Sebastien Buemi took his tenth Formula E career victory in Monaco, after a tense battle with di Grassi in the final laps.
It was an action-packed start for the Monaco ePrix, with Sebastien Buemi leading the field after starting from pole position around the iconic street circuit. The race would continue to be dominated by Buemi in his Renault e.Dams but also involved many fights for position in the points.
The race began with contact between Daniel Abt and Jose Maria Lopez; this being the first race the DS Virgin Racing driver had taken part in since his incident at Silverstone for the World Endurance Championship in which he damaged several vertebrae. It was confirmed Lopez had suffered rear wing damage from the contact on the first lap and during lap seven was shown black and orange flags which resulted in him having to pit due to safety concerns.
Lucas di Grassi also came a bit too close for comfort when trying to commit into turn 1 and made contact with championship leader Buemi at the start. This contact didn’t prove itself to be too limiting to their performance, however, di Grassi did have quicker pace than Buemi in the first few laps.
Nick Heidfeld of Mahindra Racing made a fantastic start to gain four places from 9th to 5th, a position that would only continue to improve as he was awarded a podium finish for his efforts, P3.
Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing made contact with the wall at Tabac with the right rear of the car taking the most impact on lap 7. Damage from the incident meant that he was to immediately pit and retire that car. He did jump into his other car but just used the ePrix to set the fastest lap – a 53.822.
Fanboost was awarded to Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi on lap 14, in addition to Stephane Sarrazin of the Venturi team who are based in Monaco.
Battling for third position on lap 22, Nelson Piquet Jr and Jean-Eric Vergne made contact with their respected front wheels as Vergne attempted an ambitious overtake at turn 3. Piquet’s steering froze and resulted in him driving into the path of the Techeetah driver. Unfortunately for Jean-Eric, the only option was contact with the wall. The smash, which brought out the safety car, only resulted in a retirement for Vergne whereas Piquet was able to escape any serious race-ending damage and continued to race a fantastic race in fourth position.
With a safety car out on track, the entirety of the field pitted. There was confusion with Mitch Evans and the two Faraday Future Dragon Racing pilots, who arrived at the pits during a green flag and left with a safety car on track but the issue was soon resolved.
Jerome D’Ambrosio slowed by Tabac corner on lap 27, giving the impression he had succumbed to a similar power unit issue like his team-mate Duval had the race before in Mexico. Fortunately for the Faraday Future Dragon Racing driver, he was soon on his way and continued to set personal best times.
Esteban Gutierrez was cautioned with an unsafe release on lap 34, while Buemi began to make use of his fanboost.
Despite Buemi using his fanboost, di Grassi reached closer lap by lap and soon a battle for first place was on the cards. With ten laps to go, the gap came down to 1.3s. This gap only continued to close and gave for an exciting final lap as di Grassi was right on Buemi’s tail. Despite the constant fighting from di Grassi and his Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport, he was unable to take the win and left Buemi to take his 10th Formula E race victory. “Monaco has no overtaking points,” exclaimed di Grassi in the post-race drivers” conference.