In a Formula E crazy race under the rain, Robin Frijns persevered through tricky weather conditions to cling on to victory in a frantic race on the streets of the French capital.
With a slippery surface, damaged front wing and numerous restarts to contend with, Frijns managed to hold position and stay ahead of Andre Lotterer – who again had to settle for second place.
It’s a first-ever win for Frijns in Formula E and extends the list of consecutive different race winners to eight. Still without a repeat winner this season, Frijns jumps to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship – one point clear of Lotterer, courtesy of an extra point for setting the fastest lap.
Frijns – who lined-up third on the grid – moved to the front of the field following mistakes and misfortune from both Nissan e.dams cars in the early phase of the race. After the cars were released behind the BMW i safety car at the start due to wet conditions, Oliver Rowland crashed out of the lead – locking-up and hitting the barrier at Turn 10.
Rowland recovered and dropped down the order to last place, while team-mate Sebastien Buemi suffered a puncture and pitted for a tyre change – gifting the lead to Frijns. However, it wasn’t such plain sailing for the flying Dutchman, with stoppages to clear the track halting any chance of pulling a gap.
With multiple Full Course Yellows and one safety car period, the leading group were kept in close proximity until the chequered flag, putting a first win tantalisingly within reach of Lotterer.
Successive second place finishes lift Lotterer just behind Frjins in the points table, meaning the DS Techeetah driver now leads the voestalpine European races.
Daniel Abt rounded-out the top-three positions, earning his second appearance on the podium this season. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team-mate Lucas di Grassi finished a place further back in fourth – ahead of Maximilian Gunther for Geox Dragon with a career-best fifth in Formula E.
Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne wasn’t able to replicate last season’s success on home soil and could only manage to collect eight points for sixth. Antonio Felix da Costa was next over the line in seventh for BMW i Andretti Motorsport, one place in front of HWA RACELAB’s Gary Paffett in eighth.
Felipe Massa – who was running as high as third – avoided damage after spinning on the exit of Turn 2 and added to VENTURI Formula E Team’s points haul in ninth. Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein completed the top-10, despite losing Julius Baer pole position and starting last on the grid due to not respecting the minimum tyre pressures in qualifying.
Formula E now returns to the famous streets of the Principality for round nine of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on May 11 and third instalment of the voestalpine European races in Monaco.
Robin Frijns, Envision Virgin Racing
The last thing you want in a race is rain and it was very slippery for everyone – everybody went off at some point. I crashed as well, so it was very tricky conditions and difficult to know what the rain would do to the track. You’re surviving really and knowing that you’re leading, you’re the first car and anticipating the grip in the corners. Andre was behind me and he was waiting for me to make mistakes. So, the pressure was on all race long. I didn’t have much time to rest, only during Full Course Yellows, but it was definitely one of the toughest races.
André Lotterer, DS Techeetah
It was a good start and we managed to avoid many things. At the beginning I thought – ok, we can do something because I was quite good in the morning in the free practice. But somehow there wasn’t grip, or the tyres didn’t have grip. For me, the safest thing to do was take it home, and then it started to rain more and visibility was bad. I tried to stay there and sometimes put a bit of pressure just in case he made any mistake.
Daniel Abt, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler
I think it was a pretty good race in the dry – I felt super quick, super confident and I had some good battles, especially with Massa… although it was a fun and fair one. I felt really confident and the shower came of course, and it changes the perspective which goes from trying to close the gap and push to win – to trying to survive more or less. All of us were really on a knife-edge. So, bringing third home I think is positive.
2019 Paris E-Prix (Round 8). Race results
1 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 47:50.510s (26)
2 Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah +1.373s (18)
3 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +3.175s (15)
4 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +3.666s (12)
5 Maximilian Gunther Geox Dragon +5.456s (10)
6 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah +6.694s (8)
7 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW i Andretti Motorsport +7.238s (6)
8 Gary Paffett HWA Racelab +7.901s (4)
9 Felipe Massa Venturi Formula E Team +10.522s (2)
10 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing +10.998s (1)
11 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing +11.488s
12 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams +19.451s (3)
13 Jose Maria Lopez Geox Dragon +24.023s
14 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team +1:22.226s
15 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 1 Lap
16 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1 Lap
17 Jerome D’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 3 Laps
DNF Alex Lynn Panasonic Jaguar Racing 23 Laps
DNF Edoardo Mortara Venturi Formula E Team 23 Laps
DNF Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 18 Laps
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne HWA RACELAB 18 Laps
DNF Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 17 Laps
2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula E Championship
1 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 81
2 Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah 80
3 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW i Andretti Motorsport 70
4 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 70
5 Jerome D’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 65
6 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 62
7 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 61
8 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 59
9 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 54
10 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Formula E Team 52
11 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 38
12 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 38
13 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 30
14 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 18
15 Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 18
16 Felipe Massa Venturi Formula E Team 17
17 Maximilian Gunther GEOX Dragon 10
18 Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 8
19 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 6
20 Jose Maria Lopez GEOX Dragon 2
21 Nelson Piquet Jr. Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1
22 Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 0
23 Alex Lynn Panasonic Jaguar Racing 0
24 Felipe Nasr GEOX Dragon 0
25 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing 0
2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula E Championship
1 DS TECHEETAH 142
2 Envision Virgin Racing 135
3 Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 129
4 Mahindra Racing 103
5 BMW i Andretti Motorsport 88
6 Venturi Formula E Team 69
7 Nissan e.dams 68
8 Panasonic Jaguar Racing 62
9 HWA Racelab 26
10 GEOX Dragon 12
11 NIO Formula E Team 6
Fonte: Formula E