Jean-Eric Vergne broke the streak of new ABB Formula E Championship race winners at eight with a decisive victory on the streets of Monaco.
Starting from pole position, DS Techeetah’s Vergne pulled away from Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein in second and Nissan e.dams’ Oliver Rowland — who started fourth despite winning the pole shootout, due to his three-place grid drop penalty incurred at the Paris E-Prix.
Proven Monaco master Sebastien Buemi in fifth was the first to engage the extra power gained through Attack Mode. Each car can use the power boost twice, with each activation lasting for a total of four minutes. Shortly after, Wehrlein, in third, went wide on Turn 1, giving away two positions as Rowland and Venturi’s Felipe Massa slipped through into second and third respectively.
With 22 minutes left, both Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi jumped up two places within a matter of minutes, leaving Bird in eighth and di Grassi close behind in ninth. Having finished runner up twice here in the past, the Brazilian driver was keen to make his way through the pack.
Coming into Turn 3, BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Simms turned into Audi’s Lucas di Grassi, slamming him into the barrier. Sustaining damage, di Grassi ground to a halt in the iconic swimming pool section of the track, ending his race.
With less than two minutes left, Frijns and Sims came together on track, putting Frijns car out of action, which saw his race end early.
Vying for the top sport, Rowland increased the pressure on Vergne in the closing stages, desperate to make up for his lost pole and take his first win in Formula E. But his efforts were no match for the reigning series champion, who crossed the line 0.21s ahead of Rowland, while home race hero Massa ascended his first Formula E podium for third.
Sam Bird had fought his way through the pack with some great passes only to lose his hard-earned sixth place when his Envision Virgin Racing entry ground to a halt at Rascasse on the final lap.