Buemi’s first Formula E win
Sébastien Buemi claimed his first victory in the Formula E series in Punta del Este, Uruguay, after holding off a worthy challenge put up by Jean-Éric Vergne. Vergne had started on pole, but made contact with a barrier early in the race, damaged his suspension, lost the lead, and spent the rest of the race trying to make up for lost time. Nelson Piquet Jr was the runner up while series point leader, Lucas di Grassi, rounded up the podium with his third podium finish of the series.
The first safety car of the race was dispatched on Lap 4 after Putrajaya winner Sam Bird jumped over the curb near the Turn 1 chicane and hit the wall, bringing his day to an early end. Lap 7 saw the race resume with Vergne trying to push for the lead, but he had problems trying to initiate his Fan Boost to get past Piquet.
After a second safety car period between Lap 10 and 12 to recover Antonio Felix da Costa’s stricken machine, Verge managed to reclaim the lead although it was short-lived; he pitted to swap cars at Lap 16, just before the safety car emerged for the third time after Stephane Sarrazin damaged his car going over a curb. Almost everybody else pitted to swap cars at this point, and Nick Heidfeld and Buemi beat out Vergne for first and second.
After the race restarted at Lap 19, though, both Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost were hit with drive-through penalties for using too much power, making Buemi the new leader, trailed by Vergne, Piquet and di Grassi. Vergne closed the gap to within a second when Matthew Brabham hit the wall with only four laps to go, bringing out the safety car yet again. When the race got back underway, Vergne deployed his Fan Boost but couldn’t make it past Buemi; he pushed a bit too hard and busted his suspension, ending the race for him with only one lap to go. Vergne finished in 14th place.
The results extend di Grassi’s lead by 18 points over Buemi’s 40 points.