed to jump him in the pitstop phase the following lap.

The Dragon drivers had an eventful race. D’Ambrosio went around the outside of last year’s Champion Nelson Piquet, followed quickly by Duval. They nearly hit each other, but quickly dispatch of Piquet’s teammate Turvey, who fell further down the field to 11th.

Lucas Di Grassi attempts a last-gap attempt to take the fastest lap of the race, and set two purple sectors, but it isn’t enough, and Buemi is even faster on his next lap. Di Grassi gets out his car with two laps to go, game over.

Nico Prost had an easy afternoon and sailed to his second London ePrix win, clinching the title for Renault e.Dams as teammate Buemi was crowned Champion while stood in the garage.

Heidfeld, Vergne and Da Costa used up their usable energy before crossing the line, and were each given a 50 second time penalty. This promoted D’Ambrosio to third, and demoted the three to 7th, 8th and 9th.

2016 London ePrix Round II results

  1. Nico Prost RENAULT E.DAMS
  2. Daniel Abt ABT SCHAEFFLER
  3. Jerome D’Ambrosio DRAGON RACING
  4. Loic Duval DRAGON RACING
  5. Stephane Sarrazin Venturi
  6. Bruno Senna Mahindra
  7. Jean-Eric Vergne DS VIRGIN RACING
  8. Nick Heidfeld MAHINDRA
  9. Antonio Felix Da Costa TEAM AGURI
  10. Nelson Piquet Jr NEXTEV
  11. Oliver Turvey NEXTEV
  12. Qing Hua Ma TEAM AGURI
  13. Mike Conway VENTURI

DNF: Lucas Di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi, Robin Frijns, Simona de Silvestro and Sam Bird

The 2016/17 Formula E Championship will kick off in Hong Kong on 9th October

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