Lucas di Grassi took his first career win for ROKiT Venturi Racing in the second half of the SABIC London E-Prix doubleheader, Round 14 of the ABB Formula E World Championship. The Brazilian bested local hero and yesterday’s winner Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) in a hard-fought, strategic 38-lap battle on the 2.14km/1.33-mile street circuit at ExCeL London.
Di Grassi emerged from the last of three mandatory Attack Mode power boost activations with enough in-hand to ensure he would make it by the on-form Dennis when the Briton jumped for his last 30kW boost. Dennis had followed up yesterday’s win with a start from pole position but di Grassi stretched his advantage over the final few laps to take the checkered flag.
“Today, we used Attack Mode to create the right energy buffer and then when the time was right we used the energy and opened the gap and just kept it from there,” summarized di Grassi. “Jake was struggling a little bit to the rear of his car I think and I saw that if I could push for two or three laps it was enough, because here was very hard to overtake. So thanks to the guys that made it the perfect car today.”
Nyck de Vries came home third, while his Mercedes-EQ teammate — championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne — clambered to fourth from 13th on the grid. His closest title rival Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) had made his way as high as fourth from 14th at the start of the race but a late technical problem prematurely ended his London race and dealt a hammer blow to his title chances with retirement from proceedings and a non-score.
Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) did his utmost to claim points from 17th on the grid but a scrappy, combative performance could only yield 13th position. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) retired early on, all but ending his championship hopes.
Antonio Felix da Costa fought to fifth in the sister DS Techeetah, with Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) producing his second-best result of the season in sixth. Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) took seventh and Sam Bird was eighth for Jaguar TCS Racing on home soil.
Sergio Sette Camara finally earned the first points of the season for his Dragon/Penske Autosports team after yesterday running out of usable energy at the last moment in Round 13 despite hassling the top four throughout. Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the top 10 for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
It now looks to be a head-to-head between Evans and Vandoorne for the title with 58 points on offer in two weeks at the Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix doubleheader weekend, the final two races of Season 8 in the 16-race calendar. The Belgian holds a commanding 36-point margin over the Jaguar driver in the points table.
ROKiT Venturi Racing jumped DS Techeetah to go second in the teams’ championship, although Mercedes-EQ extended its lead to 35 points.