DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer successfully grabbed Pole Position on a Super Pole session that had all six drivers finishing in the same position they had finished in the overall standings immediately after the qualifying groups had raced.
Despite making a mistake on his Super Pole lap, the German was able to clinch P1, followed closely time wise by Mitch Evans, Jose Maria Lopez, Stoffel Vandoorne, Maximilian Guenther, and Sebastien Buemi.
The first turn of the race was clean, as no crashes or contact between cars occurred. However, for third-placed ‘Pechito’, it was an unfortunate start, as he dropped several places. Teammate Maximilian Guenther also had an unlucky time, as he lost control of the car, losing its front wing.
Sam Bird touched the wall, and subsequently made contact with Lopez’ Dragon car. The Brit lost several places, with a damaged car. Alexander Sims also had an unfortunate start of the race, crashing against the wall, and damaging his front wing.
Early into the race, the Argentinian made contact with the wall, and HWA’s Gary Paffett could not brake in time, crashing Lopez’ car from behind. Vergne was in a similar situation to Paffett’s, crashing into the Brit, and blocking the track. This caused red flags to be deployed, as the marshals had to retire Paffett and Lopez’ cars from the place they were stuck in.
The red flag, meant all cars had to head back to the pitlane, for the track to be cleared and the barriers fixed. Drivers stayed over half an hour in the pitlane, with mechanics fixing those cars that had sustained damage.
Finally, cars were able to go back to action several minutes later, initially with the Safety Car leading the pack, and minutes later, with green flags deployed.
A strong battle between Buemi and Frijns for P4 took place in the Roman streets. Some positions behind, Massa, Mortara, and Rowland were also fighting to move up places. Evans chased Lotterer closely, trying to take advantage of any mistake the German could make, to move up to P1.
With less than thirty minutes to go, Sims was given a penalty that would be applied to him in the next round, whereas Lopez got penalised with a drive through for causing a collision.
Abt’s car stopped on track, but the German was able to find its way back to action. It wasn’t all that positive for Mortara, whose car lost speed, and the Swiss subsequently lost places, and ultimately retired from the race.
It was not Venturi’s luckiest race, as Massa’s car stopped on track, and yellow flags were deployed. The Brazilian, retired from the race during the Full Course Yellow period Race Control indicated.
During this period of time, Guenther was observed by Race Control for speeding under FCY, and later got given a five-second penalty. Vergne was also investigated by Race Control, for overtaking with yellow flags on. Minutes later, Race Control gave him a drive through penalty.
The focus moved to the fight at the front, between Lotterer and Evans, and the strategy the latter could use to overtake the DS Techeetah driver for the lead. Evans finally got past Lotterer on a turn, with slight contact with the German.
But as soon as Evans passed Lotterer, the German fought back. In between the chase, Evans did not activate the Attack Mode properly, which shortened the gap Lotterer had with him. But the DS Techteetah driver touched the wall too, taking the barrier banners with him.
Evans was able to activate Attack Mode again, and despite Lotterer approaching him, after he passed by the Attack Mode, he came out ahead of him.
The fight for the P1 spot went on, but the Kiwi was able to see the chequered flag from P1, clinching his first ever Formula E victory, and Jaguar’s first as well, in their third season in the series. The images from the big cat’s garage were full of smiles and joy, with Team Boss James Barclay having a huge grin as he congratulated everyone in the team.
Evans becomes the season’s seventh different winner, and a new driver to conquer a maiden victory in the fully-electric championship.
Photo courtesy Jaguar Media