The first round of the inaugural season of the Formula E Championship got underway in Beijing, China over the weekend, and like any good sport there was plenty of action to behold. Victory in the first-ever sanctioned electric car race went to Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi, but only because of a huge crash between Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld and E.Dams Renault’s Nicolas Prost.
Prost, who started at pole, was in the lead going into the final corner of the race but failed to see a fast charging Heidfeld coming up the inside. Prost eventually moved across the track and crashed into Heidfeld to his side, which then caused the former Formula One driver to hit a curb and launch into the air. Heidfeld then hit a barrier which flipped him several times before landing on the track upside down.
You can see the crash unfold in this highlight video. The action starts at the 0:42 mark. Fortunately, Heidfeld walked away without serious injury. His only complaint was small pain in his calf. The crash also caused enough damage to Prost’s car to put him out of the race as well.
Thus, di Grassi, in third at the time, went on to cross the finish line first. Franck Montagny of American team Andretti finished second almost three seconds behind the leader, while third place went to Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird six and a half seconds behind.
Audi Sport ABT’s other driver Daniel Abt was actually the third finisher but was handed a time penalty for exceeding the battery consumption. He used 28.2 kW of the allocated 28 kW available. His final classification saw him listed 10th. Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge and Virgin’s Jaime Alguersuari were also penalized for being over the limit.
After this first race, Lucas di Grassi leads the Drivers’ Championship with 25 points. Franck Montagny is in second with 18 points while Sam Bird is in third with 15 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Andretti leads with 30 points versus the 26 of second placed Audi Sport ABT and 15 of Virgin Racing. The next race on the calendar is the Formula E Putrajaya ePrix in Malaysia on November 22.
Below are the top ten results of the Formula E Beijing ePrix:
1) Lucas di Grassi - Audi Sport ABT
2) Franck Montagny - Andretti
3) Sam Bird - Virgin Racing
4) Charles Pic - Andretti Autosport
5) Karun Chandhok - Mahindra Racing
6) Jerome d'Ambrosio - Dragon Racing
7) Oriol Servia - Dragon Racing
8) Nelson Piquet - China Racing
9) Stephane Sarrazin - Venturi
10) Daniel Abt - Audi Sport ABT