The 2018 Zurich E-Prix was definitely a successful event. The largest crowd the sport has seen since Formula E started turned up. With the 2018 Zurich E-Prix was the first race in Switzerland in 64 years, a big crowd was bound to show up. A race win for a hometown hero wasn’t in the cards today, but the 2018 Zurich E-Prix was definitely entertaining. It had plenty of drama, incidents, and overtaking opportunities.
2018 Zurich E-Prix Winners and Losers
Lucas Di Grassi of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler took the race win at the 2018 Zurich E-Prix. Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing and Jerome D’Ambrosio of Dragon Racing rounded out the podium. Techeetah driver Andre Lotterer and Renault E.DAMS driver Sebastien Buemi rounded out the top five.
Lucas Di Grassi
Despite having a lackluster qualifying for the 2018 Zurich E-Prix, Di Grassi has looked fast all weekend. The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler cars topped the charts in FP1 but slumped to P8 and P9 during qualifying. With the turn of events during the race, the Brazilian driver capitalized on the opportunities presented in front of him.
He took the lead on lap 16 from Mitch Evans of Panasonic Jaguar racing. Once he took the lead, a full course yellow was soon deployed and everyone pitted. Di Grassi had a smooth pit stop and came back out in P1. Then Di Grassi got lucky when all his competition behind him received drive-through penalties for speeding under full course yellow (they all restarted too early). Sebastien Buemi, Andre Lotterer, Mitch Evans, Jose Maria Lopez, and Jean-Eric Vergne all received drive-through penalties. From there on, the Brazilian driver had a large lead over Sam Bird who inherited P2.
The win at the 2018 Zurich E-Prix was the first win for Di Grassi this season. He came in second four straight races now, and the defending champion was emotional after this win in Zurich.
— ABB Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) June 10, 2018
Bird had the best possible result he could have asked for today. Bird was hoping to keep his Formula E title hopes alive today despite being 40 points behind Jean-Eric Vergne. Once Vergne received his penalty, Bird inherited P2 while Vergne dropped back to P12. Bird kept it smooth and crossed the line in P2 and Vergne only finished in P10.
With these results, Bird cut Vergne’s lead on the Drivers’ Championship down to 23 points. There are only two rounds left in the Formula E Championship, both of those races will be held in New York City. A place where Bird took both race wins last year, so could still win the title at the end of the season.
The Dragon Racing team, in general, had a magnificent weekend in Zurich. D’Ambrosio qualified in fourth while Jose Maria Lopez qualified in fifth. Lopez couldn’t maintain his track position but D’Ambrosio had a great race. He too was helped out by the drive-through penalties and inherited third once they took place. But he looked quick all weekend and definitely wasn’t easy to pass on track. He had a great drive today finishing in third, a well-deserved result for the Dragon Racing team.
The Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver was able to get his first Pole position for the 2018 Zurich E-Prix. He had quick times all weekend and really put it together when it mattered during qualifying. The Kiwi driver was in the lead up until lap 16 when Di Grassi went on a charge and passed both Andre Lotterer and Evans in a few corners. That’s when Evans’ luck ran out, unfortunately, he soon received a drive-thru penalty for his restart after the full-course yellow. After he served the penalty, Evans still gained points and finished in P7.
Oliver Turvey of NIO Formula E didn’t look like he was going to enjoy the 2018 Zurich E-Prix. In fact, no one at NIO Formula E thought they were going to have a good race. Both NIO cars qualified in P19 and P20, both cars just didn’t look on pace or comfortable around the circuit. Turvey hit a wall on his right-rear wheel and damaged his car in qualifying. Eliminating him from putting a time on the board in qualifying but he had a great race in Zurich. Despite all his bad luck, Turvey still managed to finish the car in P9. Salvaged a disastrous weekend with some points for the team.
Despite getting a point at the 2018 Zurich E-Prix, Vergne was hoping for more. The Frenchman was hoping to clinch the title today but that wasn’t in the cards. He had plenty of setbacks unfortunately during this race that contributed to his result. He ran over the front wing of Felix Rosenqvist, but that didn’t cause any damage. Vergne was in decent shape before the pit stop, but his car wouldn’t start right away. Losing plenty of time and positions in the process. Then he was one of many drivers who received a drive-through penalty, which dropped him down to P12. Vergne salvaged a point, coming in P10 but so much more was on the table. The Frenchman knows he needs strong results in New York, considering Sam Bird is strong on that circuit.
The hometown hero was hoping for a strong result today at his home E-Prix, but that just wasn’t in the cards. The Venturi Formula E driver and Formula E rookie qualified in P14 and just didn’t look quick around the circuit. The Swiss driver was hoping to get points in the race but early incidents took away that opportunity. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to finish his first home race, officially came in P20.
Nelson Piquet Jr.
The second Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver couldn’t match his teammate’s pace this weekend. Nelson Piquet qualified in P11, ten places behind his teammate. The Brazilian driver was hoping to make up some places today but he got into some incidents with other drivers on the circuit. He was given the black flag with the orange disc but bodywork damage and had to pit. That effectively ended his race and retired after 20 laps.
|1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi||39||51:19.811|
|2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin||39||7.542|
|8||Antonio Felix da Costa||Andretti||39||31.301|
|9||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||39||32.180|
|12||Jose Maria Lopez||Penske||39||35.206|
|15||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra||38||1 Lap|
|16||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin||38||1 Lap|
|–||Luca Filippi||NextEV NIO||20||Retirement|
|–||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar||20||Retirement|
The FIA ABB Formula E Championship will return on July 14 and 15 for the 2018 New York City E-Prix rounds one and two. A new champion will be crowned and it is now a two-way fight for it. Who will it be? Who knows but it will be entertaining to figure out who will be crowned Season Four Formula E Champion!
|3||Lucas di Grassi||101|
|10||Nelson Piquet Jr.||45|
|15||Antonio Felix da Costa||20|
|17||Jose Maria Lopez||14|
|24||Ma Qing Hua||0|
|2||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||186|
|3||DS Virgin Racing||157|
|5||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||105|
|7||Venturi Formula E Team||56|
|8||NIO Formula E team||47|
|10||MS&AD Andretti Formula E||24|
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