Sam Bird wins a thrilling Rome ePrix


Sam Bird has won an enthralling Rome ePrix which took off in the closing stages of the race. 

Felix Rosenqvist led the majority of the race and looked set to reduce Jean-Eric Vergne’s lead in the championship, but his rear suspension failed after hitting a kerb at Turn 17 causing the Swede’s second retirement from the lead this season.

Bird inherited a comfortable lead but had less energy than Mitch Evans, Lucas Di Grassi and Andre Lotterer behind him.

The trio quickly caught Bird. Evans tried to overtake the Brit but was unable to find a way through at right-hander of Turn 10.

That move allowed Bird to gain a two-second advantage and put Di Grassi and Lotterer into contention for the race win.

Evans began to struggle with energy and lost out to Di Grassi, and on the final lap the Kiwi ran out of energy and dropped all the way down to ninth and allowed Lotterer to move into third.

Di Grassi caught Bird but was unable to make a move on the DS Virgin Racing driver and had to settle for second with Lotterer third.

Daniel Abt stayed out an extra lap and used that energy to fight his way through to finish in fourth place. Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne ended in fifth place, and his championship lead cut to 18 points after Bird’s win.

Sebastien Buemi struggled after pitting a lap earlier than the drivers around him. The season two champion was unable to keep hold of his third place after the pit stop window and finished in sixth place.

Jerome D’Ambrosio took advantage of the full course yellow to clear debris from a multiple car pile-up that involved Jose Maria Lopez, Oliver Turvey, and Nick Heidfeld.

Lopez and Heidfeld were trying to find their way through Turvey at Turn 9, and a three into one scenario did not work, and both Heidfeld and Turvey caused a roadblock.

Engel finished in eighth with Evans ninth, and Edorado Mortara picked up the last points paying position.

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