Vergne & Vandoorne win Formula E in Rome
The two races on the second weekend of Formula E have produced two new winners this season. Saturday’s race was won by previous champion Jean-Eric Vergne in the DS Techeetah, while on Sunday, Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne crossed the finish line in first place.
Both races, however, were affected by the changeable weather in Rome, because of the wet track both races were started behind the safety car. During the races themselves, however, it was dry, so the heats took place on the regular track.
The third race of the season on Saturday was won by Vergne in front of the two Jaguar drivers Sam Bird and Mitch Evans. Until shortly before the end, Vergne fought with Audi driver Lucas di Grassi for the victory, until di Grassi dropped back with a technical problem five minutes before the end.
The fact that Vergne was able to start the race at all was thanks to the work of his mechanics: On Saturday morning, Nio driver Oliver Turvey had hit Vergne’s car when the latter had stopped for a starting drill. Vergne missed the second free practice completely because of the repair work.
The race had already started with an upset: On the first lap, Porsche driver André Lotterer tried to overtake front-runner Stoffel Vandoorne, but made a mistake – both had to go into the run-off zone and lost many places. The Mercedes driver was again unlucky in his chase: When he tried to avoid the defective car of Lucas di Grassi, he crashed into the wall and retired.
On Sunday, things went better for the Belgian in Mercedes service. The former Formula 1 driver won the race ahead of Alexander Sims in the Mahindra. Although Venturi driver Norman Nato had crossed the finish line in third place. But because he had used more than the permitted amount of energy in his customer Mercedes, he was disqualified – which meant that Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein was classified third.
Similarly to the first weekend in Saudi Arabia, two races were held in Rome. After four races, Jaguar driver Bird (43 points) leads ahead of his team-mate Evans (39 points) and Virgin driver Robin Frijns – Bird’s championship lead is remarkable as he did not finish in two of the four races. When he did, however, he was on the podium. Mercedes drivers Vandoorne (33) and Nick de Vries (32) follow in 4th and 5th place. Porsche driver Wehrlein is equal in points with de Vries, who, however, is ranked 5th because of the better race results (victory in race 1). Champion Antonio Felix da Costa is in 10th place with 21 points.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.