Piquet echoes father with Long Beach win

Piquet Jr Emulates Father Dominant Long Beach Victory FormulaFuture FormulaE Formula E Future

Nelson Piquet Jr enjoyed a fairytale finish at Long Beach, claiming his first ePrix victory precisely 35 years after his father won his first Grand Prix at the very same street circuit.

The winner of the ePrix was arguably decided at its very start, with Piquet Jr coupling a perfect launch from third on the grid with a bold dive into Turn 1 to claim a lead that went unchallenged until the chequered flag fell.

“The start was one of those times where everything goes right, the car didn’t wheelspin much and it seemed like both cars in front didn’t have a very good reaction”, the Brazilian ex-Formula One ace explained.

“As soon as I got the lead it was just a matter of managing from the front and keeping calm without making mistakes.”

Aside from Nelson Piquet’s clean getaway, the ePrix start was typically chaotic and set the tone for the race, with some cars in the chasing pack lining up five-abreast into Turn 1.

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Daniel Abt and championship leader Nico Prost, who started from first and second on the grid, got caught up in the ensuing melee of contact and penalties and endured a miserable afternoon to finish fifteenth and fourteenth, respectively.

However, worst off were Salvador Duran, Sam Bird, Jarno Trulli and Californian local Sam Speed, who all failed to finish – with the latter bringing out a safety car after running wide on the exit of Turn 2.

As the race progressed into its final stages, Piquet’s fellow Formula One graduate Jean-Eric Vergne emerged as a solid contender for second place, leaving di Grassi and Buemi to battle over the final podium spot. Initial polesitter Buemi, demoted to starting tenth on the grid following a penalty for excessive power usage in qualifying, was unable to pass di Grassi and had to settle for fourth place.

With Prost finishing outside of the points, di Grassi’s run of strong finishes meant that the Audi Sport ABT driver reclaimed the Formula E championship lead.

“It’s an honour to be back in the lead of the championship”, di Grassi reflected.

“To return to the podium was the main goal here even if it was my fourth podium in six races…it was off the back of two tough results.”

FULL RACE RESULTS

Driver Team Gap
01 Nelson Piquet China Racing
02 Jean-Eric Vergne Andretti +1.705s
03 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT +2.994s
04 Sébastien Buemi e.dams-Renault +3.518s
05 Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing +8.844s
06 Jerome d’Ambrosio Dragon Racing +13.460s
07 Antonio Felix da Costa Amlin Aguri +16.171s
08 Jaime Alguersuari Virgin Racing +17.975s
09 Loic Duval Dragon Racing +18.436s
10 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi +20.418s
11 Nick Heidfeld Venturi +21.326s
12 Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing +32.917s
13 Vitantonio Liuzzi Trulli +38.592s
14 Nicolas Prost e.dams-Renault +42.375s
15 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT +44.361s
16 Charles Pic China Racing +58.125s
17 Salvador Duran Amlin Aguri +12 laps
18 Sam Bird Virgin Racing +17 laps
19 Jarno Trulli Trulli +32 laps
20 Scott Speed Andretti +36 laps

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Driver Team Points
01 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 75
02 Nelson Piquet China Racing 74
03 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 69
04 Sébastien Buemi e.dams Renault 55
05 Sam Bird Virgin Racing 52
06 Antonio Felix da Costa Amlin Aguri 43
07 Jerome D’Ambrosio Dragon Racing 42
08 Jean-Eric Vergne Andretti 32
09 Jaime Alguersuari Virgin Racing 30
10 Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 28
11 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 22
12 Franck Montagny Andretti 18
13 Scott Speed Andretti 18
14 Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing 18
15 Oriol Servià Dragon Racing 16
16 Charles Pic China Racing 12
17 Jarno Trulli Trulli 12
18 Loic Duval Dragon Racing 8
19 Nick Heidfeld Venturi 5
20 Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi 4
21 Takuma Sato Amlin Aguri 2
22 Salvador Duran Amlin Aguri 1
23 Ho-Pin Tung China Racing 0
24 Antonio Garcia China Racing 0
25 Michela Cerruti Trulli 0
26 Marco Andretti Andretti 0
27 Matthew Brabham Andretti 0
28 Vitantonio Liuzzi Trulli 0
29 Katherine Legge Amlin Aguri 0

 

Image credit: FIA Formula E

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