Jean-Eric Vergne held off Nick Cassidy to win the Formula E Hyderabad EPrix with Antonio Felix Da Costa rounding the podium.
Sebastien Buemi did cross the line in third but was handed a drive-through penalty for overuse of power that promoted Da costa into third.
Vergne only had 1% of energy on the final lap of the race, and Cassidy was sitting with 4% energy remaining and right on the gearbox of the Ds Penske driver. But Vergne used all of his experience to cross the line first.
It was a clean start to Formula E Hyderabad EPrix as pole-sitter Mitch Evans took to right in is Porsche car to cover off DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne as Envision’s Sebastien Buemi was third from Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz and Maserati’s Maximilian Guenther in the Top 5.
Jaguar’s Sam Bird was sixth from Envision’s Nick Cassidy, Maserati’s Edoardo Mortara, McLaren’s Rene Rast and Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa in the Top 10. The first move came from Cassidy who passed Bird for sixth.
Having moved ahead of Bird, Cassidy survived a hit from Guenther at Turn 3 but the German lost his front wing at Turn 15 with yellow flag being waved for that. An early Attack Mode from Evans cost him the race lead when Buemi took the lead from Vergne.
Even Fenestraz got ahead of Evans but the Kiwi cleared him quickly. But it wasn’t long for the Jaguar driver, as teammate Bird hit the back Evans at Turn 3. Bird was carrying speed into the right-hander, which was too much in the end which led to a collision.
It not only caught out the two Jaguar cars but also Fenestraz and Guenther in the process. The two drivers were put under investigation in what is their semi-home race as both dropped down the order and were out of contention after needing to pit.
This changed the order with drivers taking Attack Mode post the incident too. It was Vergne in the lead of Formula E Hyderabad EPrix from Cassidy, Andretti’s Jake Dennis, Buemi, Maindra’s Oliver Rowland and McLaren’s Rene Rast in the Top 5.
The rest of the Top 10 had Nissan’s Norman Nato, Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa, DS’ Stoffel Vandoorne and NIO’s Serio Sette Camara. Meanwhile, Guenther and Rowland were handed a five-second time penalty for track limits after multiple warnings.
The order settled down a bit with Vergne leading from Cassidy, Buemi, Dennis, Rast, Rowland, da Costa, Vandoorne, Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein and Mahindra’s Lucas di Grassi in the Top 10 after multiple drivers used Attack Mode since the incident.
There were retirements for ABT’s Kelvin van der Linde, NIO’s Dan Ticktum and the Jaguar pair of Evans and Bird.
There was a brief safety car for Jake Hughes who crashed into the wall on the exit of Turn 3 all by himself. The post-safety car period turned disaster for Dennis along with McLaren after Rast hit the back of the Brit at Turn 3 resulting in DNF for both.
It was front wing damage for Rast while Dennis had a rear damage. The fight for the lead continued on, meanwhile, between Vergne and Cassidy where the Kiwi had more energy and pace than the Frenchman. Buemi was third to make it two Envision cars in Top 3.
Rowland was fourth with a front wing damage and tried a move an ambitious move at Turn 3 on Buemi but he lost out to da Costa in the process. There was more five seconds penalties as both Vandoorne and di Grassi were penalised for track limits.
With one lap added, Vergne was pretty low on energy but somehow managed to hold off Cassidy with good chunk of energy to win the first Formula E race in Hyderabad EPrix. The Kiwi had to settle for second with teammate Buemi in third.
Post-race, the Swiss racer was put under investigation for over power at some point in the race and was handed a drive-through penalty which dropped him outside of points in 15th. This put da Costa on the podium in third from Wehrlein in fourth as Camara was fifth from Rowland, Nato, Vandoorne, Lotterer and Mortara in the Top 10.
ABT’s Nico Mueller just missed on points in 11th from Feneastraz as Guenther was 13th, di Grassi 14th, Buemi 15th and Dennis 16th. DNF: Rast, Hughes, Bird, Ticktum, Evans, Van der Linde.