June 29, 2015 @ 02:27 PM

Formula E crowns first world champion

If Round 10 was intense, then Round 11 was nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat intense to find out who will be the first Formula E World champion!

If Round 10 was intense, then Round 11 was nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat intense to find out who will be the first Formula E World champion!

Sebastien Buemi had enjoyed a joyous Saturday afternoon, but the same couldn’t be said about Buemi’s Round 11 race on Sunday. Qualifying had been greeted by rain mid-way through which saw the last two groups clocking in times that were far off the fastest time set by Venturi racing’s Stephane Sarrazin.
Buemi only managed to clock in a P5 time in his run and was set on his toes the entire qualifying as his title contenders made their Qualifying run. Nelson Piquet Jr.’s Nextev TCR car only managed to clock in a time fit for P16 thanks to Andretti team’s Simona De Silvestro peeping him in the last legs of Q4 while Lucas di Grassi in the Audi Abt car only managed a P11. 
With just five points separating Buemi and Piquet Jr., Piquet’s chances of winning the championship was slim with his starting position down the grid. But both di Grassi and Piquet Jr. started well by making up a few places as the lights went out. While di Grassi proceeded to hunt down a few more positions to further increase his chances at the championship, Piquet Jr. on the other hand was going slow to extend his first stint before the pit lane window.
Stephane Sarrazin, meanwhile, was speeding away with the lead. His position rivals, Dragon Racing’s Jerome D’ambrosio and Loic Duval were finding it hard to play catch up with his Venturi car. But unfortunately for Sarrazin, he did not include Virgin racing’s homeboy Sam Bird, who was racing in fourth place, in his list of contenders. Bird had been silently following the top three throughout the race conserving his batteries to go a little further then the rest.
Meanwhile, Buemi suffered a spin after he came out of his pits. His e.dams car spun entering a corner allowing Bruno Senna to gain a position and di Grassi to catch up to race nose to tail with him. Buemi already had the fastest lap of the race under his belt and with Piquet Jr. racing in tenth place, Buemi was set to win the championship with just four points. But it did not go as planned for the Swiss driver.
Not only did Piquet Jr.’s Team China racing teammate, Oliver Turvy, take the points earned from the fastest lap away from Buemi giving him only two points advantage, Turvy also allowed his teammate to easily drive pass him to gain another position and more points. Much the Buemi’s frustration, Mahindra’s Bruno Senna refused to relent to Buemi that much needed fifth place as well. 
But all eyes were on the race winners by the end of the race. Sam Bird had driven artfully pass a power saving Loic Duval and chased down race leader Stephane Sarrazin who was also at the tail end of his battery power. Bird had made every attempt to pass Sarrazin even with just a few corners remaining which had the crowd on their feet and cheering for their homeboy. 
While Sarrazin had managed to hold on to his position, unfortunately for him, he was given a penalty the moment he took the chequered flag for exceeding the maximum power output. This puts Sam Bird on the top position, taking home his second trophy and win since the Putrajaya ePrix last year. 
Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio and Loic Duval completes the top three podium finishers with Mahindra’s Bruno Senna coming home fourth and a frustrated Sebastien Buemi coming home fifth.
All three podium finishers were happy with their results but nobody celebrated more than Nelson Piquet Jr. who has successfully etched his name down as the first Formula E World Champion. Perhaps we would see Junior do what Senior did in Formula 1 in Formula E championship? Only time will tell.

Jerrica Leong

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