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Mitch Evans in his Jaguar Formula E car on track

Evans wins in Rome after scary multi-car crash

Mitch Evans takes his third consecutive Rome E-Prix victory after team-mate Sam Bird triggered a multi-car incident. 

The race was halted by a red flag for an extended period of time after a dramatic incident took out six drivers and caused damage to at least two others. 

Sam Bird had just taken his attack mode and dropped back to the middle of the top 10 when he lost control of his Jaguar going over a manhole cover. Bird span and bounced between the walls, coming to a stop sideways behind a blind corner.  

Nick Cassidy and Jake Dennis narrowly managed to avoid Bird, but Sebastien Buemi clipped the back of his car, leaving carbon fibre from Bird’s rear wing scattered over the track. The force of the impact sent Buemi onto two wheels. Antonio Felix Da Costa then clipped the front of Bird’s car and went beneath Buemi, though the speed he was travelling at meant Buemi’s car didn’t come to a stop on top of him. 

With nowhere to go Edoardo Mortara hit the side of Bird’s car, causing a heavy impact. Lucas Di Grassi then clipped the wall trying to avoid the car. Robin Frijns almost managed to emerge unscathed, but lost the rear of his ABT Cupra as he passed and tapped Bird. 

Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein also suffered damage in the incident. 

The incident completely reset the race, which had already been action packed.  

Sam Bird had taken the lead early on before an off for Andre Lotterer brought out the safety car. Not long after the race resumed, Bird let Evans back through, then slipped back behind Sacha Fenestraz and Rene Rast. 

Fenestraz took the race lead as Evans went through the Attack Mode Activation and was leading when the red flag fell. 

Meanwhile, Wehrlein had suffered front wing damage after contract with Mortara when the field concentered up earlier in the race. The trip to the pits had put him to the back of the field and he suffered steering damage during the Bird incident. However, the Porsche team were able to repair the damage during the red flag and he restarted the race 12th of 14 runners. 

Fenestraz led the way on the restart ahead of Evans, Rast and Dennis. 

Rast didn’t have the pace of the front runners and slipped back, leaving Evans to battle with Dennis. Dennis eventually managed to find a way through and then passed Fenestraz, who did not have the same levels of usable energy as those behind him. Evans followed him past not long after, but he was already more than two seconds behind Dennis.  

Evans would retake the lead when Dennis went for his second attack mode, only to give up the position when the Jaguar driver attempted to take his own second attack mode. He missed the activation sensors and dropped further off Dennis’ tail as he took attack mode for a second time. 

With the extra power, Evans was quickly able to find a way past Dennis, who was low on energy. Cassidy, who had waited until the last possible moment to use his Attack Mode, followed him past. Cassidy couldn’t challenge Evans in the final two laps and Evans came out 1.639s ahead. 

Second for Cassidy puts him at the top of the championship standings, five points ahead of Dennis, who held off Jean-Eric Vergne and Nico Muller to finish fourth. 

Maximilian Guenther managed to avoid most of the drama to finish third. 

Wehrlein could only climb up to seventh in the second half of the race and drops to fourth in the championship standings, behind Evans. 

Norman Nato, Sergio Sette Camara and Fenestraz completed the top 10. 

Bethonie Waring

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