Monaco ePrix 2017

Practice and qualifying

Two practice sessions—both on Saturday morning—were held before the Saturday late afternoon race. The first session ran for 45 minutes and the second lasted 30 minutes. Unlike the preceding four races, the Friday shakedown session was not held.Both practice sessions took place in dry weather conditions.In the first practice session, which saw lap times drop and multiple drivers lead the field, Buemi was fastest with a time of 52.795 seconds, four-tenths ahead of teammate Prost in second and Stéphane Sarrazin third. Rosenqvist was fourth-fastest, ahead of López and Vergne. Bird, Gutiérrez, Nelson Piquet Jr. and di Grassi rounded out the session’s top ten drivers.Prost spun at turn three and Adam Carroll went straight into the Anthony Noghes corner and stopped close to the turn’s barriers. Rosenqvist locked his tyres entering Sainte Devote corner and went into the turn’s run-off area and Gutiérrez later performed a similar mistake. The session ended early when Oliver Turvey braked heavily to avoid passing Buemi going into the Novelle Chicane under yellow flag conditions. Rosenqvist was caught off guard and ploughed heavily into Turvey’s rear-end, destroying his Mahindra’s front-right corner and heavily damaging Turvey’s car. Buemi used the full 200 kilowatts (270 hp) available to him in the second practice session to record the fastest lap time of 52.729 seconds; Bird was second-fastest and di Grassi placed third. Vergne was fourth-fastest; López was fifth and Loïc Duval sixth. Daniel Abt was seventh-fastest, Piquet eighth, Prost ninth and Sarrazin completed the top ten ahead of qualifying. Prost impacted the wall at Anthony Noghes corner with his front-right wheel, removing a small part of his car’s bodywork, but was able to continue.

Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session ran for 60 minutes and was divided into four groups of five cars. Each group was determined by a lottery system and was permitted six minutes of on-track activity. All drivers were limited to two timed laps with one at maximum power. The fastest five overall competitors in the four groups participated in a “Super Pole” session with one driver on the track at any time going out in reverse order. Each of the five drivers was limited to one timed lap; the starting order was determined by the participants’ fastest times. The driver and team who recorded the fastest time were awarded three points towards their respective championships.Qualifying was held in dry weather conditions.

In the first group of five runners, which saw the drivers drive on a slippery track surface and warmed their brakes and got their lock-ups resolved,Buemi was fastest on his maximum power lap, half a second faster than Duval in second and Mitch Evans third. Turvey and António Félix da Costa were the group’s slowest two drivers. Heidfeld was the fastest driver in the second group, four-tenths of a second ahead of Gutiérrez. Carroll (who damaged his wheel housing by hitting the barrier at the exit of the Swimming Pool complex) and Prost (who glanced the wall) followed in the next two positions .Jérôme d’Ambrosio aborted his timed lap and did not rememerge from the pit lane, causing him to start in 20th (and last) place.In the third group, Maro Engel went quicker than Buemi’s benchmark lap time to go fastest overall. Di Grassi finished behind the Venturi driver in second place, followed by Bird in third position. Sarrazin and Frijns rounded the group’s five competitors.

Vergne recorded the fastest overall timed lap of all drivers in the group stages in the fourth (and final) group at 53.286 seconds, 0.135 seconds quicker than the second-placed Piquet. Rosenqvist, López and Abt were the slowest three drivers of the fourth group, and after the group qualifying stages ended, the times set by Vergne, Engel, Buemi, Piquet and di Grassi were fast enough to enable them progression into super pole.Di Grassi was the first driver to attempt his lap in the super pole round and lost control of the rear-end of his car and made contact with the wall leaving Anthony Noughes corner and qualified in second. Piquet was initially slower than di Grassi but recovered some of the lost time and took third place. Buemi drove cleanly to clinch the provisional pole position with a time of 53.313 seconds.Engel drove over a large portion of kerbing and drifted sideways into the barrier and was restricted to starting fifth. Vergne struggled with finding grip, locked his tyres heading into Sainte Devote corner and was only able to qualifying no higher than fourth.The result meant Buemi secured his first pole position of the season, his second consecutive in Monaco, the seventh of his career,and his first since the 2016 London ePrix. He also became the fifth consecutive driver to clinch the pole position in the season’s first five races. After qualifying ended, Duval was sent to the back of the field for exceeding the maximum amount of permitted laps.

