ABB Formula E Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne took a big step toward defending his series championship by taking his third win of the season on the streets of Bern, Switzerland.
Starting from [ole, DS Techeetah’s Vergne led the pack around the downtown circuit, followed by Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans and home race hero Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams). Just seconds into the race, though, a jam at Turn 1 caused by a collision between Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein and Geox Dragon’s Max Gunther brought out the red flag. Involved in the incident after he was shunted by Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio, Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns was left stranded on track with a broken drivetrain, ending his race almost before it had even started.
After the track was cleared, the remaining cars returned to the pit lane to repair the damage, reorder (as they started the race) and restart behind the safety car with 44 minutes left on the clock.
Evans attacked Vergne several times on the downhill run to Turn 3 but was unable to pass, and the Kiwi then came under attack from Buemi in the closing minutes.
Behind Sam Bird in fourth, Andre Lotterer had made his way into fifth. Reliving their rivalry following a battle in Hong Kong earlier in the season, Lotterer went on the attack, determined to take Bird as retribution for the damage he sustained in Asia. Eventually slipping past him on Turn 7, Lotterer took fourth with a podium position in mind.
In the final seconds, heavy rain led to slippery conditions as Vergne desperately tried to retain his lead and get across the line despite Evans continuing to attack. Drifting through the corners, the top four went nose to tail across the finish line with Vergne first, Evans second and Buemi leading Lotterer in third and fourth.
Across the line, the reigning champion was verbally relived as he brought his car back to the pit lane having significantly extended his lead ahead of the double-header finale in New York City on July 13-14.