Di Grassi commands Long Beach ePrix

Long Beach is a nice place to the Brazilian drivers in Formula E, as proved by Nelson Piquet Jr. last year with a dominant win at the home of the Shoreline Drive. History repeated itself this year, but now it was Lucas di Grassi the man at the top step of the podium, leaving no doubts he is a top-grade driver.

The start was led by polesitter Sam Bird who held his way ahead of di Grassi and the rest of the field. Championship leader Sebastien Buemi was taking some daring moves to go up in the table, as Daniel Abt saw at the last hairpin leading to Shoreline Drive. But some laps later, Buemi overdoes it and gets into contact with the back of Robin Frijns although there was no significant ground lost.

Di Grassi made his way to the lead on lap 13 with late brake move that left Bird without reaction. Near halfway the pit stops started and the ABT Audi driver did a nice job by keeping himself at the front, but not without a challenge as Sam Bird left the pits right behind him. Due to a drive through penalty, Buemi was seen at the bottom of the field. In the middle of the pursuit, Bird lost control of his car and went to the barriers, although he returned with apparently no huge problems, leaving the second place to St├ęphane Sarrazin, in a conservative but good day for the Venturi driver.

Renault e.DAMS problems could get worse as Nicolas Prost also got a penalty due to minimum pit stop time not being respected, sending him out of his fourth place. Other driver that had a bad day was Nelson Piquet Jr., who was sitting at the bottom of the field and ended his race crashing into the barriers and breaking the front wing of his car. As he was in the exit of the first chicane, it was better to call the Safety Car on lap 36.

Two laps later di Grassi’s job was to hold his place and everybody right behind to make victory sure. With a good amount of energy left di Grassi was able to pull away a bit from Sarrazin, bouncing back from being excluded of the Mexico ePrix results. Sarrazin kept his way in second and Daniel Abt completed the podium.

Di Grassi leads Buemi in the standings by a single point as he has 101 points, with Sam Bird in third way behind both of them, with 71 points. Renault e.DAMS leads in the teams’ standings with 138 points, with ABT Audi in second with 132 points and Dragon Racing a bit behind with 112. Now Formula E returns to Europe right to Paris, France, where the round seven will be held on April 23rd.