Race

A special feature of Formula E is the “Fan Boost” feature, an additional 100 kilowatts (130 hp) of power to use in the driver’s second car. The three drivers, who were allowed to use the boost, were determined by a fan vote. For the Monaco race, Buemi, Sarrazin and di Grassi were handed the extra power. Weather conditions at the start of the race were dry and sunny with an air temperature between 20.0–20.8 °C (68.0–69.4 °F) and a track temperature ranging from 24.4–25.6 °C (75.9–78.1 °F); conditions were expected to remain consistent and a 10 percent chance of rain was forecast. 18,000 people attended the race. The race began at 16:00 Central European Summer Time When the race started, Buemi maintained his pole position advantage heading into Sainte Devote corner. Di Grassi ran closely behind Buemi to keep second place.Heidfeld overtook Rosenqvist and Engel around the outside to move into fifth. Most of the field made a good start but some drivers were caught out by the concertina effect of Sainte Devote with Piquet narrowly avoiding damaging his rear suspension after hitting the barrier, and Abt ran into the back of López, damaging his rear wing and nose cone. Bird made the equal best getaway in the field, gaining three positions by the end of lap one,while Sarrazin stalled after leaving his grid position, dropping him to the back of the field.

Sébastien Buemi won the pole position and held off championship rival Lucas di Grassi to win the race.

At the end of the first lap, Buemi led di Grassi, Piquet, Vergne, Heidfeld, Engel, Bird, Rosenqvist, Frijns, López, Abt, Evans, Gutiérrez, Turvey, Carroll, Félix da Costa, Prost, d’Ambrosio, Duval and Sarrazin. Buemi began to pull away from di Grassi, holding a lead of one second over the Brazilian driver. Over the following six laps, nothing notable of note occurred. On lap eight, Bird rode over the kerbing at Tabac corner, lost control of the rear-end of his car, and veered into the barrier, damaging his rear suspension.The  crash forced Bird to make a pit stop, while his teammate López was shown a black flag with an orange circle, requiring him to stop for repairs to his rear wing. Bird’s mechanics repairs his vehicle’s rear-end with a spanner and replaced López’s rear wing. Both drivers returned to the track to start a battle for the race’s fastest lap. Buemi continued to extend his advantage over di Grassi and Piquet while Rosenqvist was challenging Engel for sixth. Frijns lost eighth when Abt passed him around the outside and closed up to the Engel and Rosenqvist battle. Piquet struggled to remain within sight of the leading drivers, and Vergne ran closely behind him, steering left onto the inside line, and as both drivers locked their tyres, Piquet clambered with his steering wheel, and both cars made contact, with Vergne ending his race in the Novelle Chicane barrier on lap 21.

The incident necessitated the deployment of the safety car on the following lap to allow Vergne’s car to be extracted from the track and the entire field elected to make pit stops for the mandatory change into their second cars. Bird set the race’s fastest lap on the 24th lap, completing a circuit in 53.822 seconds, earning him one championship point.Dragon teammates Duval and d’Ambrosio were the first drivers to enter the pit lane, and after the safety car pulled into the pit lane on lap 26,racing resumed with Buemi leading di Grassi and Heidfeld. Buemi again started to pull away from di Grassi and was one second ahead of him after completing one lap. D’Ambrosio moved out of the train of cars a few laps later, stopped and restarted his problematic car, causing him to drop down the field before entering the pit lane.Duval joined his teammate in the garage with mechanical problems on the 31st lap.Buemi lifted and coasted as he attempted to level out the electrical energy difference between himself and di Grassi; he used his FanBoost system to maintain the advantage he had built up over the Brazilian driver. Elsewhere, Gutiérrez was investigated by the stewards for an unsafe pit stop release but elected not to penalise the driver. The primary battle at this point was between Piquet, Engel, Rosenqvist and Abt but all four drivers drove reasonably to enable one large push at the race’s conclusion.

Di Grassi narrowed the gap to Buemi to half a second with six laps remaining, and while thinking about an overtaking attempt on the e.Dams driver, both men were delayed by slower traffic, causing di Grassi to drop back.uemi had less available electrical energy than di Grassi which allowed his rival to run close behind him. Di Grassi had been unable to use his FanBoost because of battery voltage limitations, but was able to draw closer to Buemi on the final lap, and forced the e.Dams driver to defend his position at the Swimming Pool complex and La Rascasse corner,but did not find the space to get ahead, and the run to the start/finish line was not long enough, allowing Buemi to hold him off and win the race.Di Grassi finished 0.320 seconds behind in second with Heidfeld clinching third. Heidfeld became the first driver to stand on the Monaco podium in both Formula One and Formula E. Piquet, Engel, Rosenqvist and Abt all finished close behind each other in positions four to seven. with Gutiérrez, Prost and Evans rounding out the top ten points-scoring finishers. Félix da Costa was judged to have been unsafely released from his garage and was handed a 33-second time penalty which demoted him from ninth to 11th. His teammate Frijns was running in eighth in the closing stages but lost all electrical energy on the final lap and fell to 12th. Turvey, Carroll and Sarrazin were the last of the classified finishers. It was Buemi’s fourth victory of the season, his second consecutive in Monaco, and the tenth of his career. Of the other retirements, d’Ambrosio and Duval returned to the track but both retired with the former suffering from a powertrain malfunction and the latter was affected by regenerative braking problems, and both Virgin cars were not classified in the final results

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