INDIA: DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne won the first-ever Hyderabad E-Prix. The game was an action-packed event that left fans at the edge of their seats.
He held off Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy to win a nail-biting race that featured crashes, drama, and unexpected turns.
Jean-Eric Vergne won Hyderabad E-Prix
Despite starting the final lap with only 2 per cent power remaining, Jean-Eric Vergne fended off Cassidy’s challenge to cross the finish line just four-tenths of a second ahead.
The race started dramatically when Sam Bird took out his Jaguar teammate and polesitter Mitch Evans while trying to overtake Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz.
The crash pushed Maserati’s Max Gunther out of contention and led to the retirement of both Jaguars. Evans had led until the 7th lap when he was instructed to take ‘Attack Mode’, which allowed Sebastian Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne to pass him.
As the race progressed, Jean-Eric Vergne found himself on the tail of Buemi and made his way past the Swiss driver. Buemi tried to fight back by taking Attack mode, but this allowed Cassidy to sneak into second place.
With the race in its final laps, McLaren’s Jake Hughes crashed on his own, triggering a safety car that bunched up the grid.
However, just a few seconds after the Hyderabad E-Prix restarted, the other McLaren also crashed out of the race as Rene Rast bumped into the Andretti of Jake Dennis.
Jean-Eric Vergne found his Penske car low on charge with Cassidy on his tail, but he managed to fend off the Kiwi’s challenge to win the inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix.
Porsche’s Da Costa and Wehrlien were next on the time sheets, with Wehrlien still in charge of the championship. Envision’s Buemi finished the race in third but was hit with a drive-through penalty that saw him drop to 15th.
The Hyderabad E-Prix marked the return of world championship motor racing to India after a 10-year hiatus. Mahindra, the only Indian team in Formula E, did not enjoy its home race, with Oliver Rowland being the only points scorer in seventh place.
The Hyderabad E-Prix showcased the country’s readiness for top-tier racing. Fans in the grandstands and at home were treated to a thrilling race that saw Jean-Eric Vergne take home the victory in the first-ever Hyderabad E-Prix.
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