Sebastien Buemi wins the first race of the third season of the Formula E Championship from Lucas Di Grassi and Nick Heidfeld crosses the line third.
Di Grassi started the race in 19th and had to pit early to change his front wing, and it look unlikely that the Brazilian would score any points, but the safety car period changed the race and allowed Di Grassi to move into second.
Jose Maria Lopez brought out the safety car which changed the race as a number of teams opted on different strategies which provided an exciting finish to the race.
The field got away very cleanly through the first tight corner, but there was contact at turn two between Ma Qing Hua and Daniel Abt.
The German driver suffered a damaged rear wing and was forced to pit to repair the wing. Jose Maria Lopez started to go backwards from his third place as Buemi and both Mahindra drivers passed the Argentine race driver.
Di Grassi had a great start to the race, but the Brazilian driver collected Ma after he hit Abt, and last season’s runner-up was forced to pit, and it looked like Audi Sport ABT’s race would go from bad to worse.
Oliver Turvey started to slip down the order as Sam Bird, and Buemi made the way past the NEXTEV driver as the 29-year old dropped to fourth.
Techeetah suffered possible powertrain issues as Jean-Eric Vergne pitted on lap nine to move into his second car, which meant the French driver would not finish the race.
Felix Rosenqvist made an error from sixth place and found himself sliding towards the wall, and the Swedish driver lost his rear wing and had to pit to change it. The problem for the 24-year old is that he still had 2/3 race distance to go, which his second car could not do.
Lopez brought out the safety car after he locked up going into turn five and slammed into the wall. Nelson Piquet Jr was first on the scene and locked up massively to avoid hitting Lopez who was stuck on the racing line.
Piquet nudged the wall and had to reverse out of the barrier and gave up the lead to Bird and Buemi followed through in second place, as Piquet rejoined in third.
Some drivers started to pit under safety car period to try and gain an advantage,but the safety car came in a lap later, which means drivers such as Buemi, Nicolas Prost and Turvey would have to save energy towards the end of the race.
Di Grassi was the big winner in the safety car period as he moved up to P2 from 18th place before the safety car period.
Bird pitted from the lead of the race, but a technical problem with his second car stopped the Englishmen from rejoining in the lead of the race. The DS Virgin Racing driver emerged in 15th place.
After the pit stops were completed, Buemi found himself in the lead of the race with Di Grassi in second and Nick Heidfeld in third.
Both Andretti cars started to come back through the field as they were the last two drivers to pit which gave them more usable energy in the second stint.
Antonio Felix Da Costa passed Jerome D’Ambrosio and Turvey on the same lap to move into fifth place and Robin Frijns was catching the duo at over a second a lap and passed them both move into sixth.
Di Grassi was unable to bridge the two-second gap that separated the Brazilian and Buemi, as the Swiss driver came home to win the first the race of the third season.