Image credit: Hybridcars.
Nelson Piquet Jr. dominated on the streets of Long Beach to take his maiden Formula E victory, 35 years after his farther took his first Formula One victory, at Long Beach.
The Brazilian, who started from third on the grid took the lead in first corner when he snuck down the inside of pole sitter Daniel Abt.
Piquet was always in control despite having to reestablish his lead on two occasions after the safety car was called for twice in the first half of the race.
The first came when star of last months Miami ePrix, Scott Speed took two much of the curb at the first chicane which bounched his Andretti car into the outside wall.
The safety car was in on lap 12 but was called upon a lap later when Charles Pic and Jarno Trulli came together at the famous Long Beach hairpin causing the latter to retire.
While Piquet extended his advantage, their was a tight scrap for the smaller podium places.
Abt was the first of the leading drivers to pit on lap 22, but the strategy didn’t pay off as the Audi Sport Abt driver was jumped during the car change by Jean-Eric Vergne. Soon after, Abt’s race was over when he was given a drive through penalty for exceeding power usage.
Lucas Di Grassi then took up the chase of Vergne but wasn’t able to catch the Frenchman and was only just able to hold of Sebastien Buemi for the final podium place.
The result means Di Grassi returns to the top of the championship standings with 75 points, one point ahead of race winner Piquet.
Rounding out the top five was Bruno Senna, the Brazilian matching Mahindra’s best result of the season.
While Di Grassi returned to the top of the standings it was a bad day for championship contenders Sam Bird and Nico Porst. Bird’s race was over on on the first lap when he suffered suspension failure, while Prost struggled with race pace before a drive through penalty dropped him down to 14th.
Formula E returns to Europe at the start of May for the first Monaco ePrix.
Charlie Price – email@example.com