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Formula E: Piquet Jr clinches championship, Sam Bird inherits London ePrix Race 2 win

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Jordan Adcock, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Jordan Adcock

    Jordan Adcock

    Nelson Piquet Jr recovered from a poor qualifying to win the Formula E driver’s title by one point as Sam Bird inherited victory in the last race of the season due to a time penalty for Stephane Sarrazin.

    Piquet Jr had started towards the back but was able to pass and benefit from Buemi’s midfield troubles to finish 7th, preventing Sébastien Buemi from gaining e-Dams the driver’s title in addition to the teams’ title they won in race 1.

    Sarrazin led the whole race from pole but was closely followed by the Dragon Racing cars, then by Sam Bird when the Briton leapfrogged them.

    The French Venturi driver fell foul of a rule whereby cars cannot fall to 0% energy before the end of the race; subsequently he was penalized 49 seconds and dropped to 15th, capping a season of mostly miserable luck for the Monegasque squad.

    With the Battersea Park track resurfaced and once again wider at turn 1, Buemi qualified only 6th, but was still well ahead of title rivals di Grassi in 11th and Piquet Jr in 16th, the latter getting the worst of damp conditions during qualifying.

    The Brazilian managed to jump four places at the start, but the growing deficit to those in front appeared not to justify his conserving power in the first half, especially as a hoped-for safety car failed to arrive.

    This was despite lots of debris scattered on track by Sakon Yamamoto’s (Amlin Aguri) clouting the back of Jarno Trulli (Trulli GP). Indeed, the otherwise quiet first half appeared to confirm Buemi as secure for the title. But after the pit stops and car changes, the race turned.

    Buemi’s spin at turn 2 exiting the pits turned out to be what lost him the championship, dropping behind Bruno Senna and despite fiercely harrying the Brazilian couldn’t find a way past for the crucial extra points. Piquet Jr was still too far back to win the title but capitalized on a safety car caused by Fabio Leimer (Virgin Racing) crashing at turn 11.

    With the field bunched up, new teammate Oliver Turvey obligingly moved over on the restart, and then the Brazilian swiftly despatched with Salvador Duran (Amlin Aguri). With 8th on track, just two places behind Buemi, the title was his.

    Buemi gestured at Senna at the finish, but afterwards accepted defeat and his mistake. The Swiss can console himself that problems outside his control cost him a lot more this season, not least his own team miscalculating the minimum pitstop time in Moscow.

    Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) likewise continued to rue his Berlin disqualification for an arguably negligible technical infringement – the 25 points he lost would have been more than enough to win the title in the end. He finished ahead of rival Piquet Jr in both races, but he was always the most unlikely contender of the three.

    So the glory was left to his compatriot, his first championship since British Formula Three in 2004 enjoying easily his biggest success since he left F1 with the ignominy of the Singapore “Crashgate” scandal hanging over him. Piquet Jr was as stunned as he was ecstatic, admitting after race 1 and qualifying he wasn't absolutely sure he could still pull it off.

    But it’s a sign of his commitment to the series that he, along with di Grassi and Audi Sport ABT teammate Daniel Abt, are the only ones confirmed for the 2015/6 season, and he’ll likely enter the opening race with even more confidence.

    Race Result (29 laps)
    Sam Bird Virgin Racing 25 points
    2 Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 18
    3 Loïc Duval Dragon Racing 15
    4 Bruno Senna Mahindra 12
    5 Sébastien Buemi e-Dams 10

    Pole Position: Stephane Sarrazin Venturi (3 points)
    Fastest Lap: Sam Bird Virgin Racing (2 points)

    Final Drivers’ Standings
    Nelson Piquet Jr China Racing 144 points
    2 Sébastien Buemi e-Dams 143
    3 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 133
    4 Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 113
    5 Sam Bird Virgin Racing 103

    Final Teams’ Standings
    1 e-Dams
    232 points
    2 Dragon Racing 171
    3 Audi Sport ABT 165
    4 China Racing 152
    5 Virgin Racing 133

    Watch highlights of the race in RaceDepartment’s video gallery here.

    What did you think of the race? Did you have a favourite moment? Where would you rank this circuit in relation to the others this season? Comment below!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2015
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Jimlaad43

    Nice apex, I'll take it! Premium

    Circuit rankings for the season:
    1. Buenos Aires
    2. Punta Del Este
    3. London
    4. Long Beach
    5. Moscow
    6. Berlin
    7. Putrajaya
    8. Monaco
    9. Miami
    10. Beijing
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. the_sigman


    I would put London lower and Berlin higher. If it was not the last race and the championship decider, London would offer dull racing.
  4. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    I though Beijing and Putrajaya were quite good tracks personally. Agree with the rest though
  5. Emerson Meyer

    Emerson Meyer
    Keep Fighting

    Bravo Piquet!
  6. TurcoMaldade


    he made a mistake. but he's a great driver and deserves this title.
  7. airutonpurosuto8912


    Agree with the Buenos Aires track, it looks good and epic :D
  8. MoerasGrizzly


    I think Beijing as a track suffers from it being built in a very "square" city block, whilst the most fun street tracks are the streets that just more or less 'happened', like Macau and Montjuich's roads. It's one of the reasons why I adored London as a concept, and why I liked Berlin's design as it escapes the trappings of street courses entirely by going to the tempelhoff.

    You've got to either fully embrace the nature of street courses or forget them entirely, but Beijing had the issue of not having interesting streets but still using them.
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