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Vergne victorious in an eventful first 2021 Rome E-Prix

In an action-packed race in the streets of Rome, DS Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne took the win in a race that finished behind the Safety Car on the streets of Rome.

Seconds before the red lights went out a message from Race Control informed the drivers the start would be behind Safety Car due to rain starting to fall in the circuit.

Five minutes into the start, green flags were deployed and the real action kicked off. But it did not take long for the first incident to happen, as poleman Stoffel Vandoorne made contact with then second-placed Andre Lotterer on the first racing lap, with Lotterer penalised with a five-second time penalty for the incident.

Oliver Rowland emerged as the new race leader, followed by Lucas di Grassi and Jean Eric Vergne, although Rowland was given a drive-through penalty for using too much power and lost the lead to di Grassi.

Rowland was finally penalised with a drive through, which allowed di Grassi to move up to the top of the standings. Right behind him, Vergne closely battled for the first position.

Di Grassi remained on top, while behind him there were some position swaps as drivers went for their Attack Mode in efforts to gain power and positions.

Vandoorne, who had dropped several positions after his collision at the start of the race, was able to move up several places and with twenty minutes of the race left, he was running within the top ten again.

Vergne moved up to the front after di Grassi went for his Attack Mode. Frijns was closely behind the Frenchman looking for his chance to overtake him and move to the lead of the race.

In a tight battle, di Grassi overtook the Dutchman and was running second, in the hunt for the top spot. The Brazilian finally passed Vergne and was back in the lead of the race.

The battle for the front of the race was on, with the lead switching between di Grassi, Vergne, and de Vries as they continued to go for their Attack Modes.

Vergne, who had moved up to the front, had the di Grassi, de Vries, and Bird train behind him racing closely in the fight for P1. Bird moved up to third place in clean fashion and pushed hard to climb up more positions.

In yet another move, di Grassi was able to overtake Vergne. But his lead did not last long, as he started losing power and lost several positions. Vandoorne went wide as he tried to pass the stricken di Grassi, but spun into the wall and was then collected by de Vries, with the Dutchman unable to avoid his teammate.

Vergne subsequently inherited the lead of the race, with Jaguar’s Bird and Evans following suit.

 

Andrea Perilli

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