Piquet Jr extends lead in Moscow
NEXTEV TCR driver, Nelson Piquet Jr, triumphed in Moscow to extend his title lead in the inaugural Formula E series. Picking up 25 points with this win, the Brazilian will head to London for the double-header finale, with a 17-point lead over his fellow countryman, Lucas di Grassi.
di Grassi’s finished second ahead of Sebastian Buemi, but Buemi would later be relegated to ninth place as penalty for unsafe release after his pit stop. The third place trophy was then passed down to Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld, giving him his first top three finish in the series.
Pole sitter, Jean-Eric Vergne, had a slow start, letting Piquet Jr slip past and gain the lead by the time the Brazilian reached the first corner braking area. Behind him, Vergne held back di Grassi and Buemi.
Vergne and di Grassi pitted one lap after Piquet Jr. Buemi went for a later stop, but unfortunately for the e.dams-Renault driver and his teammate, Nicolas Prost, the team made a mistake with the minimum pit stop time requirement (they thought it was 68 seconds, but it was actually only 60), causing the Swiss to lose precious time. Another mistake – an unsafe release – would later bring about the harsher post-race penalty.
During the second stint, Vergne and di Grassi had swapped positions. di Grassi knew that he had more energy reserve than Piquet Jr, and narrowed the gap between them to around 1.5 seconds. But with an overheating battery, di Grassi had to yield victory to his countryman instead. But the battle is not yet over. di Grassi said, “There are 60 points up for grabs and anything can still happen. Today we showed that we have a very quick car.”