Sam Bird claimed victory at a dramatic final round of the season in London today which saw Nelson Piquet Jr claim the inaugural overall championship.
Despite crossing the line in second Bird was crowned victor of the second London ePrix after Stephane Sarrazin was given a penalty due to using to much energy.
Brazilian Piquet Jr. claimed the inaugural Formula E Championship by one point after after a spin for Sebastien Buemi which cost the Swiss driver the championship.
The start produced little drama with Sarrazin leading away from Dambrosio and Duval, while Sam Bird stayed ahead of Sebastien Buemi.
Senna and fellow tittle contenders Di Grassi and Piquet had good starts ending lap one in ninth and 12th respectively.
Piquet’s troubles from earlier on in the day looked to have followed the Brazilian into the race, the Nextev TCR driver had been dropped by his team mate in the opening laps and despite loosing 5 seconds over Turvey in the first 5 laps it became apparent the Brazilian was playing the long game, saving more energy than anyone else.
While Piquet was saving energy the rest of the field were streaking away before the leader had to pit. Stephane Sarrazin, Salvador Duran, and Lucas Di Grassi pitted on lap 14. Di Grassi jumped Duran raising the Brazilian up to 7th behind championship rival Buemi.
Dambrosio, Bird and Buemi pitted a lap later and it was the Virgin driver who got the best of the stops, jumping Dambrosio in the pit and moving up to third position.
Buemi let the pressure show on his out-lap; with cold tyres the e-Dams Renault driver locked the rears which lead to him having a half spin at turn three. The error cost Buemi, loosing one spot to to Bruno Senna which would come back to cost him later in the race.
While the whole field were pitting Piquet continued to save energy which lead to the Brazilian being the last to pit on lap
This shrewd move meant the Nextev TCR driver had considerably more energy than anyone else but his plan look floored when a safety car was deployed on lap 20 due Fabio Leimer out breaking himself into the turn 4-5 chicane and running straight into the barrier.
When the safety car was withdrawn on lap 22, Bird pulled out and out-braked Duval into the Turn 11-12 chicane. Duval was then in the clutches of his team mate, D’ambrosio made his move round the fast sweeping turn 13 and moved into third.
Behind the lead battle Piquet was able to take advantage of the extra energy he had over his competitors, first the Brazilian was waved pass his team mate Turvey before breezing pass Salvador Duran at the final corner.
The move left Piquet in eighth place and in a championship winning position.
Piquet’s championship wasn’t a given though as Buemi had recovered from his spin and was putting Senna under huge amounts of pressure, three times the pair came to blows but with no consequences.
While Buemi was all over Senna for forth, Bird was still harassing Sarrazin for the lead. The pressure eventually proved to much for Sarrazin, the Frenchman having used all his available energy by the penultimate corner.
Despite exceeding his energy limit, Sarrazin was able to cross the line using his reserve energy but was later given 49 second time penalty.
Sarrazin’s penalty meant that all the top ten moved up one place, with Bird, D’ambrosia and Duval on the podium with Senna in forth . Buemi, Di Grassi and Piquet finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Despite everyone moving up one place the Championship result overall wasn’t affected meaning Piquet was crowned the inaugural Formula E Champion by one point to Buemi and nine to di Grassi.
The top ten was rounded out by Duran, Turvey and Nicloas Prost.
The globetrotting electric Championship now takes a well-earned break and will return for a second season with a slightly changed format, no longer being a single-make, spec series.
Charlie Price – firstname.lastname@example.